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.
In Thema Celeste No. 3, Octobre 1995 Georges Noël explores the grand pictorial sky and thus moves out into the limitless Universe. The change in subject matter for Noël in 1995 is accompanied by a parallel change in the materials he employs for his canvas. Against a background of midnight blue built up through layers of sand and suggestive of deep outer space the artist uses a mix of black glass, a substance routinely employed in the resurfacing of buildings. Noël's works have always traditionally placed a primary importance on the use of materials that could offer resistance and thus reflect the texture of the surface of the canvas. Such materials have the additional advantage that they are able to be built up, re-worked, and even layered. These materials either by accident or through determined gesture are of prime importance to Georges Noël. Such layers of black glass particles in Thema Celeste No. 3, Octobre 1995 provide a vibrancy, a limitless celestial canopy of sparkling black diamonds that shimmer as multiple fields of supernatural novas or stars extend simultaneously both outwards and inwards. This starry night composed of strata of shimmering twinkling lights seems to extend beyond the perimeters and parameters of the canvas into the vast unknown. Their infinite extensions are crossed and traversed by trailing white incisions or shooting comets gouged into the surface in a form of ancient intaglio. The ensuing endless space on this multi-surfaced canvas vibrates with a dynamism previously unseen in Noël's works.
Purchased directly from the artist, July 2009
Kunsthalle Mannheim, September - November 1996 (label verso)