Jeanne Coppel

1896Galati, Romania | 1971Paris, France
Jeanne Coppel — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Courtesy Françoise Livinec

— Galerie Françoise Livinec

French painter.

Jeanne Coppel learnt painting techniques very early on, from 1910: how to prepare canvases, how pigments work together or against each other. She maintained these good professional habits, as can be seen in the freshness and unusually good preservation of her work. She went on to study in Berlin in 1912. Her teachers there were Michel Larionov and Natalia Goncharova, who had just invented Rayonism, an aesthetic current in which objects were no longer represented through shapes, but rather through the rays reflecting off of them. In this sense, Coppel was one of the pioneers of nonfigurative painting (abstract painting). When Romania went to war in 1916, she was forced to find shelter in a village in Moldavia, where painting supplies were unavailable. However, she found a stack of coloured tissue paper and used it to make “rayonist” collages, in a technique and style more remote from that of her first masters.

Upon returning to Paris in 1919, she joined the Ranson workshop, where her teachers were Édouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, and Paul Sérusier. She married Théodore Coppel in 1920, with whom she had a son, Georges, in 1922. Her style fluctuated from “Nabi” figuration to abstraction until around 1936. During the War, she and her family took refuge first in Marseille then in Aix-en-Provence. In 1942, in a situation similar to what she had experienced in 1916, Coppel returned to collage, this time with greater freedom, producing more complex compositions from a formal point of view. As for materials, she described how their variety led to greater pictorial inspiration. She resumed painting when she returned to Paris in 1946, making very subtle oil paintings and collages. Her originally very rigorous style evolved toward increasingly free forms. She also made major contributions to the Salon des réalités nouvelles, founded by Robert and Sonia Delaunay in 1939. Her mind never ceased to imagine new ways of painting for the rest of her life.

Georges Coppel

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
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