Artist file


Jean-Jacques Lebel * 1936 in Paris, lives in Paris, London and New York

Jean-Jacques Lebel was, very young, the initiator of the collective painting against the war in Algeria Great collective antifascist painting with Baj, Dova, Crippa, Erro and Antonio Recalcati. In the 1960s, Allan Kaprow claimed that he was the first Happening artist in Europe. Close to some Fluxus artists, he frequented and translated the poets of the Beat Generation, followed the teaching of Gilles Deleuze and became a close friend of Félix Guattari. It defines itself as "an accumulator, [...]

Jean-Jacques Lebel was, very young, the initiator of the collective painting against the war in Algeria Great collective antifascist painting with Baj, Dova, Crippa, Erro and Antonio Recalcati. In the 1960s, Allan Kaprow claimed that he was the first Happening artist in Europe. Close to some Fluxus artists, he frequented and translated the poets of the Beat Generation, followed the teaching of Gilles Deleuze and became a close friend of Félix Guattari. It defines itself as "an accumulator, a unifier, a collector, an organiser of international events, exhibitions or festivals". In 1979, he set up the Polyphonix festival and organized exhibitions devoted to Victor Hugo's paintings, Picasso's eroticism or the "Artaud labyrinth".

A painter who, with other artists like Roberto Crippa, Gianni Dova, Erro, Antonio Recalcati and Enrico Baj, produced the Grand tableau antifasciste collectifof 1961, Lebel is also a writer, director (who staged, for example, Picasso’s Le désir attrapé par la queuein 1965), translator into French of Beat literature, and curator, with such memorable exhibitions as Picabia and Michaux in Barcelona and Picasso érotiquein Montreal and Paris. Along with Allan Kaprow, he was the first artist to stage a “Happening”. He even gave up his artmaking activities for some 15 years in the wake of the May 1968 events (during which he, along with the Living Theatre and others, occupied the Théâtre de l’Odéon in Paris).An inveterate anarchist, he has never stopped fighting for all forms of autonomy and against the obscurantism of monotheism, while attacking Christianity's false sexual mores with his large wall compositions of pinups and nudes produced by males.

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