JEAN AUSCHER (French / 1898-c.1950)

Jean Auscher was born in Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle) in 1898. He studied at the École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, where he won a premier grand prix. Jean Auscher exhibited at the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Tuileries from 1923-1933, and these were his years of promise and success. From that point his career seems to have faltered, partly because there was no longer a market for the kind of limited edition print portfolios and livres d'artiste Auscher had relied on to make a living, and partly perhaps because his art began to seem rather backward-looking. Although his vigorous hand-coloured etchings and lithographs of dancehalls, cabarets, gamblers, and stars of the music hall and theatre in the 1920s (such as our etched portrait of the actor/director Sacha Guitry) owe something to the Expressionism of Dix and Grosz, much of Jean Auscher's work has a flavour of Symbolism about it. Among his most notable works are the self-published print portfolios (all circa 1925) La Faune des Dancings, Le Baccara, and Têtes d'affiches. Like many of the Parisian artists of his day, Auscher also created some erotica and semi-erotica, notably watercolours illustrating Apollinaire's Les Onze Milles Verges, and colour lithographs illustrating his friend Alfred Machard's dubious Printemps Sexuels. Jean Auscher dips from view in the 1930s, to reappear after WWII as a court illustrator, publishing a visual record of the post-war trials of Pétain, Maurras, and Laval. Auscher also illustrated with original etchings a 1948 edition of David Golder by Irène Nemirovsky, for the Cercle lyonnais du livre. Jean Auscher is believed to have died around 1950. See: Raymond Hesse, "Jean Auscher", Byblis 19, 1926.

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Selected prints by JEAN AUSCHER

View all available prints by JEAN AUSCHER