Augustin Lesage

Just what I’ve been trying to explain lately: Slightly wrong Egyptian, bombastic, rainbow, mama lion, geometry, Deco/Marimekko, chalice, rudimentary however complex, eyeball, imprudent, unjustifiable enthusiasm. All accomplished already by Augustin Lesage, long long ago.

The Egyptian HarvestThe Egyptian Harvest, 1928


Lesage 1923A Symbolic Composition of the Spiritual World, 1923

Augustin Lesage

And I cannot believe their size! Why O why only the French Wikipedia? My near-constant Goog-411ing seems to be doing zilch toward improving automatic translation capabilities….

Images courtesy shawna-bo-bonna, and my tip-off came from 2 or 3 Things. For the record, I was not experienced and indeed blown away.



Filed under Cassie McGettigan

8 responses to “Augustin Lesage

  1. these are totally amazing. mama lion holding it down.

  2. ohhhhhh….. fantasticalness in forms that speak without words but in every language.
    thanks for this, indeed, inspirational and glowing……
    like the skies.

  3. Paul

    Augustin Lesage was a coal miner in small town. While he was nestled deep in a dark and isolated passage, he was confronted by a voice that told him he was to start painting. At first he ignored the voice in fear of his sanity, but the voice returned and insisted he start painting. He had absolutely no conception of art or even what materials he might need to begin painting, but with the assistance of a small art shop he set himself up with the proper materials. He sat in his room, blank canvas in front of him, fearing how he should even begin the endeavor. Eventually he looks outside his window to his neighbors lawn and starts interpreting what he sees in an ornate and spontaneous pattern which eventually fills the entire canvas. The spontaneity of his first painting diminishes and he begins to take on a process of dividing huge canvases directly down a vertical center. He mirrors each side exactly, if he makes an error, the painting is thrown away and another is begun. The voices continue and Lesage eventually believes he is the reincarnation of Leonardo Da Vinci, and he begins to sign all his paintings as such.

    • gravelandgold

      Thank you so much for this inspiring bio, Paul!
      I really appreciate it.
      I had read that Lesage heard voices that compelled him to begin painting–but the point that he was compelled to complete them as perfect mirror images is new to me. So interesting….

      All the best,

  4. emilypothast

    I also noticed there were no English language bios on Lesage to be found on the web, so I just posted a summary of the French Wikipedia article here and ordered the exhibition catalogue from Lesage’s 1988 retrospective. It arrived today. It’s expensive if you can find it, and in French, but the images alone are worth the price of admission.

  5. “Slightly Wrong Egyptian”
    I think you may have coined a term for a whole genre right there…..mmmmhmmm.
    Sli-Rong-Gypsie for short?

  6. Jessie Schutzenhofer

    I also found the French version of the Wikipedia, however (on a Mac) there was an option to “translate this page”, and frankly it seemed to make sense in the translation.

  7. Incredible. I came to his work through Marie Wilson, who was inspired by him to make her own symmetrical art works.

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