Roger Bissière

Born in 1886, in Villeréal, France.
Died in 1964, in Boissiérette, France.


1905-1909    École des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, France.

               École des Beaux-Arts de Paris, France.


When Bissière was a young painter, he was supported by Maurice Denis, among others. He then retreated at the beginning of the First World War, mostly writing critics in important Paris-based newspapers. In that context, he stood for collective wall painting (he was a precursor of the United States claims in the 1930s), the only way to make art social useful again in the necessary post-war reconstruction. Bissière also formulated in that context a whole vision on modern painting, in his 1919-1923 texts about Ingres, Corot, Seurat, Braque, and Gris. In the 1920s, he became a remarked post-Cubist painter, with contracts in several galleries. But he retreated again in the economic crisis of the early 1930s. He was then a charismatic teacher at Académie Ranson. Louise Bourgeois was one of his students, as well as the followers of Alfred Manessier who created the Lyric Abstraction movement in 1941. The period he spent in the Lot, in 1939, was a synthesis of such previous experiences. Even when he was praised in Paris and in international exhibitions from 1951, Roger Bissière did not take any further part in public or institutional life. The only thing that mattered from then on was to improve his painting. It was a radical choice, hence the strength and independence of his paintings.

Robert Fleck, Bissière, Ed. IAC, 2010, p. 12

" My first revelation of Cubism dates from when I met Braque, in 1919-1920, and the resulting friendship. At that point in my youth, I caught a glimpse of new possibilities, and a totally different vision. This discovery led me to exchange an immediate, realist vision of the world for a transposition of nature transformed into a simple pictorial fact. This satisfied my need to have rigorous construction and organisation in paintings.
It was a striving for logic and construction that I took from Cubism, which, as it happens, I gradually abandoned, spirituality and poetry that plagued me. This led to a form of painting from which representation was absent, except as an allusion. Cubism signified a facet of the sensorial world. I chose the other fact, which was more mysterious, and perhaps more essential. »
The Impressionist gives his feeling.
The Cubist gives his opinion.
In order to re-create, you just need to have understood.
For a long time I thought that the drawing meant reproducing the shapes of objects that existed within myself. I now think that, on the contrary, drawing means suggesting the shapes of objects through their inner form.
When I start a canvas, I have nothing other than a feeling of cooer, an emotion, and that’s all. Once the first colour’s been applied, it elicits another, and then another. And all the colors that comme together end up suggesting forms. I simply have to follow them. I just make sure to fill in the gaps, and give the whole thing great density… All the love you put into a painting can be felt.
A geometrical figure fully satisfies the intelligence, because it carries within itself something absolute.
A geometrical figure’s the only thing that can give you a sensorial image of the idea of perfection. You have to see nature as a repertoire of forms, a dictionary. And you have to use elements it provides, to construct an architecture of your own.
Painting, if you want to consider it in its essence, is a living geometry of forms and colors, a sort of new and more complex geometry in which colors and forms are inseparable, reacting to one another according to laws whereby the element of form and the element of color are one.
The only thing I ask of my paintings is that each of them should retain what I was when I painted it. For ten years, I has no confident other than myself. All these colors, all these lights that were rushing around underneath my eyelids would’ve blinded me if I hadn’t painted.
I could never see a door without opening it." 

Roger Bissière dans Baptiste-Marreyn, Bissière T’en fais pas Marie, écrits sur la peinture 1945-1964, Le temps qu’il fait, Cognac, 1994 (« Ma première révélation du cubisme », propos rapporté par Pierre Cabanne dans L’Epopée du Cubisme).
First, there seems to be only light and color. Your eye is facing an intense light, although the painting is not particularly bright. Like in the countryside, when you come to, after the light of a sunbeam has briefly blinded you, and you can feel your eyes adapting again to the colors emerging from a field or a wood. Likewise, Roger Bissière’s abstract painting appears to you in all its subtlety once you have started watching it for a certain time.

