Paul Signac Biography, Artwork, Galleries Online | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Biography

Style: Neo-Impressionist
 
Paul Signac's Famous Artworks
“Breakfast (The Dining Room)” 1886-87
“Portrait of Felix Feneon” 1890
“Young Women of Provence at the Well” 1892
“Woman with Umbrella” 1893
“In the Time of Harmony. The Golden Age is not in the Past, it is in the Future” 1893-95
“Woman at her Toilette wearing a purple corset” 1893
“The Port of Saint-Tropez” 1901
“Sunday” 1908
“The Pine Tree at Saint-Tropez” 1909
“Antibes at Night” 1914
“Entrance to the Port of La Rochelle” 1921
 
Paul Signac was a writer, printmaker and a French Neo-Impressionist artist and co-founder of the Pointillist style of painting.
 
Paul Signac's Early Life
Paul Signac was born in Paris to a family of prosperous shopkeepers on November 11, 1863. He began to study architecture at the insistence of his family but a lifelong interest in art was revived when he attended an exhibition of Claude Monet’s work. This led him to quit his architecture course in 1880 in favor of studying painting. He was inspired to paint the outdoors and his early work, mostly of landscapes and still life, shows an Impressionist influence. Signac also studied under Emile Bin, though he was largely self-taught. His first painting was dated 1881, after which he began exhibiting his paintings at a number of galleries and museums.
 
Paul Signac's Style
Signac’s artistic style transformed considerably after he met artist Georges Seurat in 1884 at the Salon des Indépendants. Signac and Seurat shared an interest in the use of color and perception. Working with Seurat, who had already started experimenting with a division of color, Signac graduated from the small brushstrokes used by the Impressionists to applying dabs of color in intense shades, juxtaposing colors and experimenting with optical effects. Signac was an avid sailor and he enjoyed traveling around France and the Mediterranean coast, which he painted in many of his works.
 
After the death of his friend and collaborator Seurat, Signac moved to Saint-Tropez, on the French Riviera in 1891. By this time, he was increasingly painting from memory inside a studio, rather than from direct observation of the outdoors. Paul Signac's artworks included a number of watercolor drawings with more loose and fluid brushstrokes.
 
Paul Signac's Contributions
Signac was an anarchist with a commitment to radical politics in search of an equal society. Along with his contemporaries Camille Pissarro and Maximilien Luce, Signac wrote for French anarchist Jean Grave’s weekly, ‘Les Temps Nouveaux’ (New Times), and also gave financial support for the publication. His political ideas reflected in “The Wreckers” (1897-99) and “In the Time of Harmony” (1893).
 
Signac exhibited regularly from the 1880s. He participated in the group shows of the Salon des Artistes Indépendants from 1884 till 1895. He also exhibited his work at the last Impressionist Exhibition in 1886. However, he received little critical acclaim in the early part of his career and held his debut solo exhibition as late as 1902, presented at Siegfried Bing’s gallery in Paris.
 
He contributed to the development and spread of Divisionism through his analytical approach and understanding of the principles put forth by Georges Seurat. His book in defense of Neo-Impressionism, “D’Eugène Delacroix au Néo-Impressionnisme” (1897), as well as several other writings, also proved his credentials as a theorist. The book was read widely by artists and significantly influenced the Futurists in Italy and the Fauves in France.
 
Paul Signac's Personal Life
Signac married Berthe Roblès in 1892. They separated in 1913 when Signac moved in with artist Jeanne Selmersheim-Desgrange, with whom he had a daughter, Ginette, the same year. He formally adopted Ginette in 1927.
 
Paul Signac's Later Life
In his later years, Signac became a guide and mentor to younger artists, including Henri Matisse. In 1908 he became President of the Société des Artistes Indépendants, a post he held for 26 years. He used the time to promote art and young artists. He also became an art collector, with a collection of over 250 works. In fact, Signac was the first person to purchase Matisse’s work. You can buy Paul Signac's artworks online
 
Signac died from septicemia in Paris on August 15, 1935. He was 71. One of Signac’s works was discovered as recently as 2010 at the Hotel Spaander in North Holland. It is believed that Signac gave the painting to the hotel in order to settle a bill and before its artist was known it ‘used to hang off a rusty nail in the lobby’. Signac’s work is currently owned by museums, galleries and art collectors around the world.
 
Paul Signac's Major Exhibitions
2009  -  Palazzo Reale, Milan
2009  -  Neue Pinakothek, Munich
2010  -  National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
2011  -  de Young Museum, San Francisco
2011  -  Museum Folkwang, Essen
2011  -  Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht
2011  -  Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock
2011  -  Musée d'Orsay, Paris
2011  -  Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
2012  -  Albertina Museum, Vienna
2012  -  The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal
2012  -  Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
2012  -  Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
2012  -  Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach
2012  -  Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock
2013  -  Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki
2013  -  National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
2013  -  Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock
2013  -  Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco
2013  -  Veletržní Palace, Prague
2014  -  Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
2014  -  The Currier Museum of Art, Manchester
2014  -  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
2014  -  Fondation Custodia, Paris
2014  -  Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
2014  -  Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis
2015  -  Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock
2015  -  The Phillips Collection, Washington DC
2015  -  Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth
2015  -  Museum of Fine Arts, Saint Petersburg
2015  -  Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City
2015  -  Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin 
 
Paul Signac's Museums/Collections
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco
Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Modern Art, New York
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis
Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo
Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
MacKenzie Art Gallery, Saskatchewan
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego
Statens Museum for Kunst / National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen
The Albertina, Vienna
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid
Valtion Taidemuseo / Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki
Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal 
 
Books/Publications
“Paul Signac: A Collection of Watercolours and Drawings” by Marina Ferretti Bocquillon
“Paul Signac: 102 Masterpieces” by Maria Tsaneva
“Paul Signac: 111 Paintings” by Jessica Findley
“The Best Colour Paintings of Paul Signac” by Eva Cook
“Watercolours by Paul Signac” by Charles Cachin
“Paul Signac and Color in Neo-Impressionism” by Floyd Ratliff
“91 Color Paintings of Paul Signac” by Jacek Michalak

 

ART PRICES

LOT SOLD (1989 - 2010)

3319

MAX PRICE

$14,041,000

AVG PRICE

$1,566,211

TOTAL SALES (1989 - 2010)

$103,369,968

 Saint-Tropez: Le Port by Paul Signac

Paul Signac

Saint-Tropez: Le Port

Ketterer Kunst, Munich

June 7, 2018

 USD

 La Rochelle by Paul Signac

Paul Signac

La Rochelle

Artcurial, Paris

June 5, 2018

$33,450  USD

 San Malo by Paul Signac

Paul Signac

San Malo

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Chicago

May 24, 2018

$25,000  USD

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