Georges Noël was born in Béziers, France in 1924. He began his education as an engineering student and then studied both painting and sculpture in Pau from 1939-1945. Influenced greatly by the art informal and Noveau Réalisme movements that emerged at this time, Georges Noël believes in gesture, objects and the accident. The imagery within each oh his paintings is inspired by primitive and archaic symbols, graffiti art and musical scores.
After moving to Paris in 1955, his artistic career began to flourish, and it continued to accelerate when he relocated to the United States. Beginning in the 1950s and continuing through 2000 Georges Noël produced both canvases and works on hand-made papers, which were based on palimpsests. Palimpsests are old manuscript pages often made of parchment or vellum that have been written on, scraped off and then used again. During this process, the old writing would not be completely erased and would often still be visible. Georges Noël takes the concept of palimpsest pages and builds upon his canvasses with sculptural materials such as sand, crushed flint, and raw pigments bringing three dimensionality and vigor to each work. Georges Noël was a professor at the Minneapolis School of Art in 1969 and lived in New York from 1969-1983. He returned to Paris in 1983.
The artwork of Georges Noël has been exhibited internationally and is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Bibliothèque Nationale and F.N.A.C. in Paris, and the Nationalgalerie in Berlin.
Georges Noël's art came of age during the post-war French art movement Art Informel that promoted spontaneity in the creation of artistic endeavors in order to break with the traditional. His works from the late 1950's and early 1960's as in Untitled 1960 teem with calligraphic marks, Noel's signature graffiti. The surface of his canvas is alive with movement. His indelible scrawl has been incised into the surface in a form of intaglio in which letters, lines, and fluid curl-like designs have been carved into the canvas. In quadrants where newspaper has been applied to his painted surface, deep gouges appear to have been cut with a sharp instrument. The resulting composition is one of richness achieved through the building up of multiple surface layers as well as by the reduction or cutting into the canvas to create deep layers or stratifications as in the ancient "palimpsests" or manuscript pages that were scraped off and re-used. The creation of such a textured plane was of paramount importance to Georges Noël and to his art.
Collection of Susan Ives, Florida