Henri-Jean Closon


Henri-Jean Closon (1888-1975) was a pioneer of the Belgian abstraction mouvement, ans was known for his vibrant colour compositions.

He came to live and work in Paris at the end of the First World War, before other Belgian artists such as Vantongerloo, Seuphor, Engel-Pak and Magritte, Henri-Jean Closon and was a member of the art collectives, « Abstraction Création » and « Salons des Réalités Nouvelles »,  he participated in the « Salons de l’Art Sacré ».

In 1933, Henri-Jean Closon moved to the south of France, to live with the rythm of nature. This voluntary exile of 19 years enabled him to find an original artistic approach, far from the influences and the artistic trends of the capital. He returned to Paris in 1954, and pursued with fervor purely abstract work in his studio, in Montparnasse. His radiant charisma and strong work ethic, earned him the estime of his artist friends, Herbin, Kupka, Pevsner, Aurélie Nemours and Emile Gilioli.
Closon is passionate about the theories on colour, from Goethe to Chevreul, elaborating at the end of the 1930s his own pictural technique, transcoloration. With the rythm of colours inspired by musical counterpoints, he managed to give light and life to his compositions.

Refusing to court art dealers, Closon’s work didn’t profit from the craze in the art world for the abstraction in the 1950s. He nonetheless received official recognition, with two retrospectives, organized in the Museums of Grenoble and of Liège.


Catalogue Exposition Henri-Jean Closon, Museum of painting and sculpture, Grenoble, 16 juin – 30 Août 1961

Entretiens avec Closon, sur l’art, l’homme et la vie, texts gathered by Jacques Billot, Société Française de Presse, 1964

Rétrospective H.J. Closon, 18 avril – 25 mai 1969, Liège, musée des Beaux-Arts