HENRI SAMOUILOV (1930-2014)
Born on December 25, 1930
Difficult to classify, Henri Samouilov does not belong to any school or movement; he chooses his own means of expression despite fashions and currents.
He began painting at the age of 17. He first apprenticed to a sculptor, then took courses in a school of illustration drawings and advertising. Later he took evening classes in Montparnasse, and attended the Grande Chaumière.
He lived most of his life in Yerres in a house whose plans he had drawn himself, with a large artist’s workshop, in which he never stopped painting, drawing, sculpting,…
The mezzanine workshop was open to the rest of the house; it was not a sacred place, you could settle there with it, read or draw. On the other hand, very discreet and reserved about his tastes or motivations, Henri Samouilov did not like to talk about what he was doing, nor to discuss art or painting. But it is in his work that we recognise all his inspirations: his taste for poetry La Fontaine, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Fombeure, or Henri James, his interest in Greek mythology…
He is very sensitive to surrealism: his themes and his imaginary universe weave links with the dream, the invisible, the shadows, the hidden or the underground. Moreover, he did not like the strong light, he feared the sun, and did not like being exposed very much! He chose to create far from any fashion trend, or commercial requirements.
He travelled very little and was mainly inspired by what was in his close environment: the landscapes of the Mayenne countryside in the summer, or the portraits of his children and grandchildren. His daily train journeys from Yerres to Gare de Lyon, then his long walks in Paris were also an important source of inspiration: suburban landscapes, railways, banks of the Seine, Parisian facades, Parisian bistros, tramps… He particularly liked the Jardin des Plantes and sketched a lot of animals there. He always had in his jacket or at hand, small sketchbooks and mini pencil and eraser tips. Everything was a pretext for drawing, painting, sculpture for Samouilov.
Henri SAMOUILOV died on February 4, 2014.
1963 and 1972, Galerie Halévy, place Dauphine, Paris / 1974 / 1992 to 2000, Galerie P. Poichet, Dinan / 1994-95, Galerie Art 3, place des Vosges, Paris / 2015, Galerie Jean- Claude Reno, Montpellier / 2017, exhibition ” Chemin faisant”, Propriété Caillebotte, Yerres / 2019, “La petite Galerie”, rue de Seine, Paris.
“La cuisine des eurs” editions Dominique Halévy, 1969 – illustrations / “Le bridge” editions Hatier, 1982 – illustrations
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