Benn (Bension Benn aka)

1905 1989
(Pologne) 1905 /   (France) 1989

Benn grows up in Bialystok where his grandfather is a rabbi and his father an architect.

In 1917, he is already named “The painter” and he spends two years at his aunt’s place in Diatvolo; he already gives private drawing lessons to boys of his own age.

Back to Bialystok in 1917, Benn often goes to an art atelier (1922-1924) and takes the decision to create a painting academy within the family home.

Between 1926 and 1930, the artist is dedicated to the theatre scenery. His first private exhibition takes place in 1927 in his native city.

In 1928, Benn goes to Warsaw, he joins an atelier and exhibits his works at the Warsaw Exhibition. The same year, he helps organizing the Bialystok Winter Exhibition.

In 1929, his city offers him a grant to study three years in Paris. He meets there his future wife Guéra in 1938 and is granted French citizenship.

In 1930 in Paris, Benn often goes to the Modern Academy of Fernand Léger.

His works use geometrical figures but remain close to reality.

In 1939, he is in Couture, department of Ain. Mobilized in Britanny and discharged in May 1939, he takes refuge in Rennes and keeps sending his paintings to the Autumn Exhibition. At that time he starts sculpting.

In 1941, Benn and his wife are locked up in the Beaune-la-Rolande prison camp. It is said that they have been released thanks to the intervention of professor Marcel Brulé and Lo Duca. Benn remains hidden for twenty-six months during which he is protected by Jean Paulhan. At that time he works on small-sized supports to deal with biblical topics.

After the Liberation, Benn comes back to Paris for good.
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