Born in 1918 in Sathonay in the Ain region, France.
Jean Degottex began to paint around the age of twenty. In 1949, Denise René, who had championed the abstract avant-garde movement since the war and was to become the most important dealer of the new Paris school of art in the fifties, put on his first exhibition. In 1952, his work was shown at the Maeght gallery as part of the Mains éblouies show. In 1953, his work was shown as part of the Younger European Painters exhibition at the Salomon Guggenheim Museum in New York. Throughout the decade, along with Simon Hantaï, he pioneered a lyrical abstraction, which was to become a major influence on the New York School. Around this time, he became interested in writing and Zen philosophy, with canvases filled with large, quasi-calligraphic brushstrokes against increasingly neutral backgrounds. His work on paper from this period, bearing witness to these new interests, includes a discourse on the presence of colour. A tireless innovator, Degottex's exploration of abstraction encouraged him down new and ever more personal paths.
Peter Joseph has, over the course of decades, dedicated his practice to seeking the potential in constraint. He rose to critical acclaim in the 1970s for his meditative, two-colour paintings, which set one rectangle within a frame of a darker shade. These early works are characterized by perfect symmetry, where every decision about colour and proportion can be seen to be redolent of time, mood or place. While comparable to the work of Mark Rothko and Barnet Newman, Joseph’s is an anomalous strain of Minimalism: his allegiance lies as much with Renaissance masters as with his contemporaries, he says. More recently his format has departed from his established 'architecture' to divide the canvas into two planes, horizontally or vertically, wherein loose brushwork, natural tones and patches of exposed canvas tap into new feeling. As Joseph says: ‘A painting must generate feeling otherwise it is dead’.
Peter Joseph was born in London in 1929 and self-taught; he came to painting from beginnings in advertising. He lives and works in Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK. He has had solo exhibitions at Unité d’habitation Le Corbusier, Briey-en-fôret, (1998); Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1994) and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1983) and has been included in major group exhibitions at Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen (2010); MuHKA, Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp (2007); Musée d'art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, (1997); Kunstmuseum-Wolfsburg, Germany (1991); Stadtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany (1984) and the Royal Academy of Arts, London (1977). He won the John Player Painting Competition in 1968.