robert helman - artist portrait

Robert Helman

(1910-1990)

Robert Helman was a major painter in the Parisian art scene in the post-war period. A French artist born into a Jewish family in Romania, Helman drew on his personal journey of migration and exile, as well as his relationship with nature, for inspiration. The artist’s series Genèses, Soleils, Arbres and Forêts, among others, bear witness to his desire to reinvent the world after the trauma of war.

Exhibition

Artworks

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robert helman - germination painting c 1951

Germination – c. 1951

Oil on canvas
81 x 100 cm / 31.9 x 39.4 in.
Signed “HELMAN” lower left

robert helman - germination painting c 1969

Germination – c. 1969

Oil on canvas
54,5 x 65,5 cm / 21.5 x 25.8 in.
Signed “HELMAN” lower left

robert helman - germination painting 1971

Germination – 1971

Oil on canvas
99 x 132 cm / 38.9 x 52 in.
Signed “HELMAN” lower right

Robert Helman: from childhood in Romania to studies in Paris

Robert Helman was born on 9 February 1910 in Galati, Romania, where the Danube joins the Black Sea. Helman’s grandfather was the chief rabbi of the Kaiser in Vienna, while his father was a merchant and the owner of an alcohol distillery. His mother, meanwhile, was the president of an orphanage. She played a key role in his education, first hiring a violin teacher for her son – who showed no interest in music – and then an art teacher to give instruction in drawing and painting, lessons that would spark a real passion in the child.

Helman, who had been immersed in French culture through childhood, obtained his baccalaureate at the age of 17, at which point he expressed a desire to go to France for a university education. Quotas had been introduced in Romania at that time limiting the number of Jews that could be admitted to universities in the country. Helman’s parents accepted his decision on the condition that he studied law or medicine, which he did, enrolling at the Faculty of Law on his arrival in Paris in July 1927. The young student quickly became an activist, developing close connections with Trotskyist students such as the future writer and editor Maurice Nadeau, whose portrait Helman would later paint.

Robert Helman graduated with a law degree in 1931. During a trip back to his hometown, the young graduate met Zéna Jolles, who was also a student in Paris. Back in the French capital, they campaigned for political causes together, engaging in lengthy discussions about the Spanish war and the rise of Nazism in Germany. Zéna and Robert married in Romania in 1936, after which they returned to Paris where the latter worked for some time as a lawyer.

Robert Helman’s exile in Barcelona

In September 1939, Robert Helman volunteered for the French Army but was not enlisted because he was a Romanian citizen. Thanks to their connections with Trotskyist circles, Zéna and Robert were warned in advance of Hitler’s offensive in France and decided to leave Paris immediately to take refuge in Barcelona. The couple were able to cross the border with the help of false baptismal certificates obtained from the parish priest of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church in Paris. The couple found themselves destitute and had to sell their personal possessions and wedding rings. It was particularly difficult for them to find work because neither Zéna nor Robert could speak Spanish. Zéna found a job as an assistant in a hospital nonetheless, while Robert had to take on casual work waiting tables and delivering goods, among other odd jobs, despite his law degree. The couple met many refugees in Barcelona who were settling in Spain or travelling to Portugal or South America. Just as it had during the First World War, Barcelona welcomed many European artists during this period.

It was in this climate that Robert Helman began experimenting with painting. Looking for work, he entered a cobbler’s shop to make inquiries. The cobbler asked him what he liked to do, and Helman replied that he liked to paint but had no money for materials. The cobbler gave him some money and commissioned him to create a work of art. Helman painted a still life of flowers, which the cobbler immediately sold for twice the amount given to the artist. As the artist recalled, “That was the beginning of my career as a painter.”

An excellent portrait painter, Robert Helman thus began to earn a living in Barcelona through his painting. He met the painter Jaime A. Colson, a professor at the Barcelona School of Fine Arts, who taught him fresco techniques and invited him to join the artists’ collective “Los artistas de la Campana de San Gervasio”. The group, which took its name from the café where its members met, included the artists Joan Vilató and Josep Vilató (nephews of Pablo Picasso), Joan Ponç, Antoni Tápies, Modest Cuixart, José María de Sucre and the poet Joan Brossa, as well as the art critic Arnau Puig. In 1945, Helman’s work was shown for the first time in Barcelona in several galleries. The artist had his first solo exhibition in the city at the Galerias Pictoria in November.

The painter’s return to Paris

After the Liberation of France, Zéna and Robert Helman returned to Paris, where the latter devoted himself entirely to painting. Robert moved into the former studio of a friend – the painter Emmanuel Mané-Katz, whom he had met in Barcelona –, taking up residence at 255 Boulevard Raspail in Paris’ Montparnasse district. Zéna Helman, meanwhile, joined Professor Henri Wallon’s child psychobiology team. The couple had lost many friends during the war but were reunited with the publisher Maurice Nadeau, who wrote texts for Robert’s exhibitions. The couple’s son Henri was born in 1947. That year, Robert Helman had solo exhibitions in Paris at the Galerie Berri-Raspail and in Algeria at the Galerie Alsace-Lorraine in Oran and the Galerie Le Nombre d’Or in Algiers.

The year 1948 was marked by a number of important encounters for Robert Helman, who met the Spanish painters Óscar Domínguez and Antoni Clavé as well as the Romanian painter Victor Brauner and the French- Algerian painter Jean-Michel Atlan. This community of artists met at Le Dôme, La Coupole, Le Select, and other cafés in the French capital, which was playing host to numerous foreign artists at the time. That year, Robert Helman exhibited several times at the Galerie Breteau, notably alongside Jean-Michel Atlan, Pierre Soulages, Hans Hartung, Óscar Domínguez and Henri Goetz, among others.

In 1949, Robert Helman and Emmanuel Mané-Katz created a mural – The Tree, 1.30 x 2.10 m – for the Botanical Library in Netanya, Israel. Robert Helman then moved to Saint-Paul-de-Vence in the south of France, where he became friends with the poet André Verdet. The painter only stayed there for eight months, prevented from painting, he said, by the light of the south. Zéna and Robert Helman became naturalised French citizens on 15 July 1950. Zéna joined the French National Centre for Scientific Research as a research associate at the Hôpital Sainte-Anne in the electroencephalography department.

Robert Helman’s encounters as an artist

Robert Helman’s first monograph was published in 1951 by Les Gémeaux as part of a collection entitled “Les Artistes du temps présent” written by Jean Bouret. In 1952, the painter met the Italian art critic Giuseppe Marchiori who organised a solo exhibition for him at the Galleria Sandri in Venice.

Robert Helman and his son Henri travelled to Canada in 1953. Robert’s parents had moved there after the war and the artist wanted to be with his father, who was undergoing an operation at the time. In Montreal, Robert met the collectors Romeck and Lorette Shefner, who would acquire many of Robert Helman’s works over the next thirty years, creating the largest body of his work in Canada. The painter also had numerous solo exhibitions in Canada.

Robert Helman met Alexander and Stella Margulies in 1955 through his friend Emmanuel Mané-Katz. The prominent London collectors would make annual acquisitions of Robert’s work for more than fifteen years. In the same year, Robert Helman participated in the Salon de Mai and took part in group exhibitions at the Galerie Charpentier and Galerie 73 in Paris. Jean Cocteau – a friend of the artist – bought one of his works, saying: “Your canvas is a landscape where nature and the mind have intimately entwined their essential rhythms.” Robert Helman also met the gallery owner Henri Bénézit, who showed his work on many occasions.

In 1958, Robert Helman moved into the former studio of his friend, the painter Óscar Domínguez, at 83 Boulevard du Montparnasse. During the same period, he became friends with the art critic Pierre Restany, who helped to promote his work in France and Italy. In October 1959, Robert Helman’s second monograph was published by Georges Fall as part of a collection entitled “Le musée de poche” written by Philippe Soupault. The Tate Gallery in London acquired a work by Robert Helman in that same year.

In 1961, Robert Helman met the dealer Gualtieri di San Lazzaro, who would become a friend and show his work at the Galerie du XXème Siècle.

The dealer Beno d’Incelli showed Helman’s artwork many times at his Paris gallery from 1962 onwards, alongside works by Jean Dubuffet, Jean Fautrier, André Lanskoy and Serge Poliakoff. In 1963, the artist developed a relationship with Jean Bauchet, the owner of the Moulin-Rouge and several casinos. An art connoisseur, Bauchet built up the largest collection of Robert Helman’s work in France. Helman also met Harrison and Sonia Eiteljorg – American patrons of the arts whose collection would form the Indianapolis Museum of Art – who acquired many of the painter’s works. From 1964 onwards, the painter’s artworks were regularly exhibited at the Galerie Renée Laporte alongside works by artists such as Olivier Debré, Ladislas Kijno, André Marfaing and Joseph Sima.

The artist’s studio in Champagne

In 1962, Robert Helman visited the Champagne region of France with his friend, the painter Albert Bitran, who wanted to buy a house there. Helman fell in love with the forest of Othe, which reminded him of landscapes from his childhood on the banks of the Danube. He bought a property in the region, which became his summer studio and then his main residence towards the end of his life.

In 1966, Helman met the art dealer Allan Rich who invited him to participate in the opening of his new gallery – the Stewart-Verde Gallery – in San Francisco. Robert Helman then travelled to Mexico where he discovered wood bark paper, the ideal material for an artist inspired by nature and the forest in particular. He brought a hundred leaves of bark paper back to France and used them for a series of works on trees.

Robert Helman then moved into the former studio of the painter Antoni Clavé at 45 Rue Boissonade – in the 14th arrondissement of the French capital – which he occupied until the end of his life. He left his former Paris studio at 83 Boulevard du Montparnasse to his son Henri, who was then a film student at the Louis-Lumière film school.

In 1969, the Museum of Modern Art in Tel Aviv dedicated a retrospective exhibition to Helman’s work with a catalogue containing texts by Philippe Soupault, Jacques Lassaigne, Giuseppe Marchiori, Georges Boudaille and Pierre Restany. During this stay in Israel, the artist created a series of tapestries which he exhibited in New York at the Greer Gallery in 1972. Helman created a second series of tapestries in 1973 at the Aubusson tapestry workshop. In 1975, a third monograph devoted to Helman and written by Max-Pol Fouchet was published by Cercle d’Art. In 1981, the artist met the German gallery owner Wolfgang Gunther who gave him the opportunity to exhibit his work regularly in Germany for many years. In 1983, Robert Helman had his first major retrospective exhibition at the Orangerie de Bagatelle in Paris, organised by Françoise Marquet, curator at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris.

Robert Helman lost his left eye while opening a bottle of champagne at the age of 73 in 1983. Greatly impaired by the surgical procedures that followed, the artist resumed painting a few months later – once again depicting suns, a theme of his early works. In 1987, the painter received the art historian Lydia Harambourg at his studio as she was preparing her Dictionnaire des peintres de l’École de Paris, which was published in 1993.

In 1988, Robert Helman took up permanent residence in his house in Champagne, where he created metal sculptures that were then exhibited at the Galerie Michèle Heyraud and the Galerie La Pochade in Paris. The following year, Helman signed a contract with the Galerie Eterso in Cannes, which bought some of his artworks and showed them alongside works by Olivier Debré, Hans Hartung and Gérard Schneider.

On 9 February 1990, the artist Robert Helman celebrated his 80th birthday at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain at the invitation of the foundation’s director Marie-Claude Beaud. Robert Helman died on 7 November 1990 at his home in Champagne, France.

© Diane de Polignac Gallery

robert helman - portrait studio 1959

Robert Helman in his studio, 83 boulevard Montparnasse, Paris, 1959
Archives Helman / Jean Louvel

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Selected Collections

Cagnes-sur-Mer (France), Castle Museum

Colmar (France), Unterlinden Museum

Dijon (France), Musée des Beaux-Arts – Granville Donation

Indianapolis (IN), Indianapolis Museum of Art

Jerusalem (Israel), Israel Museum

London (United Kingdom), Tate Modern Gallery

Paris (France), Fonds National d’Art Contemporain

Paris (France), Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris

Paris (France), Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou

Saint-Paul-de-Vence (France), Municipal Museum

Sens (France), Sens Museums

Stuttgart (Germany), Stadtmuseum

Tel Aviv (Israel), Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Troyes (France), Musée d’Art Moderne

Turin (Italy), Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

Selected Exhibitions

Group exhibition: Bayon, Rutta Block de Rosenstingl, Calderon, E. Castells, J. Colson, M. Fargas, Fret, Gabino, Grandara, Helman, Hubert Vallmitjana, J.O. Jansana, T. Kurimoto, Olive Busquets, Sanjuan, José M. de Sucre, Galerias Reig, Barcelona, 1945

Solo exhibition, Galerias Pictoria, Barcelona, 1945

Solo exhibition, Galerie Berri-Raspail, Paris, 1947

Solo exhibition, Galerie Alsace-Lorraine, Oran (Algeria), 1947

Solo exhibition, Galerie Le Nombre d’Or, Alger (Algeria), 1947

Solo exhibition, Galerie Breteau, Paris, 1948

Group exhibition: Les Six Jours [The Six Days], Atlan, Booumeester, Smadja, Soulages, Bertholle, Beyer, Le Moal, Manessier, Bott, Domínguez, Hartung, Picasso, Guita, Goetz, Loubchansky, Shoffer, Helman, Moisset, Parra, Vanier, Jacobsen, Gilioli, Leleu, Étienne-Martin, Galerie Breteau, Paris, 1948

Solo exhibition, Galerie Colline, Oran (Algeria), 1948

Solo exhibition, Galerie Louis Manteau, Brussels, 1949

Solo exhibition of watercolours, Galerie Mouradian-Valloton, Paris, 1952

Solo exhibition, Incontro con Robert Helman, Galleria Sandri, Venice, 1952

Solo exhibition, Agnès Lefort Gallery, Montreal, 1954

Solo exhibition, Elisabeth Nelson Gallery, Chicago, 1954

11th Salon de Mai, Paris, 1955

Group exhibition, L’École de Paris [The Paris School], Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 1955

Group exhibition: Aïzpiri, Beaulieu, Calmettes, Clavé, Condoy, Cortot, Domínguez Nita Flores, Helman, Galerie 73, Paris, 1955

Solo exhibition, Galerie Octobon, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, 1955

Solo exhibition, Galerie Henri Bénézit, Paris, 1955, 1957

Group exhibition: Atlan, Chapoval, Garbell, Janson, Helman, Lanskoy, Pichette, Tal Coat, Galerie Henri Bénézit, Paris, 1956-1957

Group exhibition: Henri Bénézit et Éraste Touraou présentent : [Henri Bénézit and Éraste Touraou present:] Atlan, Chapoval, Helman, Lanskoy, Pichette, Tal Coat, Galerie Ex-Libris, Brussels, 1957

Group exhibition: Anthoons, Chapoval, Chavignier, Corneille, Doucet, Garbell, Guitet, Helman, Pichette, Sugaï, Galerie Muratore, Nice, 1957

Group exhibition: Atlan, Chapoval, Garbell, Janson, Pichette, Caillaud, Duault, Helman, Lanskoy, Tal Coat, André Verdet, Galerie Sous-Barri, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, 1957 Group exhibition, Contemporary Jewish Artists of France, Atlan, Chagall, Mané-Katz, Michonze, Zack, Helman, Ben Uri Art Gallery, London, 1957

Solo exhibition, Galleria Apollinaire, Milan, 1958

Solo exhibition, Galleria Blu, Milan, 1958

14th Salon de Mai, Paris, 1958

Solo exhibition, Nicole Gallery, New York, 1958

Solo exhibition of ink works, gouaches and drawings, La Hune, bookshop-gallery, Paris, 1959

Group exhibition, L’École de Paris : cinq critiques désignent sept artistes [The School of Paris: five critics nominate seven artists], Buffet, Pignon, Masson, Istrati, Helman, Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 1959

Group exhibition, French Painting Today, Hartung, Helman, Vieira da Silva, and others, Association of Israel Museums, Bezalel National Museum, Jerusalem, 1960

Group exhibition, Sept peintres de l’École de Paris [Seven painters of the School of Paris] (Adamoff, Helman, Abidine, Arbas, Lan-Bar, Orazi, Klieman), Galerie Pego’s, Montreal, 1960

Solo exhibition, Nicole Gallery, New York, 1960

Touring exhibition across the United Kingdom (the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne; the Art Gallery, Southampton; the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; the Art Gallery, Aberdeen; the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow; the Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston-upon-Hull; the City Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham; the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool) organised by the Arts Council, The Margulies Collection: New Paintings From Paris, 1960-1961

Group exhibition: Bellegarde, Halpern, Helman, Krajcberg, Orazi, Cave-Galerie Jeanne Fillon, Paris, 1961

Solo exhibition, Galerie du XXe siècle, Paris, 1961

Solo exhibition, La Forêt [The Forest], Galleria Blu, Milan, 1961

Solo exhibition, Galerie Jacques Martin, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, 1961

Solo exhibition, Galerie Parti-Pris, Grenoble, 1961

Group exhibition, Exposition des artistes de la galerie [Exhibition of the gallery’s artists]: Atlan, Dubuffet, Fautrier, Helman, Lanskoy, Maryan, Messagier, Poliakoff, Rebeyrolle, Riopelle, Tal Coat, Wols, Galerie Beno d’Incelli, Paris, 1962

Group exhibition, La Collezione di un Bambino, Galleria Il Traghetto, Venice, 1962

18th Salon de Mai, Paris, 1962

Solo exhibition, La Forêt [The Forest], Galleria il Canale, Venice, 1962

Solo exhibition, Galleria Il Centro, Naples, 1963

19th Salon de Mai, Paris, 1963

Solo exhibition, Robert Helman, Jardins et Forets [Robert Helman, Gardens and Forests], Casino Du Liban, Beirut, 1963

Solo exhibition, La Forêt [The Forest], Galerie Cavalero, Cannes, 1963

Solo exhibition, Hilt Gallery, Basel, 1963

Group exhibition, Painting and Sculpture Today, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, 1964

Solo exhibition, Galerie Lutz & Meyer, Stuttgart, 1964

Group exhibition, Caillaud, Chavignier, Clavé, Dumitresco, Helman, Istrati, Galerie Beno d’Incelli, Paris, 1964

Solo exhibition, La Sala Gaspar, Barcelona, 1964

Solo exhibitions, Galerie Beno d’Incelli, Paris, 1965, 1968, 1972

Solo exhibition, Stewart-Verde Gallery, San Francisco, 1966

Solo exhibition, Municipal Museum, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, 1967

Group exhibition, Robert Helman and Marcello Avenalli,

Galleria Santa Maria, Rome, 1967

Solo exhibition, L’Entracte, Lausanne (Switzerland), 1969

Solo exhibition, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, 1969

Group Exhibition, Présence européenne, Galleria La Bussola, Turin, 1971

Group exhibition, Paintings and tapestries by Robert Helman; sculpture in marble by Nardo Dunchi, Allan Rich Gallery, New York et Greer Gallery, New York, 1972

Solo exhibition, Galleria Procolo, Castellana Grotte (Italy), 1972

Solo exhibition, Peintures et tapisseries sur le thème de la forêt : 1957-1972 [Paintings and tapestries on the theme of the forest: 1957-1972], Castle Museum, Cagnes-sur-Mer, 1973

Solo exhibition, Galleria La Seggiola, Salerno (Italy), 1973

Solo exhibition, Robert Helman : Peintures et Gouaches [Robert Helman: Paintings and Gouaches], Galerie Albert Verbeke, Paris, 1974

Solo exhibition, Robert Helman : Tapisseries et Écorces [Robert Helman: Tapestries and Bark Paper Works], Galerie Jacques Verrière, Paris, 1974

Solo exhibition, Kar Gallery, Toronto, 1974

Solo exhibition, Galleria Interarte, Genoa, 1974

Solo exhibition, Musée de l’Outil, Troyes, 1975

Solo exhibition, Galerie Albert Verbeke, Paris, 1975

Solo exhibition, Galerie Frédéric Gollong, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, 1975

Solo exhibition of engravings and gouaches, Artcurial, Paris, 1977

Group exhibition, Meubles Tableaux, Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1977

Solo exhibition, Gordon Gallery, Tel Aviv, 1977

Solo exhibition, Galleria Guglielmo Tell, Chiasso (Switzerland), 1977

Group exhibition, Le paysage intérieur, aujourd’hui, Château de Vesvres, 1978

Group exhibition, Jewish Art: paintings and sculptures by 20th century Jewish artists from the French and British schools (Atlan, Zadkine, Soutine, Modigliani, Chagall, Helman), Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, 1979

Solo exhibition, Figure humaine – peintures et écorces [Human Figure – paintings and bark paper works], Galerie Bellint, Paris, 1979

Solo exhibition, Château de Mont-Saint-Jean, 1980

Solo exhibition, Genèses, Galerias Rayuela, Madrid, 1981

Solo exhibition, Limmer Gallery, Freiburg (Germany), 1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989

Solo exhibition, Quatre Éléments, Siete Siete Gallery, Caracas, 1981

Solo exhibition, Greer Gallery, New York, 1981

Solo exhibition, Becher Gallery, Wuppertal (Germany), 1982, 1985

Retrospective solo exhibition, Helman – Peintures 1943-1983, Orangerie de Bagatelle, Paris, 1983

Solo exhibition, Galerie Michèle Heyraud – Nadine Bresson, Paris, 1983, 1988

Group exhibition, Matisse, Picasso, Chagall, Fautrier, Bellmer, Dali, Karskaya, Fini, Helman, Scherer Gallery, Freiburg (Germany), 1983

Group exhibition, Charles Estienne & l’Art à Paris 1945-1966, Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris, 1984

Group exhibition, Aspect de l’art en France de 1950 à 1980, collection of Christie and Lionel Cavalero, Musée Ingres, Montauban, 1985

Solo exhibition, Robert Helman, Landscapes of Genesis, Mayanot Gallery, Jerusalem, 1986

Solo exhibition, Galerie La Pochade, Paris, 1986, 1987, 1988

Group exhibition, Accrochage 50, Galerie Nickel-Odéon, Paris, 1986

Solo exhibition, La Genèse de la Lumière [The Genesis of Light], Palais des Congrès, Megève, 1988

Group exhibition, D’hier à aujourd’hui : Arnal, Doucet, Debré,Hartung, Helman, Schneider, Galerie Eterso, Cannes, 1989

Solo exhibition, Helman – 50 ans de peinture, Galerie Eterso, Cannes, 1990

Solo exhibition, Hommage à Robert Helman, Galerie Duras-Martine Queval, Paris; Galerie Valsyra, Lausanne, Montreux; Galerie Eterso, Cannes, 1991

Retrospective solo exhibition, Helman 1910-1990, peintures et sculptures, Musée d’Art Moderne, Troyes, 1994

Solo exhibition, Galerie Nicolas Deman, Paris, 2000

Solo exhibition, Robert Helman – Paysages imaginaires de la Genèse [Robert Helman – Imaginary Landscapes of Genesis], Musée d’Unterlinden, Colmar (France), 2007

Solo exhibition, Galerie 53, Paris, 2007

Solo exhibition, Robert Helman, Orangerie, Sens Museums, Sens, 2010

Solo exhibition, Galerie 53, Paris, 2010

Group exhibition, Dmitrienko, Helman, Lindström, Maria Manton, Vieira da Silva and others, Art Elysées, Paris, 2010

Group exhibition, Gris … Ouverture sur la couleur, Asse, Bitran, Helman, Lindström, Arpad Szenes, Vieira da Silva, and others, Galerie 53, Paris, 2010

Group exhibition, La lettre secrète, Helman, Karskaya, Vieira da Silva, Jan Voss, and others, Galerie de Beaune, Paris, 2015

Group exhibition, Orient Express…de Paris à Istanbul, Abidine, Dumitresco, Hantai, Helman, Herold, Vasarely, Galerie Courtaigne, Paris 2018

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Selected Bibliography

Jean Bouret, Helman, Paris, Les Gémeaux, “Les artistes du temps présent” collection, 1951

Jean Cassou, Les Peintres témoins de leur temps [Painters as Witnesses of their Time], Paris, Musée d’Art Moderne, 1953

Raymond Cogniat, L’Histoire de la peinture [The History of Painting], Paris, Fernand Nathan, 1955

Raymond Nacenta, École de Paris, son histoire, son époque [The School of Paris, its history, its era], Neuchâtel, Ides et Calendes, 1958

Pierre Restany, Lyrisme et Abstraction [Lyricism and Abstraction], Milan, Apollinaire, 1958

Philippe Soupault, Helman, Paris, Georges Fall, “Le Musée de Poche” collection, 1959

André Verdet, Forêts de Helman [Helman’s Forests], Saint-Paulde-Vence, Parler, 1961

Georges Boudaille, Denys Chevalier, Marie-Henriette Foix, Alain Gheerbrant, Giuseppe Marchiori, “Helman”, Parler journal, Paris, no. 15, spring 1963

Giuseppe Marchiori, Helman, Paris, Impriludes-Bernard Lucas, Paris, 1965

André Verdet, Vers une République du Soleil [Towards a Republic of the Sun], Paris, Jean Oswald, 1968

Max-Pol Fouchet, Helman, Paris, Cercle d’Art, 1975

Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery’s Collection of Modern Art Other Than Works by British Artists, London, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, 1981

Françoise Armengaud, Titres, interview with Robert Helman, 24 March 1986, Paris, Méridiens Klincksieck, 1988
Lydia Harambourg, L’École de Paris, 1945-1965, Dictionnaire des peintres [The School of Paris, 1945-1965, Dictionary of painters], Neuchâtel, Ides et Calendes, 1993

Emmanuel Bénézit, Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs [Dictionary of Painters, Sculptors, Drawers and Engravers], Paris, Gründ, 2006

Lydia Harambourg, Robert Helman, Musée Unterlinden, Somogy, Paris, 2007

Lydia Harambourg, Helman, Cercle d’Art, “Découvrons l’art du XXème siècle” collection, Paris, 2010