Jean-Michel Atlan (Jean Jean-Michel Atlan)

Jean-Michel Atlan

Poet, Artist.  Born in Constantine, French Algeria. Leaving Istanbul in 1930 to study philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris where he also worked as a teacher afterwards. Jean-Michael and his family were jewish. During the occupation, Jean-Michel lost his teaching license and lived in poverty in Montparnasse. During that time he taught himself painting. Due to his contribution to the Résistance, the artist was arrested in 1942 and interned in the Saint-Anne hospital for two years after he had pretended to suffer from a mental disease. The philospher and man of letters, who was friends with Gertrude Stein and Gaston Bachelard, found his way into painting through the rhythmic elements of poetry. In 1944 the artist had his first exhibition and published a collection of poems entitled ‘Le Sang profond’.  In 1946 the autodidact was able to present his work to the public alongside great personalities like Braque and Matisse for the first time. From 1945 Atlan produced fantastical, abstract animal shapes which were strongly influenced by the the COBRA group. In 1956 Atlan achieved his breakthrough as an artist with a poster, he designed for the exhibition of the new ‘École de Paris’ at the Charpentier gallery and an exhibition at the Bing gallery in Paris. During the 1950s Atlan received a lot of attention in France, Japan, England and the US and was considered one of the most important exponents of ‘Nouvelle École de Paris’. In 1963 Jean-Michel Atlan was honored with a retrospective at the Musée National d’Art Moderne. (bio by: Shock) Cause of death: Cancer


  • January, 23, 1913
  • Algeria


  • February, 02, 1960
  • France

Cause of Death

  • Cancer


  • Cimetière de Montparnasse
  • France

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