Trivium Art History
The Artists

Grégoire Michonze1902 — 1982

No story. Pure poetry.

No story. Pure poetry.

Art writer Michèle Kieffer calls Grégoire Michonze "the forgotten artist." And while many artists might share that title, the life of Grégoire Michonze paints a picture of what is remembered and why in the world of art.

Grégoire Michonze was born at the dawn of the 20th century in the city of Chișinău, the capital of Moldova, and part of a region known as Bessarabia. It must have been a strange time and place to grow up, as massive political change rocked the city almost yearly. When Michonze was a child, Chișinău was a part of the Russian Empire, and violently divided between it's Romanian and Jewish population, leading to anti-Semitic riots. When Michonze was 15 years old, local men were drafted to fight in the Russian Army in WWI, and a year later Bessarabia joined the Kingdom of Romania. Michonze joined the Chișinău Art Academy in 1919, and studied the egg tempera techniques of classical russian icon painting while Romainian money transformed the city with new railroads and education programs. 

In 1922, the twenty-year-old Michonze moved to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts, and landed sqaurely in the heart of the burgeoning Surrealist movement. First meeting Max Ernst, Michonze was introduced to the whole crew: André Breton, Paul Éluard, Yves Tanguy and André Masson. 

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Self-portrait

Self-portrait

1918
Landscape of the Sleeper

Landscape of the Sleeper

1929
The Ballet Dancer

The Ballet Dancer

1934
Village People

Village People

1952
Dinner is Served

Dinner is Served

1958
Playful Scene

Playful Scene

1970
1901
Projections of determination
Aaron Douglas
The unblinking anxiety of modern life
Alice Neel
Grégoire Michonze
Envisioning a pastel eden
Lê Phổ
Hallucinating figures
Wifredo Lam
2000

The artists of Post-Impressionism