Artist biography

Robert Helman born 1910

School of Paris abstract painter and lithographer. Born in Galatia, Romania. Has lived in Paris since the age of seventeen and is a French citizen. Studied law and practised as a lawyer for several years; from 1938 turned exclusively to painting. Lived in Barcelona for three years during the war and studied fresco painting at Barcelona School of Fine Arts. First one-man exhibition there 1943; his first in Paris at the Galerie Berri-Raspail 1946. His earliest paintings were of figures, especially faces, but in the 1940s he gradually turned to abstraction, with an emphasis on graphic rhythms similar to Hebrew writing. Painted imaginary landscapes inspired by Genesis, followed in 1952-5 by Hebrew symbols (chandeliers, candelabras, etc.) and then gestural rhythms inspired by plants and trees. Lives in Paris.

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, pp.360-1