You can perceive hundreds of shades of colors in its, playing on the whole surface with a light that seems to arise from the background (as on today’s televisions or computers), in a fine and varied manner. The four elements composing these paintings - light, colour, shape, non linear geometry - are organized at each point of their surface in such a surprising and inventive way that your eye never rests. Yet, Bissière’s painting is not tense. The time frame they convey is, on the contrary, particularly « long ». Long-term duration, in the sense given by Fernand Braudel or Henri Bergson. The works compose an « all-over », a rhythmic painting in which lines overflow from shapes. From one square centimetre to another, there is a constantly changing relation between the light arising from the background, on the one hand, and the colors, on the other; between lines and space.

Is it a mistake to describe an abstract painting by Roger Bissière, such as Floréal, circa 1962, employing words that might have been used with works of Jackson Pollock or Mark Rothko, who were Bissière’s contemporaries? In other words, can we look at a painting by Roger Bissière in the light of (American) abstract Expressionism, rather than interpreting it in the frame of lyric Abstraction, i.e. abstract painting as implemented by his former students, from the 1940s? It is definitely worth trying. Roger Bissière’s abstract paintings, long kept away from permanent collections of great museums and international exhibitions, including historical ones, now convey something fresh. You can now perceive them in their own formal strength. You can grasp the game, both extremely free and controlled, on colors and rhythms becoming autonomous, which makes them oddly close to certain abstract Expressionist paintings. We should be cautious with that king of comparison, though. And we are. When one tries to look at Roger Bissière in the 1950s or 1960s, rather than through Pollock or Rothko. The shock would be fairly strong, as the first look to a masterpiece of abstract Expressionism. However, he or she would also perceive the same essential elements as in Bissière’s illustrious American colleagues - namely, a never-ending dance of colors and light through constantly changing rhythms freeing stains and lines from any subordination to the descriptions of stable and preexisting shapes or spaces.

Let’s imagine a young artist discovering twentieth-century painting today, without paying much attention to the history of movements and styles, looking at the 1964 painting Silence de l’aube. This work is composed with, on the one hand, drips making the painting autonomous and independent from the painter’s hand and, on the other, intertwined free lines making an all-over in the central part. The artist’s vision is as singular as his technique. The « elective fraternities » of such a work are both abstract Expressionism (e.g. Tobey) and painting-throught, philosophical painting, in the noble sense of the word (including Simon Hantai, a younger contemporary of Bissière). The drips and lines are apparently chaotic; they liberate both the light (coming from the background) and colors from any functionality, if only composition. The gorgeous color characterizing Bissière’s abstract paintings can therefore act autonomously on the spectator’s eye, whereas the concert of small colored explosions, much balanced with one another, creates apparently perpetual rhythm. Finally, the painting clearly expresses one thing only, composing one of Roger Bissière’s main subject: time. Autonomous light and colors give way to an idea of time that combines the lifetime of natural cycles (hence the impressive sense of calm in these paintings, though they were snatched through Bissière’s long pictorial processes) and the speed of the mind, able to grasp this time frame through painting. One of Roger Bissière’s strengths was to transform a painting made of traces, signs, and colored stains into a deep reflection on time, making duration visible.

Robert Fleck, Bissière, Ed. IAC, 2010, p. 7-8
Solo shows at Ceysson Gallery
Roger Bissière, Paris
September 03 - October 08, 2022

Group shows at Ceysson Gallery
Septet , Paris
December 16, 2020 - February 13, 2021

Solo shows


Le songe de la terre, Galerie Ceysson & Bénétière, Paris, France

O lado do outro, Fondation Arpad Szenes Vieira Da Silva, Lisbon, Portugal


Compagnons de Route, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Espace St Germain, Paris, France


Entre deux horizons, Centre Pompidou - Metz, France


Bissière (1886-1964), Figure à part, Musée de Lodève ; Musée des Beaux Arts de Bordeaux, France


Bissière, Pense à la peinture, Musée Unterlinden, Colmar, France


Centre d’Art Nicolas de Staël, Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium


Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France


Musée de Grenoble, France


Bissière, le rêve d’un sauvage qui aurait tout appris, Musée Picasso, Antibes, France


