Henri Hayden was born in family of wine merchants.
In 1902, under parental pressure, he enrols in the Polytechnic School of Warsaw; at the same time, he enrols in the academy of Fine Arts of Warsaw where he is soon perceived as a brilliant student. Thanks to the financial help of his father, he spends a year in Paris in 1907, the year of the Demoiselles d’Avignon of Picasso, and will not come back to Poland. Hayden works in a studio on Boulevard Saint-Michel and lives a solitary and independent life.
In 1908, he spends some time at the Palette painting academy where Charles Guérin and Georges Devaslière are teaching. At first, he is influenced by Gauguin that he discovers, through Wladyslaw Slewinski, during his frequent stays in Britany. In Montparnasse, he meets the main actors of the Cubist movement, notably, Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso, Jacques Lipchitz and Jean Metzinger. Hayden holds shows regularly. The constructed and synthetic landscapes that he paints are an echo to the school of Pont-Aven.
In 1912, Hayden finds a support in the solid and careful art of Cézanne which will put him on the way to cubism.
In 1914, he signs a contract with the art dealer Léonce Rosenberg and then with Charles Malpel. Fond of music, he spends time with “the group of the six” and illustrates, for Erik Satie, the program of the first audition of Pieces shaped like pepper. During the war, he hides first in Mougins, where he meets Robert Delaunay, and then in Roussillon d’Apt where he establishes a friendship with Samuel Beckett.
In 1944, back in Paris, Hayden finds his studio plundered.
During the last twenty years of his life, Hayden’s painting will be the centre of many shows around Paris, Dublin, Caen, Amiens, Aix-en-Provence.
In 1953, Hayden frees himself of all the influences that haunted his painting and becomes figurative.
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