huguette arthur bertrand - portrait

Huguette Arthur Bertrand


One of the few women of Lyrical Abstraction, Huguette Arthur Bertrand was an active member of the Post-War Paris art scene, rubbing shoulders with Pierre Soulages, Hans Hartung, Serge Poliakoff, Jean Dewasne, Martin Barré and Pierre Dmitrienko among many others.


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huguette arthur bertrand - painting abdul 1956

Abdul – 1956

Oil on canvas
100 x 81 cm / 39.4 x 31.9 in.

Historic and unique artwork
In very good condition
Certificate of authenticity

huguette arthur bertrand - painting auroch c 1960

Auroch – c. 1960

Oil on canvas
81 x 100 cm / 31.9 x 39.4 in.
Signed “Hug Arthur Bertrand” lower left
Titled “Auroch” on reverse

Historic and unique artwork
In very good condition
Certificate of authenticity

huguette arthur bertrand - painting diable c 1962

Diable – c. 1962

Oil on canvas
81 x 100 cm / 31.9 x 39.4 in.

Historic and unique artwork
In very good condition
Certificate of authenticity

huguette arthur bertrand - painting deferlant rouge c. 1970

Déferlant rouge et gris sur brun – c. 1970

Oil on canvas
130 x 162 cm / 51.2 x 63.8 in.
Signed lower left, signed and titled on reverse

Historic and unique artwork
In very good condition
Certificate of authenticity

huguette arthur bertrand - painting auroch c 1980

Torrent – c. 1980

Oil on canvas
195 x 130 cm / 78 x 52 in.
Signed lower right
Titled and signed on the reverse

Historic and unique artwork
In very good condition
Certificate of authenticity



huguette arthur bertrand robert helman - paysage imaginaire exhibition catalog 2022 cover


Digital publication – Text by Mathilde Gubanski

catalog cover - exhibition women in abstract art five women five artistic visions 2021


Digital publication – Text by Mathilde Gubanski

catalog huguette arthur bertrand - exhibition


Digital publication – Text by Astrid de Monteverde & Mathilde Gubanski

exhibition - 2014 jordan lyrical abstraction paris 1945 1995

PARIS 1945-1995

Published by the Galerie Diane de Polignac and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts
Exhibition Catalog
English – 21 pages – nov. 2014


Virtual visit of the exhibition “Women in abstract art: Five women – five artisitic visions”.
From March 8 to May 29 2021

Virtual visit of the exhibition “HUGUETTE ARTHUR BERTRAND ELATED PAINTING”, with Dominique Gagneux, Chief Curator of Heritage.
From September 10 to October 16, 2020.

Artwork Analysis

huguette arthur bertrand - art come to you 16

“Huguette Arthur Bertrand, Cela qui gronde”, an analysis by Astrid de Monteverde

huguette arthur bertrand - newsletter art comes to you 7

“Huguette Arthur Bertrand Elated painting”, an analysis by Mathilde Gubanski

A young woman painter in Post-war Paris

Born in 1920 in Écouen, Huguette Arthur Bertrand spent her childhood in Roanne (center south of France) and settled in Paris shortly after the war. She attended the Académie libre de la Grande Chaumière. A fellowship allowed her to spend a year in Prague between 1946 and 1947 where she had her first solo exhibition. She met the painter Joseph Sima there.

A rare painter woman in the essentially masculine artistic landscape of Post-war Paris, she immersed herself fully in the buzzing art world of Montparnasse and Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Huguette Arthur Bertrand became friendly with publishers, critics (Michel Ragon) and abstract artists, those of the Galerie Denise René: Jean Dewasne, Jean Deyrolle, Serge Poliakoff; and with Martin Barré, Pierre Dmitrienko, James Guitet, Kumi Sugaï and John F. Koenig. On Saturdays she would visit Jean-Michel Atlan’s studio with Marcelle Loubchansky. She participated with passion in this artistic effervescence, marked by lively debate between figurative and abstract art, but also between supporters of “cold” abstraction and those of “warm” abstraction: one geometric, the other gestural, lyrical, guided by a free and spontaneous gesture.

In the 1950’s, Huguette Arthur Bertrand’s success in Paris                 

During the 1950s, Huguette Arthur Bertrand applied the full force of her art and the confidence of her artistic vocabulary made from stripes that hatch, streak, give rhythm to compositions. A powerful way of painting that confuses. A solid form of painting that marks a determined, independent character, “a type of painting that does not appear feminine at all; even muscular painting, strong, dynamic in a way that would appear masculine […]” as Michel Ragon wrote.
The woman artist Huguette Arthur Bertrand’s explosive work, which was definitively abstract from 1950, presents an audacious palette, full of colour that gradually evolved towards more dramatic shades, concentrated in a range of ochre, brown, orange-red.

In 1949 and 1950, Huguette Arthur Bertrand participated in the key exhibition Les Mains Éblouies (The Dazzled Hands) at the Galerie Maeght alongside Pierre Dmitrienko, and with Cobra artists in 1950 (Pierre Alechinsky, Corneille, Jacques Doucet).

In Paris, from the start of the 1950s, several galleries exhibited the painter woman’s work: Galerie Niepce, Galerie La Roue, Galerie Arnaud above all…

Huguette Arthur Bertrand regularly participated in the main salons of abstract art in Paris, at the Salon de Mai from 1949 until the late 1980s, at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles until the 1990s, and at the Salon d’Automne.

The year 1955 was decisive for her: she won the famous Prix Fénéon (Fénéon award).
In 1956, Huguette Arthur Bertrand participated in the Festival de l’Art d’Avant-Garde, a major event held at Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse in Marseille.

Huguette Arthur Bertrand’s international recognition

Her works began to travel abroad: a solo exhibition was held at the Brussels Palais des Beaux-Arts in 1956, and crossed the Atlantic: in 1956, the Meltzer Gallery in New York organized for the woman artist a solo exhibition in 1956, praised by critics, then a group show the year after: North and South Americans and Europeans. Also in 1957, the painter Huguette Arthur Bertrand participated in the exhibition New Talents in Europe at the University of Alabama. In 1958 and in 1960-61, she exhibited at the Howard Wise Gallery in Cleveland.

The works of the painter woman Huguette Arthur Bertrand continued to be exhibited in many different galleries and art events all over the world: in Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, England, Italy… as far as Japan, Venezuela, Mexico and Cuba.

In 1962, Jean-Marie Drot interviewed Huguette Arthur Bertrand in her studio as part of L’oeil d’un critique program, directed for French television (ORTF).

The woman artist Huguette Arthur Bertrand in Michel Ragon’s circle of friends

Close to the art critic, Michel Ragon, the woman artist met his circle of friends: Pierre Soulages, Hans Hartung, Gérard Schneider, Zao Wou-Ki, Victor Vasarely, among others. Together they worked on a collection La Peau des Choses (the skin of things), a portfolio of prints published in a limited edition by Jean-Robert Arnaud in 1968 in honour of their friend Michel Ragon.

Huguette Arthur Bertrand’s maturity work                  

Starting in 1971, Huguette Arthur Bertrand worked with tapestry for over a decade (she received commissions from the Mobilier national) and became interested in monumental mural painting. At the turn of the 1980s, her gestures became more and more liberated, and calmer, summarized in subtle white traces, airy like a breath on the canvas. The woman artist Huguette Arthur Bertrand died in 2005.

© Diane de Polignac Gallery / Astrid de Monteverde
Translation: Jane Mac Avock

huguette arthur bertrand - portrait atelier


Selected Collections

Aalborg (Danemark), Museum of Modern Art

Angers, Musée Jean Lurçat et de la tapisserie contemporaine

Dunkerque, Lieu d’Art et d’Action Contemporaine (LAAC)

Geneva, Fondation Gandur pour l’Art

Minneapolis, Walker Art Center

Nantes, Musée d’arts

Oslo, Fondation Moltzau

Paris, Musée national d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges-Pompidou

Paris, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale

Paris, Mobilier national

Paris, Centre national d’Arts plastiques (CNAP)

Québec, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Québec

Saint-Étienne, Musée d’Art moderne et contemporain de Saint-Étienne


Selected Exhibitions

Les Mains éblouies (The Dazzled Hands), Galerie Maeght, Paris, 1949, 1950

Salon de Mai, Paris, 1949-late 1980s

Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, 1950-1990

Solo exhibition, Galerie Niepce, Paris, 1951

Salon d’Octobre, Paris, 1952-1953

Solo exhibitions, Galerie Arnaud, Paris,1953-1957

Wiener Secession, Vienna, 1954

Divergences, group shows, Galerie Arnaud, Paris, 1954-1957

Galerie Saint-Laurent, Brussels,1955,1956

Group show, Galerie Kleber, Paris,1955

Salon d’Automne, Lyon,1955

Éloge du Petit Format, group shows, Galerie La Roue, Paris, 1955, 1956

Salon Comparaisons, Paris,1956,1957

Galerie L’entracte, Lausanne,1956

10 Peintres de l’École de Paris, group show, Galerie de France, Paris, 1956

L’Aventure de l’Art Abstrait, group shows, Galerie Arnaud, Paris, 1956

Festival de l’Art d’avant-garde, Unité d’Habitation Le Corbusier, Marseille, 1956

