Gérard Ernest Schneider was born in 1896 in Sainte-Croix, Switzerland. When he discovered painting at the age of 14, he became a fan of artists like Raphaël and Léonardo de Vinci. It was during his higher education, that he was interested by works of Delacroix, Courbet and Cézanne. He moved to Paris in 1916, taking classes at the School of Decorative Arts (Arts Décoratifs de Paris) and the School of Fine Arts (Ecole des Beaux-Arts,) two years later.. Starting in 1922, Schneider resided permanently in Paris and was an active member of the avant-garde community, participating in the Salons d’Automne, the Surindependants, and the New Realist exhibitions. In 1946, he participated in the first postwar exhibition of Abstract Art at the Denise Rene Gallery in Paris, where he exhibited his brightly colored images enriched with expressive brushstrokes, black lines, and angular forms.
His works were displayed in the Louis Carré Gallery, Paris, in 1950 and from 1955-1960 at Koots Gallery, New York.
Gérard Schneider passed away in 1986.
Gérard Schneider began his career in art through an impressionist style and then a surrealist one, but he found his true expression in pure Lyrical Abstraction. Schneider was a major proponent of the Lyrical Abstraction movement, together with artists such as Wols, Pierre Soulages and Hans Hartung. The movement was developed parallel to the development of Abstract Expressionism in the US, pioneered by artists Paul Jenkins, Norman Bluhm, Sam Francis and Ellsworth Kelly, among many others and emerged after the Second World War as a counter-movement against Cubism, Surrealism and Geometrical Abstraction, and represented a movement towards the possibility of painting being open to personal expression.
Schneider’s works can today be found in the collections of major international museums including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, MoMa in New York, the Phillips Collection in Washington, the Museum of Fine Arts of Montréal and the Modern Art Museum of Rio de Janeiro, as well as private collections worldwide.
In Gérard Schneider's paintings, his strokes are filled with passion and dynamism, his spontaneity works hand in hand with his technique. He uses white paint to highlight colors and contracts them.
One can find this freedom of visual language in his published lithographs. They show the codes of the period« lumières » by Gérard Schneider, with colorful backgrounds.