Bissière 1947, Musée de l’Abbaye Sainte-Croix, Les Sables d’Olonne, France


Roger Bissière 1886-1964 : De la forme à la couleur, Musée du Périgord, Périgueux, France


Roger Bissière, oeuvres sur papier, Galerie Kutter, Luxembourg, Luxembourg


Bissière, paysages du Lot, Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou, Cajarc, France


Musée des Beaux Arts et de la Dentelle, Calais, France

Peintures et dessins de Roger Bissière, « Locus Solus » de Fred Deux

Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France


Exposition Itinérante en France : Bissière 1886-1964 Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris

Musée des Beaux Arts, Dijon ; Musée des Beaux Arts, Calais, France


Atelier sur l’Herbe, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Nantes, France

Maison du Lot et Garonne, Paris, France


Roger Bissière 1888-1964 : Des gravures et leurs métamorphoses, Galerie Kutter, Luxembourg, Luxembourg


Galerie Dominique Paramythioti, Paris, France


Bissière / Peintures 1945-1964, Musée de l’Abbaye Sainte-Croix, Les Sables d’Olonne, France 


Donjon Lacatye, Mont-de-Marsan, France


Rencontres d’art 74. Hommage à Bissière, Musée Ingres, Montauban, France


Bissière, le chemin et la manière 1920-1964, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

Bissière, La Nouvelle Gravure, Paris, France


Bissière, Peintures et Estampes, Galerie Alice Pauli, Lausanne, Switzerland

Bissière Graphik, Galerie Linnaeus, Nybrogatan, Sweden

Bissière. Rétrospective, Musée d’Unterlinden, Colmar, France

Exposition itinérante au Luxembourg : Musée d’Histoire et d’Art, Luxembourg ; 

Städtisches Museum, Luxembourg


Musée Fabre, Montpellier, France


Galerie Mimesis, Bordeaux, France


Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen Düsseldorf, Germany

Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France


Galerie des Beaux Arts, Bordeaux, France


Bissière, Journal 1962-1964, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

Bissière, Journal en images 1962-1964, Galerie Alice Pauli, Lausanne, Switzerland


Galerie Schmücking, Braunschweig, Germany


Galerie Marya, Copenhague, Denmark

Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

Kunstmuseum, Lucerne, Switzerland


Roger Bissière Paintings from 1919-1959, World House Galleries, 

New York, United-States


Bissière, artisan de la cathédrale, Musée de la Ville, Metz, France

Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, France


Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

Rétrospective, Stetejlik Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Exposition itinérante en Allemagne et au Pays-Bas : Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanovre ; 

St. Annen-Museum, Lübeck ;Städtische Kunsthalle, Recklinghausen, Germany

Stedelijk van Abbe-Museum, Eindhoven ; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Bissière, Peintures, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France


Onze bois gravés de Bissière pour le Cantique au soleil de François d’Assise, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, 

Paris, France


Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France


Quelques images sans titre, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France


Galerie René Drouin, Paris, France


Paintings by Bissière, The Leicester Galleries, Londres, United Kingdom


The Leicester Galleries, Londres, United Kingdom


Galerie Druet, Paris, France


Galerie Druet, Paris, France


Galerie Druet, Paris, France


Galerie Druet, Paris, France


Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris, France


Galerie Berthe Weill, Paris, France

Group shows


Artes e Letras : as ediçoes da Galeria Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Árpád Szenes - 

Vieira da Silva Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal

Corps et Ame, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Espace Marais, Paris, France

Passion de l’Art - Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, depuis 1925, Musée Granet, 

Aix-en-Provence, France


Dialogue IX, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Espace Marais, Paris, France

Question de peinture, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Paris, France


Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Paris, France

Quinte-Essence, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Paris, France


Une passion de l’Art, Musée de Gajac, Villeneuve-sur-Lot, France

Dialogue VI, Galerie Jeanne Bucher / Jaeger Bucher, Paris, France


Matière et Mémoire, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher / Galerie Jaeger Bucher, Paris, France


