André Evard is a Swiss artist who produced abstract-constructive works at a very early age and is therefore regarded as a pioneer of Swiss modernism. He refused the art market and never had a gallery owner to look after him. As a result, the importance of André Evard for the development of the Swiss avant-garde was increasingly forgotten and he did not receive the recognition he deserved. He remained a loner throughout his life, developed from the beginning an independent pictorial language and a specific point of view, which is also reflected in his works.
Evard forms the core of the Messmer Collection. The American collector Henry Drake drew the attention of Jürgen A. Messmer to the Swiss artist’s work, which fascinated him so much that in 1978 he decided to acquire the majority of the estate. The messmer foundation has set itself the task of giving the artist André Evard the place in art history that he deserves.
Born 1876 in Renan (Switzerland), Died. 1972 in La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland)
1879 After his father’s death moves to the watch town of La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland)
1902 Opening of the “Maison d’art” with artisan products in the Art Nouveau style.
1904 – 1906 Attend evening courses at the local arts and crafts school “Ecole d’Art.
1906 – 1909 Master pupil of Charles L’Eplattenier, the founder of the “style sapin”, a special form of Swiss Art Nouveau. Evard’s friends include Le Corbusier, with whom he painted various private villas, Georges Aubert, Octave Matthey and Léon Perrin.
1907 Study trip to Italy
1908 First collages are created
1908 – 1913 Working in enamel
1913 first geometric-abstract composition with cubistic features
1923 – 1927 Lives and works in Paris. Encounter with Braque, Delaunay, Léger, Mondrian. Theo van Doesburg wants to win Evard to work in the “De Stijl” group.
1924 – 1926 numerous constructive works are created.
1936 Participation in the Zurich exhibition “Zeitprobleme der Schweizer Malerei und Plastik” (Time Problems of Swiss Painting and Sculpture)
1937 Evard becomes a member of the newly founded artist group “Allianz”.
1951 Retrospective at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in La Chaux-de-Fonds