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Max Papart

Max Papart (1911-1994) was a French artist whose paintings and graphics are suffused with the sunny humor and bright colors of the French Riviera where he was born. Born in Marseille, Papart later moved to Paris where he learned the techniques of classic engraving. In 1960, he added to the classic processes, the technique of etching with carborundum, invented by his friend Henri Goetz. In the following years, he taught printmaking at the University of Paris VIII-Vincennes and continued making his own plates and supervising the hand printing of his prints until his death.

Papart is probably be best known for his cubist style in which he depicts circus scenes, flirting couples, soaring birds, and similar cheerful subjects with flat, overlapping planes of contrasting colors and textures which suggest many levels of depth. His work often achieved what has been called a "time window" effect, through which the viewer senses the past or future. This is not to say that Papart is simply a purveyor of superficial entertainment. For all their decorative gaiety, his works also force the viewer to think. As the noted critic André Parinaud put it, "We are going to rediscover Max Papart as one of the masters of the second cubist generation."