André Aleth Masson (1919-2009)

André Masson was born in 1919 in Saint-Malo. In 1978, he added Aleth to his name in reference to his birthplace and to distinguish himself from the painter of the same name. Ceramist, sculptor, painter and engraver, André Aleth Masson attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Rennes, then in Paris where he met Denise Blin, his future wife. In 1947, he joined the School of Ceramics at Fontcarrade near Montpellier. His debut in Paris in the 1950s led to three solo exhibitions at the MAI gallery (Meubles, Architectures, Installations) in 1952, 1955 and 1961. During these years in Paris, André Masson met André Borderie who also began to exhibit at the MAI gallery. In 1961, André Masson, his wife and their six children moved to the suburb of Senlis. It was André Borderie, himself living in Senlis, who found them a large house 4 km from his home. In 1968, André Masson became a member of the movement «Le Mur Vivant» (The Living Wall), responding to the request of its president, the architect Maurice Novarina. This movement echoes the artist’s desire to create ceramic architecture. The panel that we present is placed in this movement and responds to the panel created in 1970 for an exhibition in the hall of the RER de la Défense «Cascade de galets» which is noticed by architects. The following year he presented another panel in the hall of the RER des Invalides «Aire Sidérale».

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André Masson was born in 1919 in Saint-Malo. In 1978, he added Aleth to his name in reference to his birthplace and to distinguish himself from the painter of the same name. Ceramist, sculptor, painter and engraver, André Aleth Masson attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Rennes, then in Paris where he met Denise Blin, his future wife. In 1947, he joined the School of Ceramics at Fontcarrade near Montpellier. His debut in Paris in the 1950s led to three solo exhibitions at the MAI gallery (Meubles, Architectures, Installations) in 1952, 1955 and 1961. During these years in Paris, André Masson met André Borderie who also began to exhibit at the MAI gallery. In 1961, André Masson, his wife and their six children moved to the suburb of Senlis. It was André Borderie, himself living in Senlis, who found them a large house 4 km from his home. In 1968, André Masson became a member of the movement «Le Mur Vivant» (The Living Wall), responding to the request of its president, the architect Maurice Novarina. This movement echoes the artist’s desire to create ceramic architecture. The panel that we present is placed in this movement and responds to the panel created in 1970 for an exhibition in the hall of the RER de la Défense «Cascade de galets» which is noticed by architects. The following year he presented another panel in the hall of the RER des Invalides «Aire Sidérale». During these same years, André Borderie and André Masson produced several large- scale panels in glazed ceramic, notably for the Mur Vivant. During these joint projects, Borderie was responsible for the composition, while Masson was in charge of the technical execution. Their occasional collaborations ended in 1978, when the Masson couple moved to Brittany. Their respective testimonies clearly show the confidence and pleasure they had in their joint work: Borderie considered that André Masson was the only one capable of artistically interpreting the projects he wished to carry out, while Masson was «terribly impressed» when Borderie drew his future projects. The Massons left Senlis for Saint Malo in 1977, where the ceramist gave way to a colorist painter with painted ceramics, painted wood cuts, acrylic canvases and engravings. By painting his pieces, André Masson saves time and gets the colors he wants. His production is prolific. In the 80’s, André Masson invested himself in contemporary art in Brittany and continued to exhibit all over the coast. He died on October 27, 2009 in Saint-Malo.

Works