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 Pacific Ocean Georges Noel presents an abstracted canvas conceived in 1997 in the latter part of his career which depicts both the breadth and the depth of the world's largest body of water. In the 1990's Noel turned his creativity towards the imagery of the sky and the sea, the two seemingly infinite parallel bands of air and water. The canvas is drenched in deep and varying shades of indigo that mimic the blueness of the waters of the Pacific Ocean as well as its vast chasms. The canvas is further encrusted in sand that creates a richness of texture and of materials that also serves as a palpable allusion to the reach of the ocean's shores as well as to the depths of its floor. These particles of sand sparkle and twinkle at us in as they did in Noels' series of "Thema Celeste" canvases. Here there is an immediacy as well as an accessibility never experienced before in Noel's creations. As the viewer we can now perceive and feel the sea, the sand, the water, and the fish within. The writings and Noel's use of line help to connect us to the ocean and to invite us to travel along these watery elements, to experience the voyage. There is a resulting simplicity in the depiction of the vast expanse of ocean in Pacific Ocean as well as a universally shared experience of nature's limitless abyss.
Acquired directly from the artist, 2008