Gischia, Leon (1903-1991)
Leon Gischia was one of the most influential artists of the post-war Jeune Ecole de Paris, an intellectual artist who dedicated himself to painting in 1923 and enrolled at the Academie Moderne where he studied under Othon Friez and Fernand Leger. In 1934 he worked with Leger, Mazrnod and Le Corbusier on the Pavillon des Temps Nouvearx at the International Exposition in 1937. The following year he held his first one-man exhibition at the leading avant-garde gallery of Jeanne Bucher on Boulevard Montparnasse. In 1939 Galerie Alfred Poyet organized a further exhibition dedicated to Gischia’s work, launching him to the forefront of the Parisian artistic milieu. Over the next few years Gischia would play a major role in the development of the post-war avant-garde.
During the war, despite the Occupation, Gischia and a small group of fellow artists managed to hold several highly important and controversial exhibitions in Paris in protest of the Nazi’s neo-classical aestheticism and denigration of abstract art as “Degenerate”. In 1946, Six Peintres D’Aujourd Hui , a group of young radical artists with Gischia as the dominant intellectual were largely responsible for defining their new aesthetic of pure poetical expression that created a fluid dialectical exchange between man and nature and would predominate the early post-war period in Paris.
Gischia exhibited both in France and abroad, and in recognition of his achievements he was awarded a retrospective exhibition at the Musee du Harve in 1963.