Sam Szafran  23 October 2011 until 2 March 2012

Pastels on paper

Sam Szafran (1934), 'l'Escalier', 1986From 23 October 2011 until 2 March 2012 the JHM presents two works by Sam Szafran in the new Art Gallery: Imprimerie Bellini/Printinghouse, from 2006 and L'Escalier, from 1986.

Sam Szafran was born in Paris as the son of Polish Jewish immigrants. He spent the years of the Second World War, when most of his family was killed, in the French Province of Lot where he went into hiding. He emigrated with his mother and sister to Australia in 1947. Four years later, disheartened, he returned to Paris. There, with his relentless drive and the help of friends such as Jean-Paul Riopelle, Alberto and Diego Giacometti and Henri Cartier-Bresson, he developed into a respected painter, graphic designer and illustrator.

Since the 1960s, he has worked primarily with pastel chalks, at times combined with charcoal or water colours. His choice for figurative subjects and technical precision distinguishes Szafran's work from contemporary art's more abstract and impulsive trends.

In cooperation with the Triton Foundation, the JHM is pleased to present two of Sam Szafran's pieces from a series of architectural renderings. Here he explores the medium of pastel to its utmost. Around 1960, Szafran must have climbed this staircase at 54 rue de Seine countless number of times. He used the print studio at L'Imprimerie Bellini from 1972 to 1975.