For the first two years Marseille became his first home. Like most of his colleagues he was commuting between “la Côte d´Azur” and Paris, depending on the seasons. In Marseille Suppin met the Polish painter Moise Kisling, who introduced him to the artists circle around Picasso. From 1953 his new domicile became “St. Paul de Vence”, where he was quickly accepted by the resident painters . Little by little Suppin left the classical style and turned to the so called art of “Informal”, which rejected all traditional forms. As a “newcomer” from the “German speaking world” he enjoyed the privilege of being accepted by the well known artists colony of St. Paul. He was in close connection with many of the well known artists of the South of France during those days, such as Jacques Prévert, Pablo Picasso, Serge Poliakoff, Alfred Manessier, Hans Hartung or Pierre Soulages; he entered actively into this large art world becoming a member of the so called “école de Paris”. Therefore Suppin had the opportunity of becoming acquainted with abstract art by mixing with its major exponents. He especially formed a close friendship with Jacques Prévert, the art critic Michel Tapié de Celeyran, who formed the idea of „un art autre“, and the author and private secretary of de Gaulle, Mme. Élisabeth de Miribel. Joined exhibitions, e.g. in the Gallery Matarasso in 1956 with Prévert, Picasso, Poliakoff, Chagall, Atlan, Abidin Dino and others, proofing the close contact the painters shared. Because of this Suppin became familiar with the French painting tradition, which caused a tremendous change in his style of painting. From this point on as a means of expression he embraced the pure colours, the lines, and the impulse. Besides the classical modern paintings of Matisse or Kandinsky, above all the actual trends of informal painting rubbed off on Suppins style. These trends “celebrated” the sensuality of material as much as possible, and Suppin translated this theory with his own enthusiasm, which showed his infinite variety and talents.
Lucas Suppin was born on the 2nd of July 1911 in the province of Salzburg, Austria.
He belonged to the generation that had been hindered in development by fascism and war. This increased his ardour all the more to set out after 1945 and conquer new worlds of expression, which he found in informal, abstract painting. This style combined the awareness of regained freedom with the hope for universal understanding.
Together with his four brothers Lucas Suppin spent his childhood in small alpine villages, characterized by poverty and rural life. Despite poor and demanding living conditions, his father Georg Suppin (1883 – 1967) sensitized him and his brothers towards art, especially painting, music and archaeology. He selectively nurtured the individual talents of his sons. After graduating as a classical painter from the academy of fine arts in Vienna, and therefore influenced by the concrete, formal and conservative mainstream, which characterized artistic life in Austria after the Second World War, Lucas Suppin left Austria for the South of France in the early fifties.
In 1967 Suppin moved back to Austria for Family reasons. Although he encountered resistance in his old home, he developed a new style with a lot of creativity and skills, which were affected by extreme diversity. In the 70s he became noted especially for his relief pictures with heavy gold layering. Even if his style dazzles between different sources of inspiration, his work is highly recognisable and always distinctive and clearly classifiable, not least because of an abstract-ornamental language of forms evoking the baroque. Among his best friends during those years was the writer Peter Handke.
During his late work, when Suppin was already more than 80 years old, he showed a hegemony of the brightest colours. Influenced by the light of the Algerian Sahara, where Suppin withdrew during the Winter months, another strong self-actualization took place.
Suppin was an Austrian solitaire, and therefore was identified as an important exponent of informal and abstract painting quite late. It was consequent that France awarded the title of “Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur” in 1985 and Austria decorated him in 1991 with the “Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst”. Today he is ranked as one of the most important painters coming from Salzburg, equalling with Hans Makart and Anton Faistauer. Suppin died on the 24th of February 1998, remaining open to the latest trends until the end of his days.
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