Jean Sanglar

Jean Sanglar


Born in the South of France in 1926 and raised by very strict parents, Jean Sanglar was prohibited from playing with same age mates.


Truly talented, as a young boy he drew frequently, but his potential was not recognised by his parents; it was only considered a hobby and surely not part of the parent’s education plan.


As a timid teenager, Jean left the family home to study law in Aix en Provence, which lead him to a career at the Ministére de la Marine in Paris.


Paris: the dream was coming true, visits of museums, neighbourhoods full of galleries, everything to open oneself to the art world! Everyday, after work, Jean spent all his time painting and drawing by himself.


A loner, discrete and reserved, he didn’t speak about his art, which is where his freedom existed and where he was finally able to express his fertile imagination and break free from the oppression he grew up with.


Polite and gentle, he found in this creative approach the freedom to express all the eccentric and resourceful side of his inner world.


Rigour was the corner stone of his constructions, constantly conscious of the space, he managed the use of colours in a very specific manner, harmoniously disposing them in geometrical flat plans.


Burlesque was the dimension of this universe: theatre of his phantasmagoric creations where the representation of a surrealistic and grotesque humanity take place. Evolving in rapid phases, his drawings are rich of pastel traits, knife marks or even blades biting the fresh coat of paint. Swirling sometimes, the shapes will give birth to mysterious golems characters opening their deep orbits looking at the world with hallucinated eyes.


Strangely expressing faces, gigantic hands and whitening bodies, characters pictured in highly offset situations always suffused with humour in a fanciful universe which often question an unbridled freedom.


Some pieces evoke the holocaust, a world strangely imbued with illusion from where arise some shapeless bodies lying on the beach under the sun, sometimes playing clarinet or double bass always depicted by sharp and lively traits swirling and tangling to describe a cruelly real world “tragically comical” where he visits with his personal style the universes of a Jérôme Bush, a Lucien Freud and also an Egon Schiele or a Francis Bacon through a very sharpen eye on the human kind.


He painted all his life long, hundreds of paintings were discovered in his Parisian apartment when he died in 1996.


In the 1960’s he exhibited a few times in Paris as well as in his native South of France. Beginning of August 1968, he exhibited his work with worldwide acclaimed artist Pablo Picasso. The exhibition, “Themes et Variations”, was a resounding success. In Saint Tropez, he also collaborated with the Parisian gallery Marcus-Durand and won the prize at the “Salon Interministériel” awarded by the City of Paris.


Today, his work comes to light and we discover a real talent, a phantasmagoric universe, and this world; he created it freely, without pressure nor sanction: a production full of freedom created in the secret of a truly passionated artistic existence.