Bernard Lamotte (1903-1983)
Bernard Lamotte (1903-1983). Rue Sous la Pluie a Paris (Restaurant Au Bon Coin), c.1950. Oil on wood panel measures 19.5 x 25.5 inches; 30 x 37 inches framed. Signed lower right. Title inscribed en verso. Original Dalzell Hrtfield gallery label affixed en verso. Excellent condition. Carved wood frame with linen liner.
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Lamotte’s style is reminiscent of other artists of the School of Paris, modern with a flare for the romantic. His technique gives his oil paintings the look and texture of a watercolor.
Lamotte was born and educated in Paris where he captured beautifully modern day Parisian city life and street scenes. Lamotte had been bedridden for a period as a child and spent his time studying the color and textures of the cityscape below his window, which would later greatly influence his artistic style and passion.
Lamotte received his formal training at l’École des Beaux- Arts under Fernand Corman and Lucien Simon. Lamotte’s travels took him to New York City in 1932, where he would later settle in 1935 and become a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1951. His atelier was located above La Grenouille restaurant where fellow expatriate French artists and famed New York personalities congregated including Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin and Marlene Dietrich. The studio, which he and his wife, shared became a bohemian haven and was coined Le Bocal (“The Fishbowl”).
While in New York, between travels to Tahiti and Paris, Lamotte received several mural commissions and exhibitions including a solo show at the Wildenstein Gallery within one year of his arrival. Other exhibits included the Art Institute of Chicago in 1941, the Carstairs Gallery in New York City annually from 1941 – 1950s and a solo show at the Palm Beach Gallery in 1965. Like Pierre Sicard and Grigory Gluckmann, Lamotte was represented by the Dalzell-Hatfield Gallery in Los Angeles, which had an exhibition in 1975.
Lamotte also created a mural for the swimming pool room of the White House in 1961, which now is preserved in the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston. Other commissions include businesses, restaurants corporations and private collectors. Lamotte was an illustrator and theatre designer as well and created the illustrations for Flight to Arras by Antoine de Sanit-Expuréryand.
In 1945 there was an illustrated book published on Lamotte titled Bernard Lamotte, Oil Painting and Brush Drawing, written by Louis Gauthier. In 1948 his work was reviewed in Time magazine.
Museum collections of Lamotte’s work include the Tokyo Museum, Luxembourg Museum and Musee d’Art Moderne in Paris, and the French Embassy in Finland. Private collections include Joseph P. Kennedy and Alfred Barnes among several others.
Bernard Lamotte died in 1983 and the The Vose Gallery of Boston has since hosted several exhibitions from his estate.