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Not all the artists shown here followed Gleizes's principles but all would agree that the encounter with him - both as a painter and as a man - was among the most important formative influences of their lives.
The Irish painters EVIE HONE (1895-1955) and MAINIE JELLETT (1897-1944) were his first pupils, insisting in 1922 that he take them on against his will (Gleizes had a lifelong horror of the classroom). Their work shown here illustrates two of the earliest stages of the method in its development. Hone was later to be well known as a stained glass artist. Jellett is the subject of an important study - Mainie Jellett and the Modern Movement in Ireland by the political essayist and art historian, Bruce Arnold.
ROBERT POUYAUD (1901-1970) joined them in 1924. He and his wife Cécile were the first to move into Moly Sabata which Gleizes had bought with them chiefly in mind. More methodical than Gleizes himself he developed a philosophy of painting that was a synthesis of Gleizes's thinking with that of the esoteric philosopher, René Guénon.
WALTER FIRPO, as much a poet as a painter, introduced me to the Gleizes school and is the single most important influence on my own life as a painter, writer on art history and poet. He met Gleizes and exhibited with him in the late 1920s but was especially close to him after the war. An irrepressibly ebullient free spirit his passionate and eloquent advocacy of Gleizes's principles did not extend to applying them very rigorously in his own work.
JEAN CHEVALIER (1913-2002) was very closely associated with Gleizes in the period during and after the 1939-45 war and there are indications that Gleizes saw him as a possible spiritual heir. While always insisting on a continuity with what he had learned from Gleizes, however, he later dismantled the formal structure and (to quote the website www.amisdejeanchevalier.online.fr) 'undertook his personal research which brought him closer to the freedom of expression of the American painters.'
HENRI GIRIAT worked as a labourer on Gleizes's farm near St Rémy de Provence during the German occupation. He would not see himself as a painter but, as a writer and poet, he worked closely with the whole group of Gleizes's associates. He played an important role in preparing the catalogue raisonnée of Gleizes's work (Fondation Albert Gleizes/SOMOGY 1998) and various exhibitions organised by the Fondation Albert Gleizes.
DANIEL GLORIA (1908-1989). Gloria was one of a group of painters based in Lyon who took up with Gleizes after the war, remaining attached to Gleizes's principles throughout his life. He developed an interest in mosaic, and examples of his work can be seen in several churches in the Lyon area.
ANDRE DUBOIS (1931-2004) lived for a time in Moly Sabata, working with the weaver Lucie Deveyle (1908-1956). He was a major collector of the work of Gleizes and his school together with related painters such as Jacques Villon and Alfred Reth. He combined this with an apparently incongruous interest in art brut. He left his collection to the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon where it was the subject of an exhibition - Histoire d'un oeil - la collection André Dubois, 2006. Apart from some very early work from the Moly Sabata days his own work did not in general reflect Gleizes's principles.
GENEVIEVE DALBAN (1926-2002)
was my own teacher and perhaps the most faithful of Gleizes's
disciples, though she only met him very briefly. As a young girl
who had already studied ceramics in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts
in Dijon, she met and was deeply influenced by Anne Dangar. Like
Dangar she learned the wood fired 'glazed earth' technique in
a local pottery without artistic pretentions in the Rhone Valley.
After Anne Dangar's death in 1951 she lived in Moly Sabata with
the weaver Lucie Deveyle. Eventually, with her husband Charles,
she turned her own home in Ampuis, near Vienne, into a centre
for teaching Gleizes's principles and showing work from the school.
Aguilberte Dalban, who has now taken responsibility for the house,
is her daughter.