Albert Bitran is a French painter, engraver and sculptor born in 1931 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Albert Bitran was born in Istanbul in 1931. He studies at the Collège Saint Michel, where he obtains the Turkish and French bachelor degrees. At 17, he comes to Paris to study architecture which he quickly abandons to devote himself to painting.
He is only 20 in 1951, for the first personal exhibition of his geometric works at Galerie Arnaud, meeting place of the vanguard of Saint Germain des Près and he participates in numerous events including the first exhibition of abstract art in Caracas and "Divergence" at the Théâtre de Babylone.
In 1954 he exhibits at the Galerie Denise René, with a preface by Henri-Pierre Roché who opens his prestigious collection to him and leases him a room boulevard Arago where he works.
Bitran drops the geometric abstraction and turns to research painting which he will follow all his life. He spends long stays in the South of France and his early studies focus on the theme of landscape, a theme he will develop up to "Naissance d’un paysage" (Birth of a landscape) a large collage of 1956 that will participate in the "l’Envolée Lyrique" (Lyric Flight) at the Musée du Luxembourg in 2006.
In 1958, Albert Bitran marries, becomes a French citizen, moves to rue des Plantes and to Rigny-le-Ferron (Aube) where he has a ceramics studio. He also spends prolonged stays in Italy where he works and exhibits. In Paris, Jean Pollack, particularly, shows his works in numerous exhibitions at the Galerie Ariel. In the sixties, Bitran develops the themes of "L’Atelier" (the Studio) and then "Intérieur-Extérieur" ( Inside-Outside) with drawings, marouflé papers and oils, Since 1962 he also experiments with etching and lithography, first at Mourlot, and then at Bellini and Leblanc. In 1961, in his Copenhagen gallery, Borge Birch presents, for the first time in Scandinavia, a Bitran personal exhibition. Northern countries, that he visits often, now show a great interest in his work, as well as Holland, where he exhibits regularly, first at Nova Spectra in The Hague, then, from 1971 on, in Amsterdam at the Gallery Martin de Boer. In 1968, he moves to Notre-Dame-des-Champs, in Montparnasse, where he will work and live until 2000.
Starting in 1970, he creates the "Doubles" an analytic interrogation of his painting. In "Bitran ou la question de l’œil" (Bitran or the interrogating eye) (1975), Claude Lefort writes: "le double condense les termes de l’énigme" ( the double condenses the terminology of the enigma) and in the introduction to the exhibition at Galerie Ariel in 1973, Jean-Louis Baudry: "with the doubles, Bitran perfects his trap."
In 1973 he creats "Sextuor", a sequence of six paintings in closed cycle, exhibited according to a plan designed by Ricardo Porro, in museums in Norway, Denmark, Holland, France, and Austria, and which is now acquired by the Toulouse Frac Midi-Pyrenees. " les Obliques, les Linéaires et les Latéraux " (Obliques, Linears and Laterals) are the following themes.
In 1979 and 1980, Bitran chairs the seminar of the Salzburg Sommerakademie and Manes Sperber prefaces his exhibition at the Traklhauss.
In the early eighties, Bitran sets up his studio in Lot where he works for many months experimenting with oils on paper and cardboard techniques. He creates the "Grandes Formes" (Great Forms) that Patrick Bongers chooses for his first exhibition at Galerie Louis Carré in 1987; these works are also exhibited at the Boisserée gallery in Köln, at Art Point in Tokyo and at Louis Stern in Los Angeles.
A retrospective is dedicated to his works at the Campredon Museum, in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, in 1991. Upon this juncture a filmed interview with Jean Paris is published in Coloquio, the review of the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon. The Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou in Cajarc presents "Albert Bitran, paintings and drawings 1980-1992", works in which the light and cliffs of the Lot are revealed, with prefaces by Dora Vallier and Claire Stoullig.
Inspired by his childhood memories in Istanbul, and his many voyages in Turkey, the “Arcades” - paintings and sculptures - are initially exposed in Istanbul at Aksanat, and in 1997, at the Nev Gallery in Ankara, then in France at the Espace Ecureuil of Toulouse with a foreword of Pierre Daix.
After the “Blacks”, oil paintings on paper, first exhibited in Mexico City in 2008 and then in various cultural centres in France, Bitran continues his research on large paintings, exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in London in 2010 (exposition “Obliques”) and in 2011. In October 2012 the Tuilliers Gallery of Lyon will present “Erosion des Noirs”.
Since 2000 Bitran lives and works in Montrouge by Paris and Villerville in Normandy. He also stays a lot in Turkey, the country of his youth. He is Officer of Arts and Letters.
(To visualize works of Albert Bitran online refer to the section "External links - Bank of images of ADAGP" below).
(All references are in French).
"Bitran ou la chaleur des gris" by Charles Estienne, Ariel Gallery, 1956.
"Bitran, ou l’élaboration d’un nouveau sentiment de la nature" by Denys Chevalier, XXème siècle, periodical, 1963.
"BITRAN" by Michel Courtois, Birch Gallery, Copenhague, 1961.
"L’Atelier", text by Georges Boudaille, 1964.
"Epreuves", text by Jean-Louis Baudry, la Balance, Bruxelles, 1966.
"Bitran ou la question de l’oeil" by Claude Lefort, édition SMI, 1975.
"Dessins, 1955-1975" text by Alain Bosquet, SMI, Paris, 1976.
"le Mirliton du Ciel" 1985, poems byAlbert Memmi.
"Fleuve" 1986, poems by Jean-Dominique Rey.
"Entretien avec Albert Bitran" by Jean Paris, Coloquio Artes, Lisbon, 1992.
"Albert Bitran, l'Oeuvre", Ides et Calendes, Neuchâtel, Suisse, 1993.
"Dossier Albert Bitran" by Jean-Luc Chalumeau, Verseau, periodical, 1997.
"Bitran ou la lumière de l’image" by Pierre Daix, la Main Parle, Paris, 2003.
"Bitran: où règne l’ARCADE magistrale" by Lionelle Courbet-Viron, Area, periodical, 2003.
"Albert Bitran, Récit d'une Vie" by Gérard-Georges Lemaire, Vernissages, periodical, June 2008.
"Peindre la peinture" by Fréderique le Graverend, AREA, N°21 Spring 2010. "Albert Bitran ou le triomphe du gris" by Gérard-Georges Lemaire, Grosvenor Gallery, London 2010.
Works of Albert Bitran are represented in the following public collections:
- Musée d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
- Musée de la Ville de Paris, Paris.
- Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, Paris.
- Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Donation Jacqueline Delubac, Lyon, France.
- Musée de Nantes, Donation Gildas Fardel, Nantes, France.
- F.R.A.C. Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse, France.
- Les Abattoirs, musée de Toulouse, France.
- Musée Municipal de Saint Dié, France.
- Musée des Beaux-Arts H. Rigaud, Perpignan, France.
- Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Ny Carlsberg Fondet, Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Randers Kunstmuseum, Randers, Denmark.
- Genthôfte Radhus, Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Gemeente Museum, The Hague, The Netherlands.
- Centraal Museum, Utrech, The Netherlands.
- FONDATION ROI BAUDOUIN, Thomas Neirynck Collection, Brussels, Belgium.
- FONDATION GANDUR POUR L'ART, Geneva, Switzerland.
- Museum der 20-Jahrunderts, Vienna, Austria.
- Rupertinum Museum, Salzburg, Austria.
- ISTANBUL MODERN, Istanbul, Turkey.
- Istanbul Resim ve Heykel Müzesi, Istanbul, Turkey.
- Contemporary Art Society, London, UK.
- Sonia Henie-Niels Onstad Art Center, Oslo/Norway.
- Lunds Kunsthal, Lund, Sweden.
- Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, U.S.A.
- Museum of Rhodes Island School of Design, New York, U.S.A.
- University Museum, Berkeley, U.S.A.
- Grunewald Foundation for Graphic Arts, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
- Cuban State Collection, Havana, Cuba.
- Fondation Bloemhof, Curaçao.
List of Exhibitions
For a complete list of Albert Bitran's exhibitions please refer to the artist's page in French in Wikipedia.
- Banque d’images de l’ADAGP A large number of reproductions of Albert Bitran's works.