Expansion-Résonance, Galerie Jaeger Bucher, Paris, France


Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

Le Corps et son double, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France


Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France


Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France


Dialogue avec des compagnons de route, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France


Hommage à Dora Vallier, Galerie Louis Carré & Cie, Paris, France

Rencontres d’art 1999, Petites Mémoires pour demain, Musée Ingres, Montauban, France


Il furuto alle spalle, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy

Hommage à la France, Galleri Haaken, Oslo, Norway

Victoire-Elisabeth Calcagni et ses amis, Galerie Anne-Marie Marquette, Le Troisième Œil, 

Bordeaux, France

Kunst im Aufbruch-Abstraktion zwischen 1945 und 1959, Am Rhein, 

Ludwigshafen, Germany

L’Ecole de Paris ? 1945-1964, Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art, 

Luxembourg, Luxembourg


Made in France, 1947-1997 cinquante ans de création en France, Musée National d’Art Moderne, 

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

Natures mortes du XXème siècle, Musée Tavet-Delacour, Pontoise, France

L’Exposition internationale de 1937, autour de Robert et Sonia Delaunay, Aublet, Bissière, 

Manessier, Le Moal, Survage, Musée Baron Martin, Gray, France

Vers l’été, vert d’été, Michel Cachoux, Paris, France

L’Arrière-Pays, Château des Adhémar, Montélimar, France

Abstraction, France 1940-1965, peintures et dessins des collections du Musée National d’Art Moderne

Musée d’Unterlinden, Colmar, France

Pour un jubilé 1947-1997, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France


European Artists of the 1950’s, Denise Cadé Gallery, New York, United-States

Bertholle, Bissière, Reichel, Seiler, Steffens, Galerie Lambert-Rouland, Paris, France


L’Art de la Reconstruction, Musée Picasso, Antibes, France

Yves Bonnefoy. La Poésie et les arts plastiques, Musée Jenisch, Vevey, Switzerland

64 oeuvres d’Art moderne, Musée National d’Art Moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou, 

Paris, France


1945, Les Figures de la liberté, Musée Rath, Geneva, Switzerland

Passions privées, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris, France


View of the 20th Century Master, The Miyagi Museum of Art, Ostuka Kogei, Japan

D’Ingres à Matisse, Yomiruri Shimbun, Japan

Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

Nesto Jacometti editore, Pinacoteca Comunale, Lucerne, Switzerland

The Avant-Garde of France, The 1940’s and 1950’s, Nassau Conty Museum of Art, 

New York, United-States

Style des années 40, Musée des Beaux Arts, Saint-Lô, France

Vieira da Silva, dation à l’Etat, collection du Musée National d’Art Moderne - 

Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée Fabre, Montpellier, France

Homenaje a Denise Colomb. Treinta Artistas del siglo XX, Centro de Exposiciones y Congresos, 

Museo Camón Aznar, Saragosse, Spain

Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, Roubaix, France

Vieira da Silva, Musée des Beaux Arts, Rouen, France


Exposition itinérante au Japon : Paris, la joie de vivre Yamanashi ; Navio ; Miyazaki ; 

Hamatsu ; Okayama Henri Dutilleux et les peintres, 

Musée des Beaux Arts, Caen, France

L’Artiste regardé, Un point, deux vues, Musée Ingres, Montauban, France

L’Abstraction à partir des années 50, Assemblée Nationale, Paris, France

Zoom arrière, Galerie Callu Mérite, Paris, France

Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

Entre la sérénité et l’inquiétude, Musée d’Art Moderne, Saint-Etienne, France


Chemins d’un éditeur, Espace Saint-Jean, Melun, France

L’Arrière-Pays, Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

Hommage aan M.L de Boer, Kunsthandel M.L de Boer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

De Collectie De Graaff-Bachiene, Hannema-de Stuers Fundatie, Heino-Wijhe ; 

Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Gand, The Netherlands

L’Arrière-Pays, Peintures de Bissière, Tobey, Szenes, Jean Dubuffet, Vieira da Silva, Nicolas de Staël, 

