Jean de Mailly

Thursday, October 26th 2023

From the artist's studio

Jean de Mailly, one of the architects of the CNIT (Centre of New Industries and Technologies) and of the first skyscrapers to be built in the Parisian district of La Défense, is a wide-ranging artist. Winner of the Grand Prix de Rome for Architecture in 1945, he is also a master of mixed media art. After experiencing his first pictographic emotions while imprisoned in a stalag from 1939-1942, he continued his research in Rome, first producing representative artworks then abstract ones, initially focusing on the treatment of material, while his later work conveyed his fascination for space, form and emptiness.

Jean de Mailly also showed interest in the study of motion, following the lead of Eadweard Muybridge and the Italian Futurists. A mix of pictures, advertisements and typefaces, his collage-paintings can be seen as a form of autopsy of the contemporary world.

"I developed this technique because it was in line with modern life. [...] I find that in today's world, everything is cheerful. And I'd like to play up the joyful credo of everything that the modern man does. Hence a motorcycle, a pretty girl, a beautiful car in motion, the 24 Hours of Le Mans race - all of that is very beautiful."

Coming from his studio collection and sold directly by his heirs, these creations offer a synthetic vision of his work.
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