Jean Podevin


1925 -2011




050-Jean Podevin-Blue Doves.jpg

"Colombes Bleues et Soleil Rouge"

("Blue Doves and RedSun"), 1979
33 x 55 x 2 cm (h x w x d)
Acrylic on Paper

JEAN PODEVIN (1925 - 2011) - France

©Jean Podevin all rights reserved


It was with great emotion that I set up the private exhibition, at The ONE Hidden Place from June 13 to October 15, 2020, of the great French painter Jean Podevin whom I am lucky enough to have known well and whom I had exhibited at the Carpe Diem Gallery in Paris in 1991/1992.


Knowing "The Master", Mr Jean Podevin was a true privilege, exhibiting him was an honour.

This very beautiful exhibition had undoubtedly enthused the visitors of the Gallery. At the opening, the crowd was heterogeneous and this revealed the interest that an exhibition of this Great Mister of the Arts could arouse. Among them were journalists, art critics, artists, collectors and connoisseurs of the painter. For them, it was simple, they knew what they were looking for: quality, know-how, talent, authenticity, poetry... At their side, there was also an audience of young and old people, guided by the hearsay or the reputation of the painter, who still knew little or nothing about his work, but each of them was driven by the same desire - the desire to discover, to approach the Master, to see with their own eyes, to realize by themselves, to appreciate the material, to let themselves be carried by the vibratory waves of the complicit colours, to be caressed by the sacred grace of the lights, to the point of immersing themselves, at last in confidence, in an unknown world of profane forms and perspectives. And then there was also a handful of institutional sceptics, their usual haughtiness attending all the vernissages of the capital, wondering what an old painter could still hope to bring to Art if it was only outdated and stale redundancies from a bygone era, while contemporary art was propelling itself higher and higher each day, towards summits where human genius was condescendingly mocking the old Gods of an outdated pantheon.
Jean Podevin had nothing of a star, it was not in his genes. He had for him his tranquility, his bonhomie, his reserve too, and his humility. His honesty. He spoke to each of those who approached him, answered, told, explained with detail, patience and sweet passion. But even more than him, his works spoke and "embarked" everyone, even the most dubious ones.Yes, the painter was totally dominating his subject: the composition: infallible,  the associations and harmonies: mastered to perfection, the matter: coronated, the  technique: perfect and the poetry: divine. Triumph was total.

One wonders therefore why, despite all the honours that France has reserved for him, Jean Podevin is not better known internationally, why he is not mentioned spontaneously among the painters who marked the 20th century... I personally deplore the fact that unfortunately the fate of many of the greatest painters is to finally be recognised for their true worth only posthumously, sometimes even long after their death. I find this, distressing and tragic, unjust and it is also one of the reasons why The ONE Museum wants to offer a chance to artists who are sometimes not yet or not celebrated enough, while their talent still sparks in the darkness of the forgotten fields. I hope, with all my great respect and my heart, that Jean Podevin will soon be recognized internationally and that from where he can be now, his eternal cigarette in his mouth, he will have that little manly grin mixing a smile sketch with a good-natured grumbling, seemingly saying: "Well, there you go, I knew I had done a good job!…»

In a few months' time, we will pay him an official tribute in the great halls of the Museum. He deserves it so much! He has always given his all in his work, with application, rigour, determination and passion, for the love and respect of Art, with a constant and unalterable integrity.

Before ending, I would like to thank infinitely his family, his sons Jean-François, Jean-Paul and Philippe who welcomed with enthusiasm and confidence my proposal to bring back to life here this great man, this extraordinary painter whose sublime work can only be admired. Without them, nothing would have been possible.


Thierry Gulian

Curator at The ONE Museum




"Janvier" ("January") - 1989
92 x 73 x 2 cm (h x w x d)
Acrylic & oil on canvas

JEAN PODEVIN (1925 - 2011) - France

©Jean Podevin all rights reserved


PODEVIN, a sculptor and painter is above all a player of the “Grand Jeu” (Big Game), the one that drives man to really understand far beyond the knowledge, the experience and the logic, all the relationships pertaining to textures, and this with the totality of his being.

                                                                                                                                                                      André PARINAUD –Art Critic


The child who is already " crazy about textures" at six years of age in the manner in which he selects the sand pebbles to rearrange them better, immediately looks for the balance on the canvas when he begins  to paint. If he happens to try hastily to fix the profile of a table neighbor who caught his eye, he doesn't hesitate to use a piece of the paper tablecloth on which he eats lunch. Elsewhere, amazed by the beauty of a landscape at noontime, he borrows from the restaurant owner, a felt pencil, to indicate, without losing one second, the essential lines of the view. He will tip a paper napkin in his black coffee to get the very beautiful earth tones that he integrates in the first idea for a canvas painting. The rest would come later in his studio…...As for me, I felt a sensation of fullness, more or less the one that I often felt before a VERMEER of DELFT while discovering the imponderable light that detached itself from such a picture.To reach this point, PODEVIN explains how in any case, he must fight to get a perfect understanding between space and volume. But, not more than anyone else, can he analyses with precision this mysterious power that we call " Light " and that pervades every instant of our visual existence…

                                                                                                                                                                          René BAROTTE- Art Critic

He deifies the blurred, the infinity without dimension,
 the movement caught in flight.
He thus imprisons the truth in a liberating plasticity…
…The notion of genius being a constant in our vocabulary, I limit myself
to conclude without any compromise that   Jean Podevin is one of the most gifted painters of our time, to which he will have given his immense talent without waiting for the laurels of which he would not find the use.
Claude BENADY – Poet

 I ignore if he believes " in something ", but I know that PODEVIN can see very far.
                                                                                                                                                                        Roger BOUILLOT-Art Critic

The art of PODEVIN is a lot subtler than mere sensations. Balancing the carnal heaviness, or rather sublimating it, the mind springs vigorously, brews matter, lightens it, gives it a direction.
                                                                                                                                                               Roger lKOR  (Goncourt Laureate)

What I call " the ultimate breach " always exists in the canvases of Jean PODEVIN. Perspective of a landscape in balance on the narrow abstraction - figuration rampart. Point of non return that I assimilate to a certain feeling of aggressiveness characterized on canvas or the drawing by the bursting of matter in a Stationary Place.
                                                                                                                                  Clement LEPIDIS (Academie Francaise Laureate.)

 This cosmic death, against which Jean PODEVIN endeavors to fight, with his child's soul, his adolescent innocence, his mercenary violence, while pushing before him, like armored vehicles against the enemy, regiments, legions of proofs of existence...
                                                                                                                                                                                         Gérard MOURGUE
 In fact, everything that dazzles our gaze provokes in Jean PODEVIN an exaltation of the sensitivity, an acuteness of the mind, seduced, captivated by the magic of the sea, of the sands, of the sky, under vast outpouring of light, and his art, altogether powerful and refined, knows how to communicate these enchantments, these fascinations, this full enjoyment of colors and life.
                                                                                                                                                Emmanuel ROBLES  (Goncourt Laureate)

Critics talk about Jean Podevin


"Janvier" ("January") - 1989
92 x 73 x 2 cm (h x w x d)
Acrylic & oil on canvas

JEAN PODEVIN (1925 - 2011) - France

©Jean Podevin all rights reserved



"Terrasse du restaurant du port à Villefranche sur Mer" (""Terrace of the harbour restaurant in Villefranche sur Mer".)
38 x 61 x 2 cm (h x w x d)
Acrylic & oil on canvas

JEAN PODEVIN (1925 - 2011) - France

©Jean Podevin all rights reserved


The Press talks about Jean Podevin

Marked by cubism, Jean PODEVIN, groups in vivid tones ardent shapes of boats, of houses: whose stains overflow one on the other, with a light heated exuberance. However, in space, the overall orders itself   in well disciplined troops, vibrant with optimism.

High in color, these canvases, probably many times revised, often carry the mark of a matter full of energy. The subject matter, PODEVIN has ordained it, rhythmic, in a rigorous composition where the fervid of the “Golden Ratio” will relish the discovery of logarithmic curves. But he is able in this type of studio work to retain the initial emotion of his sketch from life.

Man of the North, of Valenciennes, established in Paris, PODEVIN works in a very personal, dynamic-swirling style that grants a major place to gesture and to light.
Vigorous colorist, he manages to solve delicate problems with the help, not only of impastos, but also of exactitude in his choice of colors.

A painter is revealed to us as one of the most curious, the cleverest and the most endearing that we have met for a long time.
A work whose brilliant topic doesn't crush the desire of conciseness and originality proper to the artist, or his taste of a certain extension of reality, beyond the precision of the gesture, and the very displacement of static shapes.

Jean PODEVIN decomposes and recompose the plans, suggest by means of colorful spots, plays with a subtle range of deep blues in his Mediterranean marines, delight himself with light, says with blood and gold the tragic and imposing feast of the bullfights, the man and the beast bound in the same movement. Here is a painter featured by the gallery Fernand Depas, whose work it will be necessary to follow up attentively.


That he/it paints in Burgundy in Spain or in Sicily, that he/it transposes the dialogue of the sky and the sea, that he/it recovers the beauty of the couples spread on a beach, it is this same different light according to the hour or the climate, that allows him to magnify everything that his/her/its palette, to the rich tones, made pass under our eyes.

Jean PODEVIN composes and transposes the light of which he knows how to impregnate itself better than no one. His/her/its canvases are happy, resplendent of very happiness when they are not animated. More symbolist than representational he/it gives to his/its work a personal mark, a key whose burst stays a long time in the spectator's memory.
... In the young school of which very fortunately a lot of artists remained faithful to the sensation felt in front of nature, Jean PODEVIN occupies an important place.


Jean PODEVIN reveals himself as a great colorist and especially one in love with beautiful textures. The artisan technical side of the painting fascinates me. This faculty that he has of not to cool his composition is striking in his paintings.

After having valued, felt, sized up the ambient world with a non hidden pleasure, PODEVIN restitutes transposed images, decanted without excess, granting to the poetic feeling a primordial place without falling falsely into glitter
Lines of force on his canvases clear themselves from the symphonies of light enhancing the flexible joints and the major cadences, all his propositions, drawn of a most finely tuned prism of iridescent colors, are windows on the beauty of the spectacles of the world.

" He paints sounds " - While brushing the silhouettes of the Moroccan  “water bearers”, I first discern the tolling of their bells: and the market is only a pretext to the juxtaposition of colored, as well as musical impressions.

For PODEVIN, Marrakech is the blinding light, the kindling of his painting. Full summer of color, all fervors caught in a clever choreography.

There is an aspect that is brutal and exploding in the painting of Jean PODEVIN. Behind the violence of the features and colors there is a sensitive artist, who knows how to translate with perfection the emotion that creates such or such landscape, or such or such feminine body.



"Sans Titre" ("Untitled"), 1990
60 x 73 x 2 cm (h x w x d)
Acrylic & oil on canvas

JEAN PODEVIN (1925 - 2011) - France

©Jean Podevin all rights reserved

"Plethora Tokyo Subway" (Polyptych)

Julio Bittencourt - Plethora Series

© all rights reserved



Poster for the  “Centenaire de la révolution de 1848”
Laureate for the contest: « Monument to the resistance ».
Laureate for the « salon des artistes Français »
Laureate for the  « Salon des moins de trente ans a Paris. »
Exhibition : « Galerie de La Boetie » (Paris)
Salon des Artistes Français (Paris)
Salon de l’Art Libre (Paris)
Salon d’hiver (Paris)
Salon de Mai (Paris)
Monumental Sculpture for the « salon International des
Arts Plastiques »  (Paris.)
Festival des Arts a Cannes
Exhibition at the Palais de New-York a Paris.

Exhibition at the “ Musee d’Art Moderne »  (Paris)
Exhibition at the « galerie de l Œil » (Neuilly/Seine)
Exhibition at the  « galerie Durand-Ruel »(Paris).
Exhibition at the « galerie Fernand Depas » (Paris)
Exhibition at the  « galerie Raphael Mischkind »(Lille)
Exhibition at the « galerie Universitaire de Dunkerque ».
Laureate « Salon de Boulogne-Billancourt »
Exhibition at the: « 23 Peintres » (Lille)
Exhibition at the « Halle au Drap » (Douai)


Monumental statues for the great hall of the
« Française de Mécanique » (Pas de Calais)
Exhibition at the « galerie Rossler” a Palm Springs
Permanent exhibitions at the « galerie de Chisseaux »(Beaulieu /mer)
Permanent exhibitions at the « galerie le Sagittaire » (St Jean cap Ferrat)


Première Biennale du Touquet
Exhibition at the Galerie A..C.A.P  (Le Touquet)
Exhibition at the “ salon de l’ Art contemporain »  (Montreal)
Exhibition at the gallery  « Agence Internationale » (Beaulieu/mer)
Exhibition at the « galerie « The B.A. de France » (Palm Springs)
Permanent exhibits at the “Galerie Barrere” Geneve
Permanent exhibits at the galerie “Atlante “ (Paris)
 Permanent exhibits at the galleries  “Salambo” (Paris, Geneva)
Monumental Frescoe for the  « Française de Mécanique » (Pas de Calais)
Exhibition at the hotel Plaza Athenee (Paris)
Exhibition at the «  galerie du  Cygne » (Geneve)
Permanent exhibitions at the «  galerie de Chisseaux » (Paris)


Exhibition at the " galerie Gerard Mourgue” (Paris)
Exhibition at the “galerie Patrick Michel” (Paris)
Exhibition at the gallery « Carpe Diem » (Paris)
Museum Redondo (Santander / Spain)
"Musee de la Mine "(Anzin)
Assemblée Nationale
Musée d’Art Moderne
Centre Historique de Lewarde.
Mairie de La ville de Paris.
C.E.S. Palais d’Iéna- Paris.
Exhibition at the galerie de « l’Escale » Paris
Exhibition at the « maison de la Culture de Levallois »



"Novembre" ("November") - 1989
92 x 73 x 2 cm (h x w x d)
Acrylic & oil on canvas

JEAN PODEVIN (1925 - 2011) - France

©Jean Podevin all rights reserved


"Cycle de la Vie et de la Mort" (Cycle of Life & Death"), 1990
148.6 x 185 x 2 cm (h x w x d)
Acrylic & oil on canvas

JEAN PODEVIN (1925 - 2011) - France

©Jean Podevin all rights reserved


Partial List ofExhibitions


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