Icare, 1972

André Verdet (b. 1913) was a French poet and artist. He wrote books on art, composed exhibition catalogues and collections of poetry, as well as creating his own work in ceramics, sculpture, paint and linocut – his first book of poetry was published in 1937. As a member of the French Resistance, he alongside fellow poet and key member of the Surrealist movement Robert Desnos were arrested by the Gestapos in 1944 and imprisoned in the Buchenwald war camp. Upon his repatriation a year later, Verdet published his Anthology of Poems from Buchenwald. 

In 1949 he returned to his hometown of Saint-Paul de Vence in the Côte d'Azur, where he continued writing poetry, and became friends with many artists. He first met Pablo Picasso in 1951 and met Henri Matisse soon after – it was with the encouragement of these two artists that Verdet began to paint and create sculpture. In the 1960s and 1970s, he joined Picasso and Alberto Magnelli at Imprimerie Arnéra in the town of Vallauris, where he produced his abstract linocuts. During this period, he wrote many books and essays based on conversations with fellow artists including Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Braque and Leger.

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