HENRI-GEORGES ADAM (French / 1904-1967)

Henri-Georges Adam was born in Paris, where his father was a jeweller and goldsmith in the Marais district. Adam worked in his father's studio while taking art classes in the evening, before entering the École des Beaux-Arts. Initially working as a painter, in the early 1930s, following an accident, Henri-Georges Adam changed direction. He took up engraving (the rudiments of which he had learned from his father), and abandoned painting for sculpture. He also designed monumental tapestries, always in shades of black and white. As a printmaker, Henri-Georges Adam also insisted on the purity of black and white, and only used one tool, the engraver's burin. An anarchist and a pacifist, Henri-Georges Adam first distinguished himself as an engraver with a series of prints expressing his outrage at the Spanish Civil War, Désastres de la guerre. In 1936 he jointed the Association of Revolutionary Writers and Artists, along with Maurice Estève, Alfred Manessier, Édouard Pignon, and Arpad Szenes. It may have Pignon who brought him to the attention of Picasso, who encouraged him, and after WWII lent him his studio in the rue des Grands-Augustins and a house near Gisors. In 1943 Adam, Pignon, and Manessier were three of the founders of the clandestine Salon de Mai, which was in effect the artistic wing of the French Resistance. In 1959 Henri-Georges Adam was appointed Professor of Engraving at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and was later also made Professor of Monumental Sculpture. In 1966 there was a major retrospective of Adam's work at the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris. The following year, still at the height of his powers and productivity, Henri-Georges Adam died of a sudden heart attack, near Perros-Guirec in Brittany. He is buried in the cemetery of Mont-Saint-Michel. At his death, Henri-Georges Adam left unpublished a major series of engravings, designed to illustrate Les Chimères by Gérard de Nerval. Executed between 1947 and 1950 for a proposed edition to be published by Bordas, this abandoned project was eventually published posthumously in 1971 by Les Bibliophiles de Provence, in an edition of 200 copies plus 40 suites. See: Gheerbrant, Adam, Oeuvre gravé 1939-1957 (1957); Dorival, Adam (1966); George & Jianou, Adam (1968).

See also:


Selected prints by HENRI-GEORGES ADAM

View all available prints by HENRI-GEORGES ADAM