Calendar 1997

Folon 1997

Calendar 1997
Folon's visionary posters accompany the paper manufacturer month by month.

 


Jean Michel Folon

Jean–Michel Folon was born and raised in Uccle, a town near Brussels in Belgium. He studied architecture at l’École Saint–Luc but left the academy in 1955 to pursue his interests in art. Folon left Brussels and made his way to Paris where his style was influenced by that of Pablo Picasso and other surrealists. By the late 1960’s he had found himself a niche in the art world illustrating books, posters and soon enough, covers for New York magazines such as "Esquire", "Horizon", "The New Yorker" and "Time".
In 1967 he met the writer and art director Giorgio Soavi of Olivetti, the Italian typewriter manufacturer, with whom he collaborated on many books published by the company.
The first solo exhibition of his watercolours was held in New York in 1969 in the Lefebre Gallery and in 1970 his works began to appear in Italy, on the occasion of the the 25th Venice Biennial in the Belgian pavilion and at the "Il Milione" gallery in Milan. During the same year he also designed a 165 m2 mural in the heart of Brussels entitled Magic City.
In the years that followed his works were exhibited in various countries worldwide. Each exhibition was always a great success, especially those held at the Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs and at the Belgian Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels.
In 1975 Folon created an animated sequence for the nightly closedown of the French television channel Antenne 2 which ran for ten years and made the Belgian illustrator well–known and loved even by the general public.
The Eighties saw him move into stage design for theatre and opera productions (the set of Frank Martin’s lyrical operas and that of Giacomo Puccini, staged at the Grand Théâtre de Genève), wooden sculptures (his works were first presented at Barcellona’s Pedrera di Gaudi) and cartoons. Exhibitions continued throughout the world and a retrospective exhibition of his works was presented in Tokyo, Osaka and Kamakura in Japan.
In the 1990’s his artistry turned towards advertising and he designed publicity campaigns with posters, cartoons and murals on environmental themes in collaboration with Alberto Meomartini for Snam. In 1999 he was commissioned to paint the flag for the Siena Palio.
On 27th October 2000, he inaugurated the Folon Foundation, located in La Hulpe Park near Brussels, where more than 300 of his works are permanently exhibited. In 2003 Folon was awarded the Legion of Honour at the Palais d’Elysée by the president of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac and in 2004 he also became a UNICEF ambassador.
In 2005 the City of Florence hosted a grand retrospective of Folon’s famous watercolours and sculptures in Fort Belvedere and the Palazzo Vecchio, both locations in one of the most fascinating areas of Florence that had in the past also exhibited works by Henry Moore.
Jean–Michel Folon died in Monaco on 20th October 2005 at the age of 71.

www.folon-art.com

Jean Michel Folon