Artist biography

Germaine Richier 1904-1959

French sculptor and engraver of figures and animals. Born at Grans, near Arles. Studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Montpellier 1922-5 under Guigues, a former assistant of Rodin, then moved to Paris and studied privately under Bourdelle until 1929. First one-woman exhibition at the Galerie Max Kaganovitch, Paris, in 1934 of busts, torsos and figures. Lived in Switzerland and the South of France 1939-45 (exhibited jointly with Marini and Wotruba in the Kunstmuseum, Basle, 1944), then returned to Paris. After 1940 began to make sculptures of bats, toads, spiders, etc., often human figures crossed with animal and vegetable organisms. Made her first engravings in 1947. Awarded the Sculpture Prize at the 1951 São Paulo Bienal. From 1951 made a small number of sculptures with coloured backgrounds painted by Hartung, Vieira da Silva or Zao Wou-Ki. Settled near Arles in 1956; her last works of 1958-9 included a few paintings. Died in Montpellier.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.629