DETAIL : COLOGNE SCHOOL Germany Virgin and Child with Saints [Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel) Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel)]
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Amédée OZENFANT | Nacres [Mother of pearl]
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France 1886 – 1966
United States of America 1939-1955
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[Mother of pearl]
oil on canvas
130.0 (h) x 97.4 (w) cm
signed l.l., oil, "ozenfant", not dated
Purchased 1976
NGA 1976.66
© Amédée Ozenfant. Licensed by ADAGP & VISCOPY, Australia
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Amédée Ozenfant was born on 15 April 1886 in Saint-Quentin, Picardy, France. In 1905 he moved to Paris where he studied architecture in the studio of Guichard and Lessage, and painting with Charles Cottet. He also attended drawing classes at the Académie La Palette. In 1908 he exhibited work at the Salon de la Société Nationale de Beaux-Arts. During the First World War he published the magazine L'Elan, one of the most lively periodicals of the time, with contributions from Guillaume Apollinaire, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Max Jacob. In 1918 Ozenfant met Charles-Edouard Jeanneret with whom he collaborated to publish Après le Cubism (After Cubism) which set out the principles of a new art movement, Purism. The first exhibition of Purist art, 'Ozenfant et Jeanneret', was held at Galerie Thomas, Paris, in November 1918. In 1920 Ozenfant and Jeanneret (as Le Corbusier) founded the journal L'Esprit Nouveau (The New Spirit) which continued until 1925. In 1925 Ozenfant and Le Corbusier further collaborated on the Pavillon de l'Esprit Nouveau at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, Paris, and published La Peinture Moderne (The Modern Painter). In 1928 Ozenfant published his book L'Art, which became very influential. In 1929 he began teaching at Fernand Léger's school, L'Académie Moderne, and in 1932 he opened his own school, Académie Ozenfant. He transferred his school to London in 1935, moving between Paris and London for the next three years. In 1939 he moved to New York, opening the Ozenfant School of fine Arts, and had a solo exhibition at Georgette Passedoit Gallery, New York, that year. In 1944 he became a naturalised American citizen but in 1955 returned to France, living in Cannes. He renewed his French nationality at this time. He died on 4 May 1966 in Cannes.

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