Solo exhibition, Meltzer Gallery, New York, 1956

Solo exhibition, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 1957

Biennale 57, Pavillon de Marsan, Paris, 1957

Biennale de Menton, Menton, 1957

Turin Biennale, Turin, 1957

Group show, (Expression et non-figuration, then Gouaches et collages), Galerie Le Gendre, Paris, 1957

Festival de l’Art d’avant-garde, Unité d’Habitation Le Corbusier, Nantes, 1957

Dialogue franco-allemand, Inge Allers Galerie, Mannheim (Germany), 1957

Triennale de l’art français, Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, 1957

Festival de l’art d’avant-garde, Berlin, 1957

50 ans de peinture abstraite, group show, Galerie Creuze, Paris, 1957

North and south Americans and Europeans, group show, Meltzer Gallery, New York, 1957

New talents in Europe, group show, Alabama University, Tuscaloosa (United States), 1957

Birch Gallery, Copenhagen, 1958

Parnass Galerie, Wuppertal (Germany), 1958

Six from Paris, group show, Galerie Howard Wise, Cleveland (United States), 1958

La Escuela de París, Museo de bellas artes, group show, Caracas (Venezuela), 1959

Peinture française contemporaine, group show, Museums of Copenhagen, Vienna, Linz, Dortmund, 1959

Expressions d’aujourd’hui, group show, Château de Lunéville, Lunéville (France), 1960-1961

50 peintres des Réalités Nouvelles, group show, Driand Gallery, London, 1960-1961

Present day Paris painting, group show, Howard Wise Gallery, Cleveland (United States), 1960-1961

Festival de l’Art d’Avant-garde, Pavillon américain, Porte de Versailles, 1960-1961

École de Paris, group show, Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 1960-1961

Solo exhibition, KK. Gallery, Copenhagen, 1962

Solo exhibitions, Galerie Argos, Nantes, 1962, 1971

Solo exhibition, Galerie Jacques Massol, Paris, 1964

50 ans de collage, group show, Musée de Saint-Étienne, Saint-Étienne et Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 1964

Acquisitions récentes de la Ville de Paris, group show, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 1964

Promesses tenues, group show, Musée Galliera, Paris, 1965

L’École de Paris dans les collections au Luxembourg, group show, Musée de Verviers, Verviers (Belgium), 1965

50-57, une aventure de l’art abstrait, group show, Musée Galliera, Paris, 1967

Biennale de la gravure de Bradford, Bradford (United Kingdom), 1968

La part des Femmes dans l’Art contemporain, group show, Centre Culturel d’Ivry, Ivry-sur-Seine (France), 1984

Peinture abstraite des années 1950, group show, Château de Jau, Perpignan, 1984

Charles Estienne et l’Art à Paris, 1945-1966, group show, CNAP, Fondation Rothschild, Paris, 1985

Les années 50, group show, Musée d’Art contemporain de Dunkirk, Dunkirk and Musée de Besançon, Besançon, 1985

Architextures, exposition de Tapisseries, group show, École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris, Paris, 1985

Solo exhibitions, Galerie Galatée, Paris, 1987, 1990

L’art en Europe, les années décisives, group show, Musée d’Art moderne Saint-Étienne, Saint-Étienne, 1987

Solo exhibition, Treffpunk Kunst, Saarlouis (Germany), 1988-1989

Aspects de l’Art abstrait des années 1950, traveling group show: Foyer de l’Opéra, Lille; Vieille église Saint-Vincent, Bordeaux; Auditorium Maurice Ravel, Lyon; Chapelle Saint-Louis, Rouen; Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jacques, Toulouse; Musée Hébert, Grenoble; Palais de la Bourse, Nantes; Casino Municipal, Royat; Mairie de Nancy, 1988-89

Solo exhibitions, Galerie Arnoux, Paris, 1990, 2005, 2008, 2010

Solo exhibition, Maison des Arts et des Loisirs, Sochaux (France), 1991

Comparaison France-Japon, Grand Palais, Paris, 1992

Solo exhibitions, Galerie Olivier Nouvellet, Paris, 1992, 1993, 1997, 2008

Salon Grands et jeunes d’aujourd’hui, Paris, 1992-1995

L’École de Paris 1945-1975, UNESCO, Paris, 1996

Les Années de combat. Le renouveau des Arts vu de Paris, group show, Galerie Arnaud and Cimaise jounal, Salle Chemellier, Angers, 1999

