Max Papart (1911-1994) became famous for his highly idiosyncratic style that is a surreal Pop Art interpretation of Cubism.
Born in Marseille, Papart drew continuously from an early age. Notwithstanding his mother’s desperate efforts to convince him that becoming a chicken farmer would be a far more rewarding vocation than being an artist, he went to Paris in 1935 and attended the École du Louvre.
The following year he was already exhibiting at the Salon des Indépendants and would later also exhibit at the Salon de Mai and Salon des Comparaisons. During the war he returned to Marseille and studied at the Auzias Academy whilst also fighting with the French Resistance and eventually helping to liberate the town.
In 1950 he returned to Paris. By this time he was establishing a reputation and received much critical acclaim and several awards including the Prix de l’Union Méditerranéenne pour l’Art Moderne, 1948; Lauréat Prix Hallmark, 1949; Prix de la Critique, 1950; Prix de la Jeune Peintre Paris, 1950; Lauréat de la Biennale de Peinture, Menton, 1951.
By the end of the 1950’s Papart’s work became distinctly more abstracted and introduced influences from cultures as diverse as Aegean and Aztec throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. During this period he exhibited extensively around the world including: 1965 Berlin; 1967 Sweden; 1969 Italy, San Francisco; 1972 Sweden, Canada, New York, Rome; 1973 Brussels, Antwerp, Rome, Geneva, Basel, Mexico; 1975 Sweden; 1976 New York, Sweden. In 1971 he was awarded his first retrospective at the Musée Saint-Ouen.