Gérard Ernest Schneider biography

Gérard Ernest Schneider pittore

Gérard Ernest Schneider, born in Sainte-Croix, Switzerland, in 1896, is a name that resonates profoundly in the world of abstract art. Having moved to Paris during the First World War, Gérard Schneider immersed himself in the city's vibrant artistic environment, first attending the École des Arts Décoratifs and then the École des Beaux-Arts under the leadership of Fernand Cormon. From his first steps in art, he stood out for an innovative approach and a unique vision, which led him to become one of the pioneers of Lyrical Abstraction.
In 1920, Gérard Schneider organized his first solo exhibition at the Léopold Robert Gallery in Neuchâtel, marking the beginning of a luminous career. His definitive move to France in 1922 consolidated his link with the Parisian avant-garde movement, participating in influential exhibitions such as the Salon d'Automne and the Surindépendants. These first exhibition experiences are crucial for the formation of his artistic style.
In the 1940s, Gérard Schneider began to gain international recognition, participating in the Venice Biennale in 1948 and obtaining French citizenship in the same year. His art goes through several phases, moving from surrealism to lyrical abstraction, a genre that defines his legacy. In 1946, he was an integral part of the first post-war exhibition of abstract art at the Galerie Denise René in Paris, where he presented works characterized by bright colours, expressive brushstrokes, black lines and angular shapes.
His contribution to Lyrical Abstraction, a movement transforming abstract language in the second half of the 20th century, is invaluable. Gérard Schneider explores this art form together with contemporaries such as Hans Hartung and Pierre Soulages. This artistic trend, which contrasts with geometric abstraction, is characterized by a gestural and personal expression. In 1950, his works were exhibited at the Galerie Louis Carré in Paris, marking a significant moment in his career.
A significant turning point came in 1955, when Gérard Schneider signed an exclusive contract with the Kootz Gallery in New York, led by the art dealer Samuel Kootz, a key figure in the promotion of Abstract Expressionism in the United States. This collaboration not only consolidates his success in the United States but also helps spread his artistic influence internationally.
Gérard Schneider's works are acquired by prestigious institutional collections around the world, including the Museums of Modern Art in Brussels, Paris, New York, Milan, Rome, Rio de Janeiro, the Phillips Collection in Washington, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Kunsthaus in Zurich. His art is described as a visual orchestra, expressing passion, fury and romance. Gérard Schneider argues that painting should be looked at as one listens to music, a parallel that reflects the emotional and dynamic nature of his work.
During the "light years" of his career, as described by Michel Ragon, Schneider develops a balance in the forms that reflect each other, with an explosion of color that characterizes his canvases. This period marks a maturation in his style, characterized by a nervous gesture and a volcanic composition, full of tension. His art is not only an aesthetic exploration, but also an emotional and spiritual journey.
Eugène Ionesco, a contemporary of Schneider, admires the "original, eruptive richness" of his work, a tribute that reflects Schneider's lasting impact and influence on the art world. Until his death in 1986 in Paris, Gérard Schneider remained an icon in the field of abstract art, leaving a legacy that continues to influence artists and enthusiasts around the world.