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Alexandre Garbell

1903 —1970

French artist, representative of the The School of Paris (Ecole de Paris) art movement. Alexandre Garbell began to paint at the age of 13. After studying in Moscow he and his family moved to Germany where he attended the Heidelberg Academy. In 1923 he moved to Paris and continued his studies at the Académie Ranson as an apprentice of Roger Bissière, a lyrical abstractionist. In the academy Garbell met Alfred Manessier, Francis Gruber and other artists. He was included in the circle which is known as the School of Paris. Garbell developed his own distinctive style rather quickly.

Since 1928 Garbell’s works were exhibited regularly in Paris, as part of both personal and group exhibitions. 

During World War II Garbell, as many other artists (Marcelle Rivier, André Lanskoy), found a refuge in Mirmande where André Lhote (artist, sculptor, educator and art theoretician) founded an academy. Garbell was employed by him as art teacher and influenced a new generation of artists. 

In 1946 Alexandre Garbell returned to Paris where he became friends with Paul Ackerman and was exhibited in major galleries (Delpierre, Galerie du Siècle, Pierre Loeb). He was a regular partaker in important art exhibitions in France: Salon des surrindépendants, Salon de mai ( 1950, 1954 — 1961); Salon des realités nouvelles (1961); Salon Comparaisons (1956, 1957, 1962, 1963) and many other. In the 1950s and 1960s his works travelled abroad to be exhibited in Denmark, Switzerland, the UK, Italy and the USA . A documentary called Artist and His Works was filmed on the occasion of Garbell’s show in New York in 1956. 

A grand personal exhibition Garbell:15 years of Painting took place in 1970 in Galerie Framond in Paris. The artist passed away in December of the same year and was buried in Monri.

Alexander Garbell has a son, Camille Garbell, a sculptor.

In the beginning of his career Garbell was captivated by abstractionism. Later he withdrew from a sharp contraposition of abstract and figurative painting. One of important sources of inspirations for the artist were the cliffs and the beach at Mers-les-Bains, a commune in the North of France.