Jean-Michel Folon

One special artist, three special artworks

Jean-Michel Folon was born in Brussels and studied architecture there. In 1955, he settled in a gardener's cottage near Paris in order to spend several years drawing in peace and quiet. After he had lived in Paris for a while and then in the countryside near Burcy, he moved to the south of France. He had a large studio in the port of Monaco

His work is highly diverse. He made paintings, watercolours, sculptures, posters, mosaics and stained-glass windows. Several major museums have dedicated exhibitions to his work: the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Parijs in 1970, the Museum of Modern Art in Brussels in 1972, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam in 1976, the Museo Correr in Venice in 1986, the Pedrera of Barcelona in 1993, the Bunkamura Museum in Tokyo in 1995, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1990 and the Musée Olympique in Lausanne in 1996.

(A Journey in Folon Country, Snoeck Publishers, Ghent 2008)

Out and about with Folon

The artworks of Jean-Michel Folon make you dream of travel and adventure. The wanderer, the suitcase, the bird, are recurring motifs in his oeuvre. They symbolize freedom and escapism, the long journey of an artist, and the life course of every one of us.

Jean Michel Folon’s iconic gentleman wearing a hat and a long coat welcomes us like an old friend. His familiar appearance seems a pictogram that is part of our collective memory. We can bump into him anywhere, because he is always on the move. To where? Who's to say ...

Lot 496. On the road - Personnage (1992) - Est. € 70.000-100.000

On the road - personnage (1992)

“On the road – Character” (1992) is a large sculpture, a depiction of a gentlemen who is at the same time anonymous and familiar. Minimalist elements suggest a hat and a cloak. That's all the traveler needs on his journey. They protect him from wind and weather so he can go anywhere. Rain, sun and shadow play on the rough bronze surface.

Lot 496. See detail

Lot 562. Le départ (2005) - Est. €50.000-70.000

Special luggage

The two travelers from "Sans bagages" ("without luggages") (2005, lot 550) and "Le départ" ("The departure") (2005, lot 562) are each on their way with a special suitcase. One holds a suitcase in the shape of a bird which, like the title, refers to flight and freedom. The other carries a book, essential to the dreamy traveler.

Lot 550. See detail

An impression of the artist Jean-Michel Folon: