Jean Hélion

1904-1987

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Status, estimation and price of the artist Jean Hélion

Price of a painting: 3,000 – 150,000 €.

Price of a drawing: 300 – 15,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 30 – 450 €.

If you would like to have a work by Jean Hélion appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

Jean Hélion, an architect turned painter

Jean Hélion, whose birthname was Jean Bichier, was born on 21 April 1904 in Couterne and died on 27 October 1987 in Paris. He first studied pharmacy in Lille, then chemistry, before becoming an architectural drafter in Paris. He discovered the Louvre by chance and was captivated by Nicolas Poussin’s paintings. The Belgian painter Luc Laffnet gave him some advice, but he quickly turned to abstraction.

Abstract art and the artist Jean Hélion

In 1925, he devoted himself definitively to painting thanks to collector Georges Bine who bought some paintings from him. In 1927, he came into contact with artist Joaquin Torres Garcia who led him to discover cubism. In 1929, he wrote articles on modern art for the Pyrénées magazine and founded the group “Art Concret” with van Doesburg. In 1930, he helped to found the “Abstraction-Création” movement with Arp, Kupka, Delaunay, Van Doesburg, Gleizes, Herbin, Valmier, Delaunay, Tutundjian, Vantongerloo. In 1932, his first exhibition was held at the Galerie de Pierre. He is one of the first to use the curve and gradation of colours while gradually introducing the human figure. He traveled to the USSR and then to the United States where he met Joel Shapiro. He went on to marry Pegeen Guggenheim, daughter of Peggy Guggenheim.

From the 1950s to the 1960s, galleries and museums no longer exhibited him because of his extreme research. He began to lose his sight and introduced blind people into his paintings.

The emblematic works of Jean Hélion

One of the pivotal paintings of his career is the “Figure Tombée” showing the culmination of his abstract period, and this work inspired him to paint more such works. In 1943, he painted “Un Homme au chapeau baissé” which marked the beginning of his figurative period. He invented new subjects by referring to metaphysics in the paintings as “Allumeurs”, “Fumeurs”, “Salueurs”. He preceded Pop Art by a few years.

Today, Hélion is recognised as one of the pioneers in the history of abstraction and his work is still just as accessible to contemporary art lovers.

Recognising Jean Hélion’s signature

Like many artists, Jean Hélion did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of a signature in order to give you a first idea. Variations of this signature exist: do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to authenticate a signature in a formal way.

expertise signature jean hélion

Appraising and selling a painting by Jean Hélion

If you own a painting or any other sculpture by Jean Hélion, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.

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