Xavier Krebs
(1923, Quimperlé - 2013, Montauban)

Born in 1923, in Quimperlé, Xavier Krebs enlisted in the Indochina war. He came back deeply traumatised but also having built a first bridge towards Asia. Back in Brittany, he moved in the former studio of Gauguin, in Pont-Aven. But it is much more his innovative practice of ceramics, in the Kéraluc studio, that brought him to a powerful pictorial abstraction. Meeting Jean Degottec and René Duvillier, painters of the lyrical abstraction, were decisive in his pictorial approach.

In 1959, he left Quimper to go to Auvers-sur-Oise and moved in the old studio of Honoré Daumier, then, in 1962, in the famous Maison du pendu.

His work is constituted of stylistic times nourished by his encounters and travels. From the deep blacks of Soleils des eaux (1954-1967), to the Zen geometry of Seuils (1966-1975), Xavier Krebs developed his abstraction path by thinking of distant Oriental civilisations. With Shogun (1975-1978), he explored the colour?s variations by superimposing large flat tints. Sometimes opened toward an estuary, closed or opened on a chasm, Les Trois Gorges (2000-2010) evoke the Cahors, where he had a stay. It is also a tribute to the construction of the Three-Gorges dam in China. Inspired by Indian or North African warm colours, his last series Triangles (2010-2013) unveils repeated horizontal compositions with luminous tones and in which the spectator is captured by a small triangle in perspective.

From ceramics to painting, Krebs never stopped to question Signs, Thresholds or Prints. A work of influences, reminiscences and superpositions celebrated by multiple retrospectives in the Ingres Museum in Montauban or in the Henri-Martin Museum in Cahors, and by personal exhibitions worldwide.

Xavier Krebs built his work as closely as possible to the writings of the poet, doctor, archaeologist, Sinologist, Victor Segalen, who died under mysterious circumstances in the forest of Huelgoat. He wanted to pay him a tribute by dedicating the retrospective of 2009, at the École des filles.

Exhibitions selected

Solo exhibitions

2013 - Les Seuils du rêve, Musée de Cahors Henri Martin, Cahors
2007 - Cinquante ans de peinture, Centre d'art contemporain de l'abbaye de Beaulieu, Ginals
1996 - Rétrospective, Musée Ingres, Montauban
1975 - Musée des Beaux-Arts, Les Sables-d'Olonnes
1978/1985/1989/1991 - Galerie Le Scribe, Montauban
1972 - Galerie Meyer, Lausanne
1964-69 - Galerie de Verneuil, Paris
1961/1971 - Galerie de Beaune, Paris
1952 - Foyer Montparnasse, Paris
1949-50/1952 - Galerie Saluden, Quimper

Groupe shows

2017 - Ailleurs est ici, École des Filles, Huelgoat
2016 - L'attrape-feu, École des filles, Huelgoat
2014 - Exote - Esthétiques du divers, École des filles, Huelgoat
2009 - Hommage à Victor Segalen, Rétrospective, École des filles, Huelgoat
2002 - La Nouvelle École de Paris 1941-65, Centre d?art contemporain de l?abbaye de Beaulieu, Ginals
1995 - 25e anniversaire du centre d?art contemporain, Centre d?art contemporain de l?abbaye de Beaulieu, Ginals
1995 - Le Proche et le lointain, Musée Ingres, Montauban
1986 - Acquis et Perspectives, Centre d'art contemporain de l'abbaye de Beaulieu, Ginals
1984 - Les non-figuratifs du Midi autour d?Atlan, Musée Ingres, Montauban
1980-81 - Autour d?une collection, 1945-1980, Centre d?art contemporain de l?abbaye de Beaulieu, Ginals
1979 - Empreintes d'un territoire, Centre d?art contemporain de l?abbaye de Beaulieu, Ginals
1971 - Galerie Pilote Saint-Germain des Prés, Paris
1966 - Centre culturel français, Istanbul
1965 - New Vision Centre, Londres
1964 - Galerie Nero et Bianco, Rome
1963 - Suzanne De Coninck présente 30 peintres et sculpteurs de l?Ecole de Paris, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes
1962 - Galerie de Beaune, Paris
1954 - Galerie Suillerot, Paris

Salons and art fairs

Salon d'Automne, 1950
Salon d'art sacré, Paris, 1964
Salon Réalités Nouvelles, 1987, 1992
Art Paris, 2014


X. Krebs, Le Pin, éditions Réciproques, 2003
Rétrospective Krebs, Hommage à Victor Segalen
, éditions Françoise Livinec, 2009
Le Carnet japonais
, (livre d'artiste imprimé à 100 exemplaires), Association des Amis du Musée Henri-Martin, 2013
Les Seuils du rêve
, (catalogue de l'exposition Xavier Krebs), Musée de Cahors Henri Martin, 2013