André Utter's bio
André Utter ( Paris, 1886 – Paris, 1948)
1886-1908: a vocation as a painter
20 mars 1886: birth of André Utter in Paris at the foot of the Butte Montmartre in a modest family of craftsmen from Alsace. his father, Aloïse Utter is a plumber-zinc worker and with his wife Eugénie Fischer, he will raise three children, including two daughters, Germaine and Gabrielle. After 1890: Utter follows the courses of the primary school and has as a fellow student from kindergarten Edmond Heuzé, son of a tailor craftsman. According to Crespelle, towards 11 years old his parents buy him "a can of paint for his new year's gifts" which he shares with his friend Heuzé, painting on the motif inspired by the example of the rapins encountered on the Butte. Self-taught, intelligent and observant, Utter lives in an exceptional environment, since at the dawn of the 20th century, the Butte Montmartre has become the world-renowned laboratory for living art. He likes to listen, talk, cultivate. Very early, he visits museums. He not only frequents the famous Agile Rabbit, avant-garde meeting, but also the Bateau-Lavoir of Picasso and his fellow poets and painters, Max Jacob, Salmon, Apollinaire, Derain, Coquiot, Warnod… Many of these artists will become friends he will keep for life. He meets Utrillo and will become his friend.
1906-1908: Modigliani, Utrillo, Valadon
Utter is temporarily reformed in 1906, probable consequence of a life too dissipated in Montmartre. Sent in 1906-1907 rest with your grandparents in a Butte Pinson pavilion, he comes across Utrillo, whom he brings back drunk to his mother, meeting Suzanne Valadon, wife of Paul Mousis. In 1907-1908 Modigliani and Utter become close friends. Warnod quotes memorable parties on Delta Street, end 1908. Utter who definitively abandoned his father's workshop works for a while, blue coat worker, at the Trudaine Power Plant, illuminating the Butte.
1909-1913: decisive meeting with Valadon, the workshop of 12 rue Cortot
1909-1910: Utter becomes the lover of Suzanne Valadon, of 21 years older. She divorces in 1910 and lives 5 Guelma dead end. Severini paints a portrait of Utter, while Valadon represents him in several important paintings. Utter has a beneficial influence on his partner whom he encourages to paint large compositions, while he produces quality works, including the Portrait of Utrillo de 1910 of the National Museum of Modern Art. In 1911 André Utter, Suzanne, accompanied by his mother Madeleine and Utrillo join the 12 rue Cortot. Towards 1912 Utter is noticed by Coquiot who buys his works and recommends it to his friends, dont Zamaron. 1912 : Following the cure of Utrillo in Sannois, Utter and his family go to rest and paint on the island of Ouessant in August-September. 1913 : Apollinaire quotes him in his column of the Salon des Indépendants published in Montjoie du 18 mars : "Utter sends Three Graces of very advanced realism ; developing talent ". In late summer and early fall 1913, the trio wins Corsica and stays a few months in Corte and Belgodère, with their friend Chaudois. Utter painted landscapes, including The Bridge in the countryside and the Portrait of Valadon combing his hair kept at the Petit Palais in Geneva as well as his Self-portrait from the Sannois museum (circa 1913).
1914-1918: the war and the discovery of the Beaujolais landscapes
1September 1 1914: Utter marries Suzanne Valadon. The 30 September, he enlisted and joined his regiment. His pictorial activity is necessarily reduced, except on the occasion of a few permissions, as in 1916 where he painted a Harlequin and during his long convalescence following a serious injury in 1917. His wife joins him then and they discover the landscapes of Beaujolais. The dated nude 1917 is undoubtedly asked by Valadon. From this time would date their friendship with the Pré family who has a wine estate near Anse. In May 1917, exposition « Utrillo, Valadon, Utter "at Bernheim-Jeune.
1919-1922: intense pictorial activity at 12 rue Cortot
Utter resumes painting against a backdrop of quarrels with Suzanne and eccentricities of Mauritius (Hence the legend of the "Cursed Trinity") while being the "manager" of his two companions, effectively defending them from merchants. He assumes the role of head of the family with regard to Utrillo, at the express request of Valadon. Towards 1919 he paints, among others, The tree house, rue Cortot, as well as Fruit Still Life with the brilliant Walloon palette. With the great still lifes of the years 20, more complex, he evolves towards a personal writing and a new palette. Still life with vase of flowers exposed in 1920 at Léonce Rosenberg, Modern Effort Gallery. Still life with cake molds exhibited at the Ain museum in 1965. The house of the winemaker painted in Beaujolais in 1921 is part of this evolution announcing the palette of Saint-Bernard. Fruitful period for Utter who also exhibited with Utrillo and Valadon at Berthe Weill in 1921. The Dalpayrat gallery in Limoges exhibits the trio in 1922. The trio travel in spring 1921 in Beaujolais at the Pré, as well as in Genêt in Normandy in 1922.
Utter and Valadon will not stop meeting, in Paris, until the sudden death of Suzanne, the 6 avril 1938. Utter collects notes on his wife to write a biography, notes never edited but kept at the Center Pompidou. He publishes the 28 October 1938 an article Maurice Utrillo's career in the journal Beaux-Arts. To live, Utter continues to paint worldly portraits, still lifes and landscapes. In 1943, he sells Saint-Bernard, give his paintings or drawings to friends and return 12 rue Cortot. Coming out of the Agile Rabbit, Utter gets cold and dies of pneumonia due to 62 years, the 7 February 1948. Dorgelès delivers the funeral speech. Utter rests with his wife in the Saint-Ouen cemetery. His last canvas, Self portrait (unfinished) preserved in the museum of Bourg-en-Bresse, translated as that of 1935 the disenchantment of a gifted painter that life will not have spared, under the mask of the bon vivant who loved the Agile Rabbit so much.