French, 1934 - 2009
“The act of painting is a solitary one and one should never fear solitude if one wants to paint. Painting is not a job: it is a path that can only be followed in solitude”...............Francois Aubrun
In his awareness of this solitude, François Aubrun painted ceaselessly for sixty long years until the end of his life in 2009. From the studio he installed in the church of Saint-Joseph at Tholonet, next door to Cézanne's studio and overlooking the Mont Sainte-Victoire, he expressed the inexpressible: the transparency of the morning mist “when in the morning it is more heavy than the sky above and throughout the day all turns around until it is the sky that is more heavy”. His art is profoundly Naturalist. He searched the ever-changing sky for its liquidity - by which he meant the feminine, the river, the Seine, the mists on Mont Sainte-Victoire........in order to evoke all its light, and all its silence.
François Aubrun was born at Boulogne-Billancourt on the 29th, 1934. He studied painting at the Section d'Or of the Academy of Paris under the tutelage of the painter Jean Souverbie, before going on to the Beaux-Arts, the Fine Arts Academy of Paris. It was while traveling around France at the age of fifteen with his grandfather that he first discovered the Aix-en-Provence region, in 1949; two years later, he studied sculpture with Paul-Francoise Niclausse, and in 1951 stayed, drew and painted. In 1953, he entered the preparatory class at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he studied painting, and from 1954 to 1961 took courses in monumental art and lithography. In 1956, he married Martine Bassot who would give birth to their six daughters, Caroline, Isabelle, Marie-Pascale, Dorothee, Delphine and Segolene. He exhibited his paintings for the first time in 1957 in Paris.
In 1960, he took up residence on the estate of Saint Joseph, in Tholonet at the foot of the Mont Sainte-Victoire, along with his wife Martine. He continued to work there until his death. He is a citizen of Honour of the city of Aix-en-Provence since 2007. Aubrun taught painting at Luminy, at the University of Marseilles, and then at the National School of Decorative Arts of Nice. He was appointed Director of the École des Beaux-Arts of Toulon from 1974 to 1980, then held tenure as professor of painting at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris until 1992. Wherever he went, he drew and he painted: in Greece in 1966; in Egypt in 1982; in the Bay of the Somme in 2001. He exhibited regularly in France and abroad: notably in the United States, in Canada, in Germany, as well as in Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. François Aubrun died in Paris on the 5th of February, 2009.