This Dadaist writer, who remained true to Dada’s nonconformist spirit, started off as a painter,  After studying at the Académie Julian, then at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Ribemont-Dessaignes showed regularly at the Salon des Indépendants between 1908 and 1912.  Influenced by the Japanese-inspired style of the Nabis group, he painted moonlit scenes and sunsets, but also music hall scenes observed at the Folies Wagram.  A friend of Picabia, he took up Dadaism with him and following his example went through a mechanical period.  his two “mechanomorphic” paintings, Esprit océanique and Jeune Femme, shown at the Salon d’ Automne in 1919, were panned by the press.  His exhibition in May 1920 at the gallery Au Sans Pareil, featuring eight paintings and fifteen drawings, was a complete failure.  He gave up painting to write plays, such as L’Empereur de Chine (1921), and novels, L’Autruche aux jeux clos (1924) and Céleste Ugolin (1926).  In 1929 he became editor-in-chief of the review Bifur.  Ribemont-Dessaignes did not go back to drawing and painting until 1944, when he evoked landscapes in a linear style.  Living in Saint-Jeannet, above Nice, and respected by all of the surrealists, he assembled most of his pictorial production for a retrospective at the Galerie Chave, in Vence, France, in 1965. 

Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes

Born 1884 in Montpellier, France; died 1974 in Saint-Jeannet, France. 

Grand Musicien, 1920