Nallard, Soulages, Debré, Zao Wou-Ki, Aguayo, Gasiorowki, sculpture de Jean Amado, Galerie de la Cité, Carcassonne, France

Exposition itinérante en France : Dialogues avec Lurçat Argentan ; Avranches ; Bayeux ; Musée Thomas Henry, 

Cherbourg ; Coutances ; Granville ; Saint-Lô

Naissance d’une collection d’Art moderne : 50 oeuvres du Musée des Augustins de Toulouse, Château-Prieural, 

Monsempron-Libos, France

Leonardo Sinsgalli : entre Poésie et Science, Seminaire Pontificale Regionale, Potenza, Italy

Réflexion pour un musée dans les collections toulousaines, Galerie Pierre-Jean Meurisse, Toulouse, France


Exposition Itinérante au Japon : Premiers chefs-d’oeuvre des grands maîtres européens Tokyo ; Kyoto ; Ikaraki ; Osaka 

Exposition Itinérante au Japon : Tarkhoff et son temps Hiratsuka ; Osaka ; Kyoto ; Mito

Paris-Oslo, French and Norvegian Art 1945-1965, Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, Norway

Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France

Exposition des peintures de l’Amitié française, Musée Commémoratif d’Otani, Nishinomiya, Japan

Galerie Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, France


Trésors du Petit-Palais de Genève, Palais de la Bourse, Forum des Arts, Marseille, France

European Modernists : 1910-1940, Montgomery Gallery, San Francisco, United-States

Quatre paysagistes abstraits aquitains : Bissière, Calcagni, Gardair, Lagoutte, Galerie Le Troisième Œil, Bordeaux, France

Exposition Itinérante en France : Marie Moulinier Maison des Arts, Evreux ; Centre Régional d’Art Textile, Angers ; 

Musée Départemental de la Tapisserie et Chapelle du Château Fellerin, Aubusson ; Espace Jacques Prévert, Aulnay-Sous-Bois ;

Musée-Château Grimaldi, Cagnes-Sur-Mer Idées pour une collection, Galerie Prazan-Fitoussi, Paris, France

La France à Venise, Peggy Guggenheim Foundation, Venise, Italy

Un amateur luxembourgeois de l’Ecole de Paris Joseph Pauly-Groff, Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art, Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Peintures abstraites, Le Troisième Œil, Bordeaux, France

Toulouse et l’Art moderne, Musée Paul Dupuy, Toulouse, France


Isabelle Bissière and Bernard Ceysson, Bissière, figure à part [exhibition catalog., Musée de Lodève et Musée des Beaux Arts de Bordeaux, France], Ed. Fage

Robert Fleck, Bissière, Ed. IAC

Gravures et lithographes, Ed. Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Agen, France

Sylvie Ramond and alii, Bissière, pense à la peinture [exhibition catalog., Musée Unterlinden, Colmar], Ed. Fages

Daniel Abadie, Bissière, Ed. Ides et Calendes, Switzerland

Isabelle Bissière et Virginie DUVAL, C. R. 1886-1964, 3 Vol., Ed. Ides & Calende, Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Serge LEMOINE, Walter LEWINO and Jean-François JAEGER, Bissière, Ed. Ides & Calende, Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Bissière, le rêve d'un sauvage... [exhibition catalog., Musée Picasso, Antibes], Ed. RMN

Daniel Abadie, Bissière, Ed. Ides & Calende, Neuchâtel, Switzerland

François MATHEY, Bissière, journal en images, Ed. Hermann

Dora VALLIER, Bissière, Ed. Galerie Jeanne Bucher

Max-Pol FOUCHET, Bissière, Ed. G. Fall, Paris, France
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February 09, 2021
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January 27, 2021
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TELERAMA - Pierre Buraglio et Rachel Stella - Septet - 2021
TELERAMA - Laurent Bouclier et Bénédicte Philippe
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Luxembourg Art Week
November 12, 2021
Roger Bissière
Roger Bissière
October 07, 2022