(French, 1898–1964) is one of the major figures of Art Informel, also known as Tachisme
(French for “stain-making”). Similar in style to American Abstract Expressionism, the movement started in the 1940s in Europe, and included artists such as Pierre Soulages
, Nicolas de Staël
, Jean Dubuffet
, and Georges Mathieu
. Born in Paris, Fautrier studied at the Royal Academy of Art, and at the Slade School in London. He returned to Paris in 1920, and began painting realistic portraits and nudes. During World War II, he was an active member of the Resistance. He created two series of portraits—oils on paper and paper collages—later entitled, Otages
, inspired by the atrocities he saw during the war. The morbid portraits depict the unknown victims of the Gestapo mass murders. In the late 1950s, Fautrier’s art became increasingly abstracted, but remained a testimony to the sufferings caused by World War II, evident in the Heads of Partisans
series and his small, dark landscapes. In 1960, Fautrier received the Venice Biennale Prize. He died in Châtenay-Malabry, France in 1964.