James Pichette is a French painter associated with the post-war revival of non-figurative painting in Paris and the currents of lyrical abstraction and informal art. He began painting his first abstract pictures in 1942, during a stay in Haute-Savoie where he found rest despite the war, which he carried out in the air within the reconnaissance group of the French army's infantry division.
After arriving in Paris at the liberation, and having served in the ranks of the resistance, he exhibited for the first time in the capital in 1947 on the occasion of the Salon des Surindépendants. He then met famous Italian Futurist painters such as Alberto Magnelli, Gino Severini, then the Frenchman Jacques Villon, whose repeated exchanges nourished in him a taste for movement and speed, and undoubtedly inspired the development of his geometric style towards more lyricism and gestural freedom.
He then exhibited at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in 1950, as well as at the Salon d'Octobre, among other important exhibitions, where his paintings participated in the assault on geometric abstraction by the critic Charles Estienne and the painter Georges Mathieu.
He moved to New York in 1960 where his style became even more lyrical as he became immersed in jazz music, which he also practiced. Pichette also made paintings as part of happenings and jazz-painting experiments during music festivals.
The musical inspiration leads him to make many paintings on this theme. The canvas is then a space conceived as a stage on which a visual music made of rhythms, colors, and gestures is improvised, similar in every way to the sound poetry of jazz. The compositions can be calm, close to ballads with piano and saxophone, or they can be performed in the ardor of Free-Jazz, a musical type that Pichette particularly appreciates. Nevertheless, they are always lyrical in their gestural freedom and the expressiveness of the colors that render all the joy and vitality that animated this painter in his practice.
We are pleased to present two works of this painter dating from this beautiful period that was the 1960s and his involvement in this painting-jazz.