Jacques HÉROLD

Jacques Hérold was born Hérold Blumer on 10 October 1910, in Piatra Neamt, Romania. He spent much of his childhood in Galati, before enrolling at the Școala Națională de Arte Frumoase (School of Fine Arts) in Bucharest, where he studied from 1925. Blumer abandoned the Academy in 1929, not wishing to become an academic painter, and found work in an architectural bureau. Around this time, he discovered the avant-garde magazine 75HP – created by Ilarie Voronca, Stéphane Roll, and Victor Brauner, it declared the invention of a new graphic form, Pictopoezie (‘Picturepoetry’), and featured Dada and Futurist-inspired manifestoes and poetry.


In 1930, Blumer moved to Paris and changed his name, with a fake ID, to Jacques Hérold. He became close to Constantin Brâncuși, for whom he worked as a general assistant, and soon met Brauner and Yves Tanguy, who would introduce Hérold to André Breton. Brauner would become a particularly close friend. In 1934, he officially joined the Surrealist group and exhibited at the Salon d’Automne for the first time in 1936. Hérold participated in the Surrealist games like Le cadavre exquis and developed a figurative style depicting fantastical creatures, often based on hybrid insect-animals, in ambiguous, imagined worlds.


With the outbreak of war, Hérold fled with the many of the other Surrealists to the Villa Air-Bel, Marseille, where he co-designed the Jeu de Marseille, a Surrealist re-imagining of the Tarot de Marseille, along with Breton, Brauner, Max Ernst and others. Unable to obtain a visa, Hérold fled Marseille in 1943. He had his first solo exhibition in 1947 at the Galerie Cahiers d’Art, Paris, and would feature in that year’s Surrealist exhibition at Galerie Maeght, as well as the subsequent major exhibitions by the group. Hérold’s style became increasingly abstract in the 1950s after leaving the Surrealist group in 1951, and is retrospectively associated with Lyrical Abstraction and Tachisme. He would also explore printmaking at Stanley William Hayter’s experimental workshop, Atelier 17. Hérold produced numerous book covers and illustrations over the course of his life, working on over eighty books including for Tristan Tzara, Francis Ponge, Marquis de Sade, Alain Bosquet and Ilarie Voronca. Hérold had exhibitions at the Tate Gallery, London, and Musée d’art Moderne de Paris in 1958. In 1986, Hérold exhibited at the XLII Venice Biennale. He died on 11 January 1987, in Paris.


Hérold’s work can be found in the following selected international collections: the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (GNAM), Rome; Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Musée Cantini, Marseille; Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts de Belgique, Brussels.


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