Auguste Herbin

Alphabet plastique

Auguste Herbin (1882 – 1960) is certainly one of the founding fathers of geometric constructivist art in France. He grew up at a time when impressionism was still considered novel and revolutionary, and he experienced several important phases in the development of modern art.

Herbin painted impressionist pictures as well as fauvist and cubist ones before discovering his own geometrically abstract language of forms in 1943. His main work is the unique „Alphabet Plastique„, which comprises a code embodying letters, colors, forms and musical notes. At first sight this code appeals through its clear composition, but at second sight it reveals an unexpected depth and complexity which adds a particular attraction to his paintings. Herbin was esteemed and emulated by the younger generation of geometric constructivist artists and he especially supported this art movement in the groups „Abstraction-Création“ and „Réalités Nouvelles„.

Our very cordial thanks go to Anne and Jean-Claude Lahumière as well as to Ms Geneviève Claisse for their extensive support during the preparations for this exhibition.

We thank all those who have lent us works of Auguste Herbin:

the Musée d‘Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

the Anne and Jean-Claude Lahumière Collection, Paris

the Frédéric Lahumière Collection, Paris

a private collector in Paris

The Aronowitsch Gallery in Stockholm.

Concurrently with this exhibition in the Arithmeum, the Society for Art and Design (Hochstadenring 22, 53119 Bonn) is showing works on paper from the period 1915-45 by Auguste Herbin, from 9. October to 23. November 2002.