Abstract Art Joseph Lacasse

Joseph Lacasse (1894–1975) is a Belgian artist who enjoyed a career that spanned some sixty-five years, during which he stood at the helm of Abstraction.Born in Tournai, Belgium in 1894 in a working-class family, Lacasse started his apprenticeship to become a painter-decorator as early as 1905. He was accepted the following year as a free student at the Ecole des Beaux Arts of Tournai where he continued his training until 1921. As a young boy, Lacasse worked alongside his father as a stone-cutter in a local quarry. His abstract pastels, dated 1910, were painted after a day of hard work, where the austere structure of the quarry fired his imagination. These early pastels are completely geometrical, though not symmetrical, and their aggressive shapes are softened by rounded lines. They are dominated by a powerful black construction, traced with great surety.After surviving the horrors of the First World War, Lacasse became a successful painter of figurative scenes illustrating the condition of the working classes, often depicted against a religious background. Following a trip to South Italy in 1921, where he painted his ‘motherhood’ series, always in a style of emphasized realism, he decided to enroll at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts, Brussels where Lacasse met his future wife, Stephanie Lupsin, daughter of the renowned art dealer.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, Lacasse decided to join General de Gaulle’s Resistance by moving to London with the Free French Forces. During the five years of wars Lacasse seemed to have put aside painting while teaching sculpture and ceramics in Stoke-on-Trent. During this period he was totally cut off from his family.
His absence from Paris cost him dearly for the Parisian artistic community had continued without him. In a moment of depression, he destroyed more than a hundred paintings. Having become a French citizen in 1946, Lacasse, encouraged by his wife and friends, went back to painting. Until his death in 1975, Lacasse’s work became the subject of countless exhibitions abroad including UK, Germany and the USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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