Folon in Lucca



Jean Michel Folon

Jean Michel Folon was born in Uccle, near Brussels, in 1934. In 1955 he gave up studying architecture in order to dedicate himself to drawing, left Brussels and went to live in Paris. In 1960 he sent some of his drawings to New York where they were published in Horizon, Esquire and The New Yorker; in 1967 Time, Fortune and Atlantic Monthly continuedto publish his work. In 1969 he had his first exhibition in the Lefebre Gallery in New York. In 1970 he took part in the Venice Biennale in the Belgian Pavilion and exhibited in Italy for the first time in the Il Milione Gallery in Milan. In 1971 he mounted an important exhibition in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris with ninety works that were later shown in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Charleroi, the Modern Art Gallery in Brussels and the Castello Sforzesco in Milan. Since 1971 he has had numerous exhibitions in important private galleries, public spaces and museums, in France, Belgium, Japan, Switzerland, Italy, the USA, England, Brazil and Holland.

He has produced important thematic watercolour series, etchings, book illustrations, short films and set designs. In 1985, not far from the Porte d’Italie in Paris he painted a mural fourteen floors high. In 1981 he began to make works in wood as transformed objects. In 1990, an exhibition of his watercolours and etchings was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where he presented his transformed objects for the first time. He made sculptures in clay and plaster and exhibited forty of them in the Park of the Chateau Seneffe in Belgium. Eight of these were the first in the “Allée des pensées” series. In the Musée Olympique in Lausanne, he exhibited 202 works including watercolours, objects, sculptures and collages. In 1991, on the theme of protecting nature, he began a partnership with SNAM (Methane Pipeline Company) in Italy, producing animated cartoons and posters. He produced further wood and clay sculptures and his first bronze pieces. At the Morandi Gallery in Bologna in 1996 eighty watercolours from his personal collection were exhibited along with some photographs he had taken of the Morandi Studio and given to the Museum. In 1999 he designed an original set for the opening of his group of sculptures in Piazza del Duomo and the Church of Sant’Agostino in Pietrasanta.
In 2000 the Folon Fondation was opened in Domaine Solvay, one of the most beautiful parks in Europe, where 300 of his works are hung in fourteen rooms.