French artist chiefly noted for his blue monochrome paintings and for his audacious experiments with new techniques and new attitudes to art. Born in Nice; both his parents were painters. Began to paint in the late 1940s and formulated his first monochrome theories. Lived in Japan 1952-3. Became expert at judo, which he later taught in Spain and in Paris, where he lived from 1955. First public one-man exhibition at the Galerie des Solitaires, Paris, 1955. Early monochrome pictures in orange, yellow, pink, red and green, but from 1957 worked mainly in blue; also made from 1960 a number of monogolds, with gold leaf. Murals for the opera house at Gelsenkirchen 1957-9. Began in 1957 to experiment with fire paintings and 'immaterial zones of sensibility', and in 1958 with 'Anthropométries' made by a nude model pressing herself against the canvas under his direction. Member of the group Nouveaux Réalistes with Arman, Raysse, Spoerri, Tinguely, Pierre Restany and others 1960. Died in Paris of a heart attack, at the age of 34.
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.389