Michel Carrade
(born in 1923, Tarbes)

Michel Carrade belongs to the group known as the School of Paris, firstly as a part of the Lyrical Abstraction movement. His work undergoes a fundamental revision in 1969, oriented towards a study on light. He uses the color, as a material of his research, taken as close as possible from the physical qualities of light.

Passionate in drawing, he enrolls in architecture course at the School of Fine Arts in Toulouse. And in 1946, he decides to settle in Paris with his wife. He then discovers Cézanne and all the classic painters, but also explores devouringly all the museums and galleries of the capital. As a means of living, he accepts his first job in an advertising agency, in that he designs labels for wine bottles. It is in 1947 that he gets a new job as a substitute professor of drawing in the schools of the City of Paris.

Robert Lapoujade, painter, introduces him to the Alsatian School (rue d'Assas), where he goes into teaching in art curriculum. He keeps teaching there until 1974, developing an innovative artistic pedagogy adapted to each child.

During the National Education summer holidays, he works in a family villa in the countryside located in the Tarn, near Castres. There he meets Paul Enjalbert, who will be of great importance, teaching him the premises of his future theory in the pictorial field. Charles-Pierre Bru, philosopher, who lives not far from Castres, joins them. He also reflects on the colorimetric measurement of a completed pictorial work.

In 1963, Michel Carrade enters the Galerie Jeanne Bucher by invitation of the director, Jean-François Jaeger, who will organize his first solo exhibition. It turns out to be particulary promising.

The Galerie Jeanne Bucher holds his another solo show in 1969 in Montreal, Canada. This passage to Montreal leads Michel Carrade to stop over in New York in his American friends' spaces so that he discovers with dazzlement how painters such as Mark Rothko or Jackson Pollock face directly gesture, matter and colour left out of all sentimentalism. His work, Nappes d'espaces (from 1969), presented in Montreal, heralds a decisive turning point in the career of Michel Carrade, who will increasingly turn to work on light, proceeding from the exact balance of colors in high tension on a canvas. On this wise he abandons the concepts of lyrical abstraction for the sake of the energy in refined form.

During this year 1969, Michel Carrade also co-organizes with Albert Chaminade and Brigitte Le Caisne the exhibition Du Jeu au Signe de l'École Alsacienne at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris, which will prove a great success in terms of inventiveness in the pedagogy of drawing and graphic gesture.

In 1989, he moves with his wife to their house in the Southwest. The following years converge on a number of intense solitary works (drawings, gouaches, printings, stencils, watercolors, paintings) in the Tarn countryside. In 2000, he exhibits in New York, at Bateau Fou of Roseline Koener. In 2014, he presents works at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, in the space dedicated to the work of Claude Parent. More recently, in 2018, the Abattoirs de Toulouse paid tribute to his work in a group exhibition entitled: The Art of Color.

Exhibitions selected

Solo exhibitions

2017 - Michel Carrade : Espace et tension, Hôtel de Rochegude

2015 - Michel Carrade, équations chromatiques, Musée du Protestantisme, Ferrières

2013 - Couleurs actives, Michel Carrade, Galerie Didier Devillez, Bruxelles.

2010 - Michel Carrade Peintures, Musée Raymond Lafage, Lisle-sur-Tarn

1969 - Michel Carrade, Galerie de Montréal, (préface au catalogue de l'exposition Jean Guiraud), Montréal, Canada


Group exhibitions

2018, 19 - L'art de la couleur, avec G. Asse, O. Beer, P. Colin, E. Cronica, F. Hyber, A. Marfaing, B. Pagès, E. Pignon, les Abattoirs-FRAC Toulouse

2014 - 14e International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale Di Venezia, Arsenal, Pavillon central des Jardins, Venise

2005 - Carte blanche à Charles Juliet, Échanges culturels Bullukian, Maison des Écritures, Lyon

2002 - La Nouvelle École de Paris-1941-1965, Centre d'Art contemporain, Abbaye de Beaulieu-en-Rouergue, Ginals

1996 - 100 Peintres de l'École de Paris 1945-1975, Maison de l'Unesco, Paris

1995 - Le Proche et le Lointain, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Montauban

1994 - Empreinte d'un Territoire II et Découvertes, trente artistes de Midi-Pyrénées, Abbaye de Beaulieu, Ginals

1990 - Jean Grenier : regards sur la Peinture 1944-1971, Musée des Jacobins, Morlaix

1969 - Interférences Poètes-Peintres, Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris

1957 - Biennale de la Jeune Peinture, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris

1952 - Premier Salon d'Octobre, Salle André Baugé       

1954 - Salon de Mai, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris

1951 - Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Paris



Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris

Musée Kunsthaus de Zürich

Musées royaux de Belgique

Musée de Grenoble

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

Chambre de commerce de Toulouse

Musée des Augustins de Toulouse

Musée de Verviers (Belgique)

Musée du vitrail de Strasbourg

Fonds régional d'art contemporain de Midi-Pyrénées (Musée des Abattoirs)

Fondation Belgacom de Bruxelles


1957 - Michel Seuphor, Dictionnaire de la Peinture Abstraite, Éditions F. Harzan, Paris

1963 - Gérard Gassiot-Talabot, Carrade, Cimaise, no 66, décembre

1963 - Jean Grenier, Entretiens avec dix-sept Peintres non-figuratifs, Éditions Calmann-Lévy

1963 - Michel Carrade, Je ne figure pas…, Carrade, Catalogue de l'Exposition, Éditions Jeanne Bucher, Paris

1967 - Pierre Cabanne, Jean Guichard-Meili, Carrade, le mystère de la lumière, Galerie des Arts, no 18-19.

1969 - Jean Guiraud, Nappes d'espace, Exposition de Montréal, Éditions Jeanne Bucher, Paris.

1969 - Pierre Gaudibert, Georges Hacquard, Michel Carrade, Albert Chaminade, Luce Irigaray, Du Jeu au Signe, l'expression plastique à l'École Alsacienne. , Catalogue de l'exposition, Musée d'Art moderne de Paris (Département de l'Arc).

1979 - Michel Carrade, De la couleur, Éditions Axe Sud, Toulouse

1983 – Charles Juliet, France Culture,  Série de 5 émission - Les Chemins de la Connaissance, Michel Carrade

1986 - 25 ans d'Art en France, 1960-1985, éd. Larousse

1993 - Lydia Harambourg, L'École de Paris

1945-1965 Dictionnaire des Peintres, Éditions Ides et Calandes

1996 - Michel Carrade, Mon histoire avec la couleur a commencé il y a longtemps…           

2000 - Michel Ragon, 50 ans d'Art vivant 1950-2000, éd. Fayard

2009 - Michel Carrade, monographie, (textes de Jean Guiraud et Jean-Louis Bentajou, extraits d'entretiens avec Jean Grenier et Charles Juliet), Didier Devillez éditeur