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Amédée Ozenfant


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(b St-Quentin, 15 Apr. 1886; d Cannes, 4 May 1966).

French painter, writer, and teacher. In 1918 he met Le Corbusier, with whom he founded Purism, but he is more important as a writer and teacher than as a painter. He lived in London, 1935–9, then in New York, 1939–55, founding art schools in both cities. After returning to France he settled in Cannes, where he directed a studio for foreign art students. His most important book is Art (1927), translated as Foundations of Modern Art (1931; enlarged edn., 1952). This is a study of the interrelationship of all forms of human creativity, including science and religion, and is one of the most widely read books by any modern artist. However, the great reputation Ozenfant enjoyed in the interwar period declined sharply afterwards.

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