"Art is the visible aspect of my questions"
François Stahly was born in 1911 in Konstanz, Germany, and a few years later moved to Switzerland with his family. In Zurich he was apprentice in a printing firm and at the same time took courses in drawing and sculpture. In 1930 he moved to Paris, where he was a student of Charles Malfray and Aristide Maillol at the Académie Ranson. In collaboration with Fred Littmann he received a commission for the hall of Expo 1937. With the start of the war, he was forced to leave Paris and fleed first to Marseille, where he met Marcel Duchamp, and then to Oppède, where he met Hans Jean Arp again and collaborated with Bernard Zerhfuss, Jean Le Couteur and Paul Herbé. In 1949 he opened his own studio in Meudon and was one of the members of the committee for the “Salon de la Jeune Sculpture”. In 1953 he inaugurated his first solo exhibition at Galerie Paul Facchetti in Paris. In 1958 he opened a private school and a studio in Meudon, where young sculptors and architects could work in group.
In 1960 he moved to the United States, where he taught at the University of California, Berkeley and at the University of Washington, in Seattle. In America he creates large commissions such as the monumental sculpture for the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. In 1967 he decided to return to Paris, where a retrospective was dedicated to him at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. That same year he arrived in Italy, in Versilia, where he worked at Henraux in Querceta. In the ’70s Stahly created a large project for the Haut Crestet park in France, giving life to a grand atelier conceived to be a mutual meeting and work place for young sculptors. The park will later be sold, in 1984, to the Centre National des Arts Plastiques that will later become a Contemporary Art Centre. From 1974 to 1998 he travelled to different countries of the world such as Guatemala, India, America, Mexico, Israel, Egypt, Morocco, Italy and many others. He died in 2006 in Meudon.
François Stahly has received several recognitions such as the Prize at the Tokyo Biennale in 1965, the Grand Prix des Beaux-Arts of the city of Paris in 1972, the National Sculpture Prize in 1979 and was a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts of Paris in 1992.
The photographs published in the TimeLine were taken from the website: