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FROM THE ESTATE OF MAURICE D'ARQUIAN
Maurice d'Arquian, born in 1908 in France (Denain), wasn't predisposed through his family history to get in touch with the arts and art market. After having served in the marines in his twenties he left France for Belgium where he studied History of Art at the University of Louvain.
After the war he started to deal in fine arts in Sweden and at the end of the 1940's he started his first gallery in Stockholm 'Galerie d'Art Latin', where he exhibited impressionist artists as well as the young avant-garde.
At the beginning of the 1950's he settled down in Belgium and started the 'Galerie Helios Art' in Brussels . After a few years he opened two more galleries, one in Paris and the other one in Zürich under the name 'Galerie Internationale d'Art Contemporain'. Those galleries supported artists from different important movements from