Roger Bissière

Born in 1886, in Villeréal (France).
Died in 1964, in Boissiérette (France).

Education
1905-1909
Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux

1910
Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris

When Bissière was a young painter, he was supported by Maurice Denis, among others. He then retreated at the beginning of the First World War, mostly writing critics in important Paris-based newspapers. In that context, he stood for collective wall painting (he was a precursor of the United States claims in the 1930s), the only way to make art social useful again in the necessary post-war reconstruction. Bissière also formulated in that context a whole vision on modern painting, in his 1919-1923 texts about Ingres, Corot, Seurat, Braque, and Gris. In the 1920s, he became a remarked post-Cubist painter, with contracts in several galleries. But he retreated again in the economic crisis of the early 1930s. He was then a charismatic teacher at Académie Ranson. Louise Bourgeois was one of his students, as well as the followers of Alfred Manessier who created the Lyric Abstraction movement in 1941. The period he spent in the Lot, in 1939, was a synthesis of such previous experiences. Even when he was praised in Paris and in international exhibitions from 1951, Roger Bissière did not take any further part in public or institutional life. The only thing that mattered from then on was to improve his painting. It was a radical choice, hence the strength and independence of his paintings.

Robert Fleck, Bissière, Ed. IAC, 2010, p. 12


« My first revelation of Cubism dates from when I met Braque, in 1919-1920, and the resulting friendship. At that point in my youth, I caught a glimpse of new possibilities, and a totally different vision. This discovery led me to exchange an immediate, realist vision of the world for a transposition of nature transformed into a simple pictorial fact. This satisfied my need to have rigorous construction and organisation in paintings.
[…]
It was a striving for logic and construction that I took from Cubism, which, as it happens, I gradually abandoned, spirituality and poetry that plagued me. This led to a form of painting from which representation was absent, except as an allusion. Cubism signified a facet of the sensorial world. I chose the other fact, which was more mysterious, and perhaps more essential. »
[…]
The Impressionist gives his feeling.
The Cubist gives his opinion.
In order to re-create, you just need to have understood.
For a long time I thought that the drawing meant reproducing the shapes of objects that existed within myself. I now think that, on the contrary, drawing means suggesting the shapes of objects through their inner form.
[…]
When I start a canvas, I have nothing other than a feeling of cooer, an emotion, and that’s all. Once the first colour’s been applied, it elicits another, and then another. And all the colors that comme together end up suggesting forms. I simply have to follow them. I just make sure to fill in the gaps, and give the whole thing great density… All the love you put into a painting can be felt.
[…]
A geometrical figure fully satisfies the intelligence, because it carries within itself something absolute.
A geometrical figure’s the only thing that can give you a sensorial image of the idea of perfection. You have to see nature as a repertoire of forms, a dictionary. And you have to use elements it provides, to construct an architecture of your own.
Painting, if you want to consider it in its essence, is a living geometry of forms and colors, a sort of new and more complex geometry in which colors and forms are inseparable, reacting to one another according to laws whereby the element of form and the element of color are one.
[…]
The only thing I ask of my paintings is that each of them should retain what I was when I painted it. For ten years, I has no confident other than myself. All these colors, all these lights that were rushing around underneath my eyelids would’ve blinded me if I hadn’t painted.
I could never see a door without opening it.

Roger Bissière dans Baptiste-Marreyn, Bissière T’en fais pas Marie, écrits sur la peinture 1945-1964, Le temps qu’il fait, Cognac, 1994 (« Ma première révélation du cubisme », propos rapporté par Pierre Cabanne dans L’Epopée du Cubisme).
First, there seems to be only light and color. Your eye is facing an intense light, although the painting is not particularly bright. Like in the countryside, when you come to, after the light of a sunbeam has briefly blinded you, and you can feel your eyes adapting again to the colors emerging from a field or a wood. Likewise, Roger Bissière’s abstract painting appears to you in all its subtlety once you have started watching it for a certain time.

You can perceive hundreds of shades of colors in its, playing on the whole surface with a light that seems to arise from the background (as on today’s televisions or computers), in a fine and varied manner. The four elements composing these paintings - light, colour, shape, non linear geometry - are organized at each point of their surface in such a surprising and inventive way that your eye never rests. Yet, Bissière’s painting is not tense. The time frame they convey is, on the contrary, particularly « long ». Long-term duration, in the sense given by Fernand Braudel or Henri Bergson. The works compose an « all-over », a rhythmic painting in which lines overflow from shapes. From one square centimetre to another, there is a constantly changing relation between the light arising from the background, on the one hand, and the colors, on the other; between lines and space.

Is it a mistake to describe an abstract painting by Roger Bissière, such as Floréal, circa 1962, employing words that might have been used with works of Jackson Pollock or Mark Rothko, who were Bissière’s contemporaries? In other words, can we look at a painting by Roger Bissière in the light of (American) abstract Expressionism, rather than interpreting it in the frame of lyric Abstraction, i.e. abstract painting as implemented by his former students, from the 1940s? It is definitely worth trying. >Roger Bissière’s abstract paintings, long kept away from permanent collections of great museums and international exhibitions, including historical ones, now convey something fresh. You can now perceive them in their own formal strength. You can grasp the game, both extremely free and controlled, on colors and rhythms becoming autonomous, which makes them oddly close to certain abstract Expressionist paintings. We should be cautious with that king of comparison, though. And we are. When one tries to look at Roger Bissière in the 1950s or 1960s, rather than through Pollock or Rothko. >The shock would be fairly strong, as the first look to a masterpiece of abstract Expressionism. However, he or she would also perceive the same essential elements as in Bissière’s illustrious American colleagues - namely, a never-ending dance of colors and light through constantly changing rhythms freeing stains and lines from any subordination to the descriptions of stable and preexisting shapes or spaces.

Let’s imagine a young artist discovering twentieth-century painting today, without paying much attention to the history of movements and styles, looking at the 1964 painting Silence de l’aube. This work is composed with, on the one hand, drips making the painting autonomous and independent from the painter’s hand and, on the other, intertwined free lines making an all-over in the central part. The artist’s vision is as singular as his technique. The « elective fraternities » of such a work are both abstract Expressionism (e.g. Tobey) and painting-throught, philosophical painting, in the noble sense of the word (including Simon Hantai, a younger contemporary of Bissière). The drips and lines are apparently chaotic; they liberate both the light (coming from the background) and colors from any functionality, if only composition. The gorgeous color characterizing Bissière’s abstract paintings can therefore act autonomously on the spectator’s eye, whereas the concert of small colored explosions, much balanced with one another, creates apparently perpetual rhythm. Finally, the painting clearly expresses one thing only, composing one of Roger Bissière’s main subject: time. Autonomous light and colors give way to an idea of time that combines the lifetime of natural cycles (hence the impressive sense of calm in these paintings, though they were snatched through Bissière’s long pictorial processes) and the speed of the mind, able to grasp this time frame through painting. One of Roger Bissière’s strengths was to transform a painting made of traces, signs, and colored stains into a deep reflection on time, making duration visible.

Robert Fleck, Bissière, Ed. IAC, 2010, p. 7-8
Group shows at Ceysson Gallery
Septet , Paris
December 16, 2020 - February 13, 2021


Solo shows
2019
Compagnons de Route, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Espace St Germain, Paris, France

2016
Entre deux horizons, Centre Pompidou - Metz, France

2014
Bissière (1886-1964), Figure à part, Musée de Lodève ; Musée des Beaux Arts de Bordeaux, France

2004
Bissière, Pense à la peinture, Musée Unterlinden, Colmar, France

2002
Centre d’Art Nicolas de Staël, Braine-l’Alleud, Belgique

2001
Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

2000
Musée de Grenoble, France

1999
Bissière, le rêve d’un sauvage qui aurait tout appris, Musée Picasso, Antibes, France

1997
Bissière 1947, Musée de l’Abbaye Sainte-Croix, Les Sables d’Olonne, France

1996
Roger Bissière 1886-1964 : De la forme à la couleur, Musée du Périgord, Périgueux, France

1995
Roger Bissière, oeuvres sur papier, Galerie Kutter, Luxembourg, Luxembourg

1990
Bissière, paysages du Lot, Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou, Cajarc, France

1987
Musée des Beaux Arts et de la Dentelle, Calais, France
Peintures et dessins de Roger Bissière, « Locus Solus » de Fred Deux, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

1986
Exposition Itinérante en France : Bissière 1886-1964
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris ; Musée des Beaux Arts, Dijon ; Musée des Beaux Arts, Calais

1984
Atelier sur l’Herbe, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Nantes, France
Maison du Lot et Garonne, Paris, France

1979
Roger Bissière 1888-1964 : Des gravures et leurs métamorphoses, Galerie Kutter, Luxembourg, Luxembourg

1978
Galerie Dominique Paramythioti, Paris, France

1977
Bissière / Peintures 1945-1964, Musée de l’Abbaye Sainte-Croix, Les Sables d’Olonne, France

1976
Donjon Lacatye, Mont-de-Marsan, France

1974
Rencontres d’art 74. Hommage à Bissière, Musée Ingres, Montauban, France

1973
Bissière, le chemin et la manière 1920-1964, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France
Bissière, La Nouvelle Gravure, Paris, France

1970
Bissière, Peintures et Estampes, Galerie Alice Pauli, Lausanne, Suisse
Bissière Graphik, Galerie Linnaeus, Nybrogatan, Suède
Bissière. Rétrospective, Musée d’Unterlinden, Colmar, France
Exposition itinérante au Luxembourg :
Musée d’Histoire et d’Art, Luxembourg ; Städtisches Museum, Luxembourg

1969
Musée Fabre, Montpellier, France

1968
Galerie Mimesis, Bordeaux, France

1966
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Pays-Bas
Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen Düsseldorf, Allemagne
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France

1965
Galerie des Beaux Arts, Bordeaux, France

1964
Bissière, Journal 1962-1964, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France
Bissière, Journal en images 1962-1964, Galerie Alice Pauli, Lausanne, Suisse

1963
Galerie Schmücking, Braunschweig, Allemagne

1962
Galerie Marya, Copenhague, Danemark
Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France
Kunstmuseum, Lucerne, Suisse

1961
Roger Bissière Paintings from 1919-1959, World House Galleries, New York, Etats-Unis

1959
Bissière, artisan de la cathédrale, Musée de la Ville, Metz, France
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, France

1958
Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France
Rétrospective, Stetejlik Museum, Amsterdam, Pays-Bas

1957
Exposition itinérante en Allemagne et au Pays-Bas :
Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanovre ; St. Annen-Museum, Lübeck ; Städtische Kunsthalle, Recklinghausen, Allemagne
Stedelijk van Abbe-Museum, Eindhoven ; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Pays-Bas

1956
Bissière, Peintures, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

1954
Onze bois gravés de Bissière pour le Cantique au soleil de François d’Assise, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

1952
Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

1951
Quelques images sans titre, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

1947
Galerie René Drouin, Paris, France

1934
Paintings by Bissière, The Leicester Galleries, Londres, Royaume-Uni

1931
The Leicester Galleries, Londres, Royaume-Uni

1928
Galerie Druet, Paris, France

1926
Galerie Druet, Paris, France

1925
Galerie Druet, Paris, France

1924
Galerie Druet, Paris, France

1921
Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris, France

1920
Galerie Berthe Weill, Paris, France

Group shows
2017
Artes e Letras : as ediçoes da Galeria Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Árpád Szenes - Vieira da Silva Foundation, Lisbonne, Portugal
Corps et Ame, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Espace Marais, Paris, France
Passion de l’Art - Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, depuis 1925, Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence, France

2016
Dialogue IX, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Espace Marais, Paris, France
Question de peinture, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Paris, France

2015
Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Paris, France
Quinte-Essence, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Paris, France

2014
Une passion de l’Art, Musée de Gajac, Villeneuve-sur-Lot, France
Dialogue VI, Galerie Jeanne Bucher / Jaeger Bucher, Paris, France

2013
Matière et Mémoire, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher / Galerie Jaeger Bucher, Paris, France

2008
Expansion-Résonance, Galerie Jaeger Bucher, Paris, France

2007
Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France
Le Corps et son double, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

2006
Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

2005
Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

2000
Dialogue avec des compagnons de route, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

1999
Hommage à Dora Vallier, Galerie Louis Carré & Cie, Paris, France
Rencontres d’art 1999, Petites Mémoires pour demain, Musée Ingres, Montauban, France

1998
Il furuto alle spalle, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italie
Hommage à la France, Galleri Haaken, Oslo, Norvège
Victoire-Elisabeth Calcagni et ses amis, Galerie Anne-Marie Marquette, Le Troisième Œil, Bordeaux, France
Kunst im Aufbruch-Abstraktion zwischen 1945 und 1959, Am Rhein, Ludwigshafen, Allemagne
L’Ecole de Paris ? 1945-1964, Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art, Luxembourg, Luxembourg

1997
Made in France, 1947-1997 cinquante ans de création en France, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Natures mortes du XXème siècle, Musée Tavet-Delacour, Pontoise, France
L’Exposition internationale de 1937, autour de Robert et Sonia Delaunay, Aublet, Bissière, Manessier, Le Moal, Survage, Musée Baron Martin, Gray, France
Vers l’été, vert d’été, Michel Cachoux, Paris, France
L’Arrière-Pays, Château des Adhémar, Montélimar, France
Abstraction, France 1940-1965, peintures et dessins des collections du Musée National d’Art Moderne, Musée d’Unterlinden, Colmar, France
Pour un jubilé 1947-1997, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

1996
European Artists of the 1950’s, Denise Cadé Gallery, New York, Etats-Unis
Bertholle, Bissière, Reichel, Seiler, Steffens, Galerie Lambert-Rouland, Paris, France
1946, L’Art de la Reconstruction, Musée Picasso, Antibes, France
Yves Bonnefoy. La Poésie et les arts plastiques, Musée Jenisch, Vevey, Suisse
64 oeuvres d’Art moderne, Musée National d’Art Moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

1995
1945, Les Figures de la liberté, Musée Rath, Genève, Suisse
Passions privées, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris, France

1994
View of the 20th Century Master, The Miyagi Museum of Art, Ostuka Kogei, Japon
D’Ingres à Matisse, Yomiruri Shimbun, Japon
Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France
Nesto Jacometti editore, Pinacoteca Comunale, Lucerne, Suisse
The Avant-Garde of France, The 1940’s and 1950’s, Nassau Conty Museum of Art, New York, Etats-Unis
Style des années 40, Musée des Beaux Arts, Saint-Lô, France
Vieira da Silva, dation à l’Etat, collection du Musée National d’Art Moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée Fabre, Montpellier, France
Homenaje a Denise Colomb. Treinta Artistas del siglo XX, Centro de Exposiciones y Congresos, Museo Camón Aznar, Saragosse, Espagne
Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, Roubaix, France
Vieira da Silva, Musée des Beaux Arts, Rouen, France

1993
Exposition itinérante au Japon : Paris, la joie de vivre
Yamanashi ; Navio ; Miyazaki ; Hamatsu ; Okayama
Henri Dutilleux et les peintres, Musée des Beaux Arts, Caen, France
L’Artiste regardé, Un point, deux vues, Musée Ingres, Montauban, France
L’Abstraction à partir des années 50, Assemblée Nationale, Paris, France
Zoom arrière, Galerie Callu Mérite, Paris, France
Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France
Entre la sérénité et l’inquiétude, Musée d’Art Moderne, Saint-Etienne, France

1992
Chemins d’un éditeur, Espace Saint-Jean, Melun, France
L’Arrière-Pays, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France
Hommage aan M.L de Boer, Kunsthandel M.L de Boer, Amsterdam, Pays-Bas
De Collectie De Graaff-Bachiene, Hannema-de Stuers Fundatie, Heino-Wijhe ; Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Gand, Pays-Bas
L’Arrière-Pays, Peintures de Bissière, Tobey, Szenes, Jean Dubuffet, Vieira da Silva, Nicolas de Staël, Nallard, Soulages, Debré, Zao Wou-Ki, Aguayo, Gasiorowki, sculpture de Jean Amado, Galerie de la Cité, Carcassonne, France
Exposition itinérante en France : Dialogues avec Lurçat
Argentan ; Avranches ; Bayeux ; Musée Thomas Henry, Cherbourg ; Coutances ; Granville ; Saint-Lô
Naissance d’une collection d’Art moderne : 50 oeuvres du Musée des Augustins de Toulouse, Château-Prieural, Monsempron-Libos, France
Leonardo Sinsgalli : entre Poésie et Science, Seminaire Pontificale Regionale, Potenza, Italie
Réflexion pour un musée dans les collections toulousaines, Galerie Pierre-Jean Meurisse, Toulouse, France

1991
Exposition Itinérante au Japon : Premiers chefs-d’oeuvre des grands maîtres européens
Tokyo ; Kyoto ; Ikaraki ; Osaka
Exposition Itinérante au Japon : Tarkhoff et son temps
Hiratsuka ; Osaka ; Kyoto ; Mito
Paris-Oslo, French and Norvegian Art 1945-1965, Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, Norvège
Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France
Exposition des peintures de l’Amitié française, Musée Commémoratif d’Otani, Nishinomiya, Japon
Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

1990
Trésors du Petit-Palais de Genève, Palais de la Bourse, Forum des Arts, Marseille, France
European Modernists : 1910-1940, Montgomery Gallery, San Francisco, Etats-Unis
Quatre paysagistes abstraits aquitains : Bissière, Calcagni, Gardair, Lagoutte, Galerie Le Troisième Œil, Bordeaux, France
Exposition Itinérante en France : Marie Moulinier
Maison des Arts, Evreux ; Centre Régional d’Art Textile, Angers ; Musée Départemental de la Tapisserie et Chapelle du Château Fellerin, Aubusson ; Espace Jacques Prévert, Aulnay-Sous-Bois ; Musée-Château Grimaldi, Cagnes-Sur-Mer
Idées pour une collection, Galerie Prazan-Fitoussi, Paris, France
La France à Venise, Peggy Guggenheim Foundation, Venise, Italie
Un amateur luxembourgeois de l’Ecole de Paris Joseph Pauly-Groff, Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Peintures abstraites, Le Troisième Œil, Bordeaux, France
Toulouse et l’Art moderne, Musée Paul Dupuy, Toulouse, France
Isabelle Bissière et Bernard Ceysson, Bissière, figure à part [cat. exp., Musée de Lodève et Musée des Beaux Arts de Bordeaux], Ed. Fage, 2014
Robert Fleck, Bissière, Ed. IAC, 2010
Sylvie Ramond et alii, Bissière, pense à la peinture [cat. exp., Musée Unterlinden, Colmar], Ed. Fages, 2004
Daniel Abadie, Bissière, Ed. Ides et Calendes, 2002
Isabelle Bissière et Virginie DUVAL, C. R. 1886-1964, 3 Vol., Ed. Ides & Calende, Neuchâtel, 2001
Serge LEMOINE, Walter LEWINO et Jean-François JAEGER, Bissière, Ed. Ides & Calende, Neuchâtel, 2000
Bissière, le rêve d'un sauvage... [cat. exp., Musée Picasso, Antibes], Ed. RMN, 1999
Gravures et lithographes, Ed. Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Agen, 2008
Daniel Abadie, Bissière, Ed. Ides & Calende, Neuchâtel, 1986
François MATHEY, Bissière, journal en images, Ed. Hermann, 1964
Dora VALLIER, Bissière, Ed. Galerie Jeanne Bucher, 1962
Max-Pol FOUCHET, Bissière, Ed. G. Fall, Paris, 1955
Pierre Buraglio et Rachel Stella / Septet - Expos dans le Grand Paris - Télérama Sortir Grand Paris
Télérama - Laurent Boudier
February 09, 2021
Voir le fichier
Pierre Buraglio, un Septet à la galerie Ceysson
Les Lettres Françaises - Philippe Reliquet
January 27, 2021
Voir le fichier
Pierre Buraglio et Rachel Stella - Septet
Télérama' Sortir - Laurent Bouclier et Bénédicte Philippe
January 13, 2021
Voir le fichier