André Bloc

Artist (1896 - 1966)

The painter, sculptor, engineer, architect and magazine editor André Bloc was an atypical and multifaceted creator around whom the French post-war debate on aesthetics crystallized. Bloc developed his first projects while working as an engineer before becoming interested in architecture. Through the magazines he founded and led, L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui and Art d’Aujourd’hui, he was an ardent supporter of a renewal of the relationship between art and architecture. In 1951, he founded the Espace group with Felix del Marle, which advocated a new synthesis of the arts representing an artistic trend close to that of Theo Van Doesburg and the Neoplasticism of the 1920s, in reaction to Le Corbusier. A number of artists and architects of the period were members, among whom Nicolas Schöffer, Ionel Schein, Sonia Delaunay, Jean Prouvé. Bloc worked on his own cross-disciplinary projects, notably with the young architect Claude Parent, with whom he built several projects, including his own home in Antibes in 1959. His property in Meudon would become the personal manifesto of his synthesis of the arts. He designed its architecture, the polychromatic interior, the furnishings as well as the architectural works placed in his garden.

André Bloc (1896, Alger – 1966, New Delhi) graduated from the Ecole Centrale in 1924. He founded the magazine L’Architecture d'aujourd'hui in 1930. He apprenticed with the sculptor Henri Laurens, and in 1949 created the magazine Art d'Aujourd'hui, which became Aujourd'hui in 1954. After his accidental death in 1966, André Bloc was largely forgotten, being rediscovered in 1996, during the Venice Biennale of Architecture (French Pavilion), through the exhibition and catalog entitled Bloc. Le monolithe fracture (The Fractured Monolith).

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