L’Envolée lyrique (Lyrical Flight), Paris 1945-1956, group show, Musée du Luxembourg, Paris, 200

Divergences / convergences, group show, Musée de l’Orangerie, Versailles, 2006

Réalités Nouvelles, group show, Galerie Drouart, Paris, 2006, 2008

Huguette Arthur Bertrand, retrospective, Maison des Princes, Pérouges (France), 2007

Les Années 50, group show, Banque Courtois, Toulouse, 2007

Atelier 3, Tapisseries, group show, Musée Jean-Lurçat et de la Tapisserie contemporaine, Angers, 2008

Aspect de l’Art en France 1950-1970, La Collection Allemand, traveling group show: Musée de Beauvais, Beauvais, 2008; Maison des Princes, Pérouges (France), 2010; Siège du Crédit Agricole, Luxembourg, Luxembourg, 2011

Les Sujets de l’abstraction, Peinture non-figurative de la Seconde École de Paris (1946-1962), (The Subjects of Abstraction, Non figurative Painting of the Second School of Paris [1946-1962]), group show, Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, Musée Rath, Geneva, 2011

Huguette Arthur Bertrand, Donation et autres œuvres, Musée des Beaux-Arts, cabinet d’arts graphiques, Angers, 2011-2012

Solo exhibition, Galerie Bertrand Trocmez, Clermont-Ferrand, 2012

Huguette Arthur Bertrand, solo show, Pavillon des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, Galerie Diane de Polignac, 2012

Abstractions 50, l’explosion des libertés, Atelier Grognard, Rueil Malmaison, 2014

Abstraction Lyrique Paris 1945-1955, Galerie Nationale des Beaux arts de Jordanie, Amman, 2014

Collection Annick et Louis Donat, town hall 8ème , Paris, 2015

Artapestry 3, Musée Jean Lurçat, Angers, 2015

The second sex women artists in post war Paris, Hanina Gallery, London, 2018

Huguette Arthur Bertrand, Galerie Diane de Polignac, Paris, 2018

Collages hommage, Guy Resse et la Galerie La Roue, Galerie Convergence, Paris, 2019

Femmes années 1950. Au fil de l’abstraction, peinture et sculpture (Women of the 1950s. Through abstraction, painting and sculpture), group show, Musée Soulages, Rodez, 2019-2020

Huguette Arthur Bertrand : La peinture exaltée, Peintures et collages des années 1960 (Elated painting, Paintings and collages from the 1960’s), Galerie Diane de Polignac, Paris, 2020


Selected Bibliography

Michel Ragon, Une aventure de l’art abstrait, Paris, Laffont, 1956

Hubert Juin, Seize peintres de la Jeune École de Paris, Le Musée de Poche, Paris, Georges Fall, 1956

Michel Seuphor, Dictionnaire de la peinture abstraite, Paris, Hazan, 1957

Bernard Pingaud, Huguette Arthur Bertrand, monograph, Paris, Hoffer, 1964

Michel Seuphor and Michel Ragon, L’art abstrait, Paris, Maeght, 1973

Michel Ragon, Huguette Arthur Bertrand, followed by Notes de parcours du peintre, monograph, Paris, Porte du Sud / Galarté, 1987

Geneviève Bonnefoi, les années fertiles, 1940-1960, Paris, Perrin, 1988

Lydia Harambourg, L’école de Paris 1945- 1965 : dictionnaire des peintres, Lausanne, Ides et Calendes, 1993

Patrick-Gilles Persin, L’Envolée lyrique Paris 1945-1956, exhib. cat., Paris, Musée du Luxembourg (April 26 – August 6, 2006), Milan, Skira, 2006

Lydia Harambourg, L’École de Paris, 1945-1965, Dictionnaire des peintres, Ides et Calendes, Neuchâtel, 1993, (update by Clotilde Scordia, Ides et Calendes, Neuchâtel, 2010)

Éric de Chassey (dir.), Éveline Notter (dir.), Justine Moeckli and other, Les sujets de l’abstraction. Peinture non-figurative de la seconde école de Paris, 1946-1962. 101 Chefs-d’œuvre de la Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, exhib. cat., Geneva, Musée Rath (May 6 – August 14, 2011) / Montpellier, Musée Fabre (December 3rd, 2011 – March 25, 2012), Milan, 5 continents, 2011

Benoît Decron (dir.), Sabrina Dubbeld, Philippe Bouchet and other, Femmes années 1950. Au fil de l’abstraction, peinture et sculpture, exhib. cat., Rodez, Musée Soulages (December 14, 2019 – May 10, 2020), Paris, Hazan, 2019

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