Georges Mathieu, a self-taught artist, took up painting in 1942. He is considered one of the creators of “lyrical abstraction”. In 1947 he exhibited in the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles and organised an exhibition of Tachist-oriented work together with the painter and poet Camille Bryen. He painted a series of large-scale works during the 1950s with historic battles as their theme. An essential feature of Mathieu’s style is his speed of execution, attributing huge significance to the very act of painting. His practice may thus be categorised as Action Painting or public performance. An art theorist, in 1963 he published an essay entitled Au-delà du Tachisme.
He has exhibited in the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1956), the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1963), the Grand Palais, Paris (1978), and the Kassel Documenta (1959), among others. The many museums whose public collections feature his work include the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Musée d’Art Modern de la Ville in Paris and the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro.