James Coignard, painter, ceramist, sculptor and etcher, was born in Tours in 1925. At the age of 23 and after a brief career in the French administration, he discovers the landscapes of the French Riviera and decides to study at Arts décoratifs in Nice. Four years later, he quits his job at the administration to commit himself entirely to his artistic career. The encounter with Paul Hervieu in 1950 is decisive. His collaboration with gallery Hervieu made him known in artistic circles, nationally and internationally and then particularly in Scandinavia. At the beginning of his career, art critics label James Coignard as a member of Ecole de Paris. Soon, his painting and ceramic distances themselves from those of his colleagues and he goes it alone. At the beginning of the sixties, he starts to work with glass but the technical turning point occurs in 1968 when his friend Henri Goetz discovers a new etching technique, using carborundum. Etching then becomes central in his work. At the same time, his career takes off internationally. He travels a lot, especially to Sweden and USA where he lives during a few years. 1978, James Coignard participates in the creation of the etching studio Pasnic, with which he starts a long collaboration. During the eighties, he shares his time between Paris and the French Riviera and takes an interest in artist’s books and publishing issues. He exhibits now all over the world, and is acknowledged as one of the greatest painter-etchers of his time. Until his decease in 2008, James Coignard was a prolific painter, sculptor and etcher and leaves behind an immense work.
Birth in Tours, France.
1926 - 1942
His family moves to Paris where he studies.
1943 - 1948
He works at the French financial administration in Tours, France.
Mutation to Villefranche-sur-Mer. He takes classes at Arts décoratifs in Nice.
First exhibition in Beaulieu-sur-mer
. Encounters Braque, Matisse, Chagall.
He obtains 1er price without competing at Arts décoratifs in Nice, France.
Decisive meeting with Paul Hervieu. Starts a long collaboration with gallery Hervieu in Nice.
Several exhibitions in Sweden.
He leaves his job at the administration and Nice for Paris.
Encounter with Max Papart. Creation of a ceramic studio in Paris. First exhibitions in Scandinavia.
Exhibition at Salon d’automne in Paris.
Travels to Denmark.
James Coignard marries Mireille Poupart and moves to Beaulieu-sur-Mer, where he creates a studio.
He works exclusively with Gallery Hervieu in Nice.
Exhibition at the museum of Malmö in Suède.
Travels to Spain where he discovers the work of Clavé.
He stops ceramic.
Birth of his daughter Pascale.
Atlan, Christine Boumeester, Goetz and Max Papart meet in his studio in Beaulieu-sur-Mer.
He creates glass sculptures at Fucina Degli Angeli, Venice, Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
Birth of his son David.
Birth of his daughter Emmanuelle.
Moves to Vallauris.
Obtains the prize Dorothy Gould in Nice
His work is bought by American museums for the first time.
Encounter with Georges Bénichou.
Creation of his first carborundum etchings following the encounter with his friend Henri Goetz.
Illustration of the poem l’Amour du plus lointain by Jean Marcenac for the publishing firm Le Vent d’Arles.
La Fucina Degli Angeli exhibits his glass sculptures in the USA.
He participates in the jury distributing the national diplomas of Beaux-arts and in reform commissions concerning artistic teaching.
His glass sculptures are exhibited in German museums.
Encounter with A. Clavé.
He is invited to the university of Ottawa and travels to Canada and USA.
Travels to Israel.
James Coignard creates fourteen tapestries in accordance to the technique “Art protis” in Brno, Czechoslovakia.
Travel to Egypt.
Creation of a series of bronze sculptures for the publishing firm F.B.
Visit to USA, where he stays. In the Murano studios, he creates a second series of glass sculptures for la Fucina Degli Angeli.
Creation of the carborundum etching studio “Pasnic” in Paris with Pascal Gauvard and Nicolas du Mesnil du Buisson.
Stay in USA. Travels to Algeria and Israel.
Creation of two tapestries for Galerie La Demeure jn Paris.
Creation of a series of paintings on etched background for F.B publishing firm, executed in eight examples: the oligotypes.
The creation of a studio in Paris.
Collaboration with the publishing firm Sémios in Paris.
Creation of a large panel for the Rothschild Foundation in Nice.
Creation of nine tapestries in the Halaska studio in Stockholm for Sonet publishing firm.
He marries Sylvia Uryn, head of the publishing firm Sémios.
He moves to New Orleans, where he creates a studio.
Travels to Mexico.
Creation of the great triptych Le clavier for Sonet Studios in Stockholm.
James Coignard leaves New Orleans and moves to the surroundings of Rambouillet.
Birth of his son Simon.
Creation of his studio in Cannes.
He meet François Vecchio, collaboration with the gallery Vecchio in Cannes. Moves his studio in Antibes.
Numerous travels to Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Jordan, Greece, Morocco and Canada.
Creation of glass sculptures for the publishing firm Béringo in Venice, Italy.
Starts a close collaboration with Galleri GKM Siwert Bergström in Malmö, Sweden.
Several exhibitions in Sweden following the publishing of the catalogue l’ Œuvre gravé volume V, GKM publishing firm.
Creation of a new series of glass sculptures for Béringo publishing firm in Venice, Italy.
Numerous voyages: Egypt, Scandinavia, USA. Collaboration with gallery Bogéna in Saint Paul de Vence.
Creations of an artist’s book for Ariane publishing firm.
Creation of 47 etchings, presented in the catalogue l’Œuvre gravé volume VI, GKM publishing firm.
Until his decease at the French Riviera on March 7 2008, James Coignard stays a prolific painter and does not cease to create before his death at the age of 82.
James Coignard föddes i Tours. Efter några år på ekonomiförvaltningen i Tours blev han förflyttad till Villefranche-sur-Mer 1948 där han kom att studera på Ecole des Arts décoratifs i Nice. Samma år inledde han ett samarbete med Galerie Paul Hervieu i Nice och 1952 blev han konstnär på heltid.
Coignards konstverk har visats på över 400 utställningar, flertalet i Centraleuropa och Skandinavien men även i Canada och i USA där han har verkat till stor del. Han hade sin första utställning i Sverige på Malmö Museum 1956 och 1968 ställde han ut på Franska Galleriet i Malmö. I början av 1970-talet inledde han ett samarbete med Galleri Östermalm i Stockholm ägt av Edition Sonet. De kom att representera honom i Skandinavien och editera ett flertal utgåvor av grafik. 2001 tog Galleri GKM Siwert Bergström i Malmö över rollen som Coignards företrädare.
Coignard finns representerad på ett stort antal museer världen över; Guggenheim Museum i New York, British Museum i London, South African National Gallery i Kapstaden för att nämna några. Coignard har framför allt uttryckt sig i olja på duk och karborundum gravyrer men även i glasskulpturer och keramik.