Henri Cueco

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Henri Cueco
Henri Cueco (1995).png
Born (1929-10-19)19 October 1929
Uzerche, Corrèze, France
Died 13 March 2017(2017-03-13) (aged 87)
Paris, France
Cause of death Alzheimer's disease
Residence Paris, France
Vigeois, Corrèze, France
Occupation Painter, essayist, novelist, radio personality
Political party French Communist Party (1956–1976)
Spouse(s) Marinette Cueco (fr)
Parent(s) Vicente Cueco
Relatives Pablo Cueco (fr)

Henri Cueco (19 October 1929 – 13 March 2017) was a French painter, essayist, novelist and radio personality. As a self-taught painter, his work was exhibited internationally. He was the author of several books, including collections of essays and novels. He was also a contributor to France Culture. A communist-turned-libertarian, he was a co-founder of Coopérative des Malassis, an anti-consumerist artists' collective. He was best-known for The Red Men, a series of figurative paintings depicting aspects of the Cold War like the May 1968 events, the Vietnam War and Red Scare, and his 150 still lifes, or "portraits," of potatoes.

Early life

Henri Cueco was born on 19 October 1929 in Uzerche, Corrèze, a rural part of France.[1][2][3] His father, Vicente Cueco, was an immigrant from Spain.[4][5] His mother was French.[5] He was essentially self-taught,[6] though his father also taught him how to paint from the age of 13.[4][5]

Career

Cueco began his career as a landscape painter in the 1950s.[4] He became a figurative painter, associated with the school of Nouvelle figuration (fr) in 1960s.[1][2][3] His artwork was political, and he was a critic of materialism and minimalism.[2] He did paintings of hunting dogs and snakes, followed by 150 still lifes, or "portraits," of potatoes.[2][4]

In 1969–1970, Cueco co-founded an artists collective called Coopérative des Malassis with Lucien Fleury, Jean-Claude Latil, Michel Parré and Gérard Tisserand.[1][4][7] Together, they designed a politically satirical fresco called Le Grand Méchoui in 1972.[7] They designed Qui tue ? ou l’affaire Gabrielle Russier in 1973.[4] They also designed Radeau de la Méduse ou la Dérive de la société,[4] a decor on consumerism in the Grand'Place, Grenoble, in 1973–1975.[7] They designed Les affaires reprennent in 1977.[4]

His work was first exhibited at the Salon de la Jeune peinture,[2] followed by the Atelier populaire.[3] In 1970, he exhibited The Red Men, a series of paintings on the Cold War (including the May 1968 events, the Vietnam War and the Red Scare), at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.[3] In 1986, when he exhibited an irreverent portrait of Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud and Mao Zedong in Beijing, China, he was asked to take it down.[8] The painting included the following quotation by Henri Jeanson: "Capitalism is the exploitation of men by men. Communism? It is the opposite."[8]

In 1997, Cueco exhibited paintings inspired by Nicolas Poussin and Philippe de Champaigne at the Centre d'art contemporain in Meymac.[4] In 2010, he exhibited nudes in the manner of Ingres at the Musée Ingres in Montauban.[9] He exhibited his work at the Musée d'art et d'archéologie du Périgord in 2014, when he was the guest of honour at the Expoésie Festival.[10] His last exhibition was held at La Maison Rouge in February 2017.[1]

Cueco was the founder of the Association Pays Paysage in Uzerche.[6] He was a contributor to the French radio station France Culture, especially its programmes called Les Papous dans la tête and Les Décraqués.[2][4] He was the author of several books,[2] including novels and collections of essays.[6] One of his novels was made into a 2007 film directed by Jean Becker, Conversations with My Gardener.[5]

Cueco was an avid reader of Marxist texts.[3] He was member of the French Communist Party from 1956 to 1976.[3] He also joined the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), one of the main labour unions in France.[2] With Ernest Pignon-Ernest, he co-founded the Syndicat national des artistes plasticiens CGT in 1977.[2] However, by the 1980s, he had become a libertarian.[8]

Personal life and death

Cueco had a wife, Marinette Cueco (fr), and a son, Pablo Cueco (fr), a professional zarb player.[11] He resided between Vigeois in his native Corrèze and Paris.[2][3]

Cueco died of Alzheimer's disease on 13 March 2017 in Paris.[1][2][8] He was 87.

Works

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Duponchelle, Valérie (March 14, 2017). "La mort du peintre Henri Cueco". Le Figaro. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Le peintre Henri Cueco est mort". Libération. March 15, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Henri Cueco". Tate. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Dagen, Philippe (March 15, 2017). "Henri Cueco, peintre politique et écrivain, est mort". Le Monde. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d Messina, Géraldine (March 15, 2017). "Le peintre Henri Cueco en quelques mots". La Montagne. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c Graziani, Philippe (March 14, 2017). "Le peintre corrézien Henri Cueco est mort". France Bleu. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c "Coopérative des Malassis". Larousse. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c d Duponchelle, Valérie (March 15, 2017). "Mort d'Henri Cueco, peintre par nature". Le Figaro. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  9. ^ Raynal, Alain (August 4, 2010). "Quand Cueco dialogue avec Ingres à Montauban". L'Humanité. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  10. ^ Gibert, Chantal (March 14, 2014). "Expoésie à Périgueux : dans les pas de Cueco". Sud-Ouest. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Pablo Cueco et Mirtha pozzi en concert". La Dépêche du Midi. August 16, 2006. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
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