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Beloosesky Gallery is interested in purchasing original paintings by Bernard Lorjou. 
Please call (917) 749-4577 or email us at
 info@beloosesky.com

Post-Modern artist Bernard Lorjou was born on September 9th, 1908 to an extremely poor family in the Loir et Cher department of France.  In 1924, at the age of 13, Lorjou left his home for Paris, the city where he would earn his reputation as one of the most powerful political artists of his time, famous for his expressionist, figurative style and vibrant colors.

He arrived in Paris penniless and was quickly evicted from his time room on rue Raspail and was forced to sleep at the Orsay train station.  At this time he was working without pay as an errand boy for a printing company.  In 1924, Lorjou was hired by silk producer Ducharne in Montmartre where he was employed as a fabric designer.  He gained great success in the silk business and his patterns were worn by some of the world's most famous women.

In 1931, Lorjou traveled to Spain and visited the Prado Museum where he was exposed to expressionists such as Goya, El Greco, and Velàsquez, inspiring him to paint.  By 1934, Lorjou had set up an artist's studio in Montmartre with his partner Yvonne Mottet, also a painter.  From the very beginning of his career, his work was inspired by current world events, and as he progressed as an artist and his popularity grew, he focused more specifically on violent events, such as massacre, murder, and war.

As the Germans advanced on France, Lorjou and Yvonne moved to Blois in 1939.  While there, he continued to paint but also contributed to his community during this time of war.  He even served as mayor while volunteering to help the citizens of Blois.  In 1942, Lorjou's work was exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants, and in 1945 he presented his first solo show in Paris at the Galerie du Bac.  From there, his paintings began to circulate both nationally and internationally.  In 1946, he was invited to have a solo show in London.  In 1948, Lorjou and his friend and contemporary painter Gerard Buffet were co-awarded the coveted Prix de la Critique.  At this time, Lorjou began to paint on a larger scale on subjects such as big-game hunting, nuclear war, and the plague in Beauce. 

During this time, Lorjou formed an anti-abstract artistic group called "L'Homme Témoin" with art critic Jean Bouret and was composed of members such as Bernard Buffet, Jean Couty, André Minaux, Charazac, and Simone Dat.  Together the artists were featured at an exhibition at Galerie Claude in Paris.  In 1950, Lorjou painted a particularly famous series titled The Atomic Age which is now owned by the French government and stored at the Pompidou Center.  In 1952, the artist painted a very controversial work as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II titled Morning of the Coronation.  Soon after, he began a ten year collaboration with Georges and Daniel Wildenstein who owned multiple galleries where he would hold many of his future exhibitions.  It was at their gallery where he held his very first show in the United States.

In 1957, Lorjou painted a very popular series titled Massacres of Rambouillet which he displayed in a self-built shack on the Esplanade of the Invalides in Paris, the collection being a reaction to the Soviet Union's invasion of Budapest.  Lorjou then moved the shack to Brussels where he displayed a series of massive paintings, some reaching lengths of 30 ft, denouncing France's war in Algeria.  This would not be the last time Lorjou would anger the French government with his powerful images criticizing their actions.  Lorjou painted a second series on the Algerian War in 1960, but instead of satirizing the French government as a whole, he specifically targeted Charles de Gaulle.

As the decade continued, Lorjou painted a popular series titled The Kings: From Charlemagne to de Gaulle.  A year later, in 1963, the artist rented an Italian barge on which he displayed some of his more monumental paintings, meant to be seen from the streets as the barge traveled up and down the Seine for three days until it was stopped by local authorities.  In 1964, Lorjou painted a series denouncing racism titled Blacks and Whites, exhibited at A. Gattlen Galerie.  The exhibition was prolonged due to its great popularity.  The artist then went on to create a serious of wood engravings illustrating Guillaume Appolinaire's Le Bestiaire, incorporating 33 colors reflecting his constant use of bright colors in his paintings.

In 1966, Lorjou was commissioned by the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris to paint the ceiling of the African Room.  A year later he was commissioned by the diocese of Blois to paint a series of Biblical parables for a chapel for retired priests.  In 1970, Lorjou was very much affected by the murder of Sharon Tate and asked Roman Polanski for permission to paint a work reflecting by the event.  Polanski gave his consent and the painting was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.  In 1972 Lorjou created a series of bronze and burnt wood statues, including a 160 lb solid silver statue sold at the Opéra de Paris to benefit cancer research.  He then organized a solo exhibition in the United States that traveled through New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills, and Miami.  In 1978, Lorjou was commissioned by the Civic Information Center to design a series of posters titled Vote For Whomever You'd Like, But Vote!, and also by the United Nations for another series of posters on the theme fight hunger, win peace. 

Throughout the rest of the 70s and up until his death in 1986 at the age of 77, Lorjou continued to paint images of great controversy, using his medium to protest the violent events of his time.  These include a series protesting the massacres in Palestine and another representing the tragedy of AIDS in 1985.  By the end of his life, Lorjou had created thousands of paintings, ceramics, sculptures, illustrated books, stained glass windows, and murals.  Throughout his entire career, Lorjou used oil and acrylic paints of vibrant colors in his exciting expressionist style to create visual weapons against injustice and violence.

SOURCES
Biography from the Archives of AskART
www.michelfillion.com
 

EXHIBITIONS

2009
Bernard Lorjou, Centre Culturel Valery Larbaud, Vichy, France (solo)
Bernard Lorjou: Bullfights, Espace Van Gogh, Arles, France (solo)
2006
LORJOU: Witness to the times, Kunsthalle Weimar Harry Graf Kessler, Weimar, Germany (solo)
2005
Lorjou Retrospective, Musee des Beaux Arts - Palais Carnoles, Menton, France (retrospective)
2003
Lorjou the Painter: Drawings from his last 20 years, Chateau de Blois, Blois, France
2000
Lorjou Retrospective, Presbytere Saint-Jacques, Bergerac, France (retrospective)
1998
Circus, Bullfights and Musicians, Chateau de Carrouges, Carrouges, France
Lorjou: Witness Painter, Espace Belleville, Paris, France (solo)
1994
Lorjou and Mottet, Galerie d'Art de la place Beauvau, Paris, France
1991
Lorjou Drawings, Salon d'Exposition de Hankyu, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
1989
Homage to Lorjou, Salon d'Automne, Paris, France (solo) 
Carvings and Lithographies, Salon d'Exposition de Hankyu, Tokyo, Japan
1988
Lorjou Oils and Gouaches, Galerie Expression, St. Tropez, France (solo)
1987
Lorjou: Retrospective 1938-1986, Galerie Florence-Basset, Flassans sur Issole, France (retrospective)
Lorjou Tapestries, Chateau de Blois, Blois, France (solo)
1986
Lorjou Pinturas Recientes, Sala de Exposiciones Fundacion Eugenio Mendoza, Caracas, Venezuela (solo)
Lorjou Rock AIDs Tarps, Galerie Epsilon, Paris, France (solo)
1985
Lorjou Paintings Drawings Sculptures, Menton, France (solo)
1984
Lorjou Recent Works (1979-1984), Hotel de Ville de Bruxelles / Salle de la Milice, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
Lorjou in Private French Art Collections, Chateau de Blois, Blois, France (solo)
1981
Recent Paintings, Galerie Beauvau-Miromesnil, Paris, France
1980
Shadows and Suns, Galerie Beauvau-Miromesnil, Paris, France
1978
Recent Paintings, Galerie du Theatre, Geneva, Switzerland
1976
The Bullfights in Small Format, Gallerie Govaerts, Brussels, Belgium
1975
Lorjou, Picquigny, France (solo)
Lorjou, Wally Findlay Galleries, Paris, France (solo)
1974
The Fair, Casino de Monaco, Monaco
Gouaches, Galerie Govaerts, Brussells, Belgium (solo)
1973
Recent Works, Wally Findlay Galleries, New York, NY (solo)
1972
Lorjou, Sculptures, Burnt Wood, Bronzes, Polychromes, La Bastide Grande, Saint-Tropez, France (solo) 
Loves and Massacres, Galerie Drouant, St. Honore, Paris 
Lorjou New Paintings and Sculptures, Hilton Gallery, Waterloo, Brussells (solo)
1970
The Assassination of Sharon Tate, Musee Galliera, Paris, France (solo)
Murderers and Flowers, Galerie Petrides, Paris, France (solo)
Lorjou in America: paintings, drawings and lithographs, University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tuscon, Arizona (solo)
1969
The Marbella Workshop, Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
1968
Homage to Yvonne Mottet and Bernard Lorjou, Musee D'Orleans, Orleans, France
Yvonne Mottet and Bernard Lorjou, Hotel de Ville, Bobigny, France
Bernard Lorjou-Small Formats, Galerie Nihonbashi, Paris, France (solo)
30 Drawings "Hunger", Galerie Bussiere, Paris, France
1966
Paris and flowers in small formats-exhibit Lorjou, Paris Galerie Urban, Paris, France (solo)
Lorjou : Apollinaire's Beastiary, Galerie Rene Kieffer, Paris, France (solo)
1965
Color Lithographies, Galerie Sagot Le Garrec, Paris, France
Bernard Lorjou: Whites and Blacks, Galerie A.Gattlen, Lausanne, Switzerland (solo)
1963
Lorjou Lithographies, Galerie Marcel Bernheim, Paris, France (solo)
1962
Floating Exhibition on the Seine River, Paris, France
Third Manifest of Man as Witness, Moulin Rouge, Paris, France
1958
Paintings by Lorjou, Wildenstein Gallery, London, England (solo)
1957
Lorjou; Mottet, Fundacion Eugenio Mendoza, Caracas, Venezuela
Massacres of Rambouillet, Esplanade des Invalides, Paris, France
1956
Lorjou Drawings, Galerie d'Art du Faubourg, Paris, France (solo)
1954
Lorjou Drawings, Wildenstein Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Ecole de Paris 1954, Galerie Charpentier, Paris, France
1953
Buffet, Lorjou, Vallat, Venard, Switzerland Musee de l'Athenee, Geneva, Switzerland
1951
Current Events of the Atomic Age, Galerie d'Art du Faubourg, Paris, France
1950
Studies for the Atomic Age and the Waste Plant for the City of Paris, Galerie Claude, Paris, France
1947
100 Studies, Drawings, Paintings and Sculptures for the Miracle of Lourdes, Galerie du Bac, Paris, France
1946
Recent Works of Bernard Lorjou, London, England (solo)
1945
Bernard Lorjou, Galerie du Bac, Paris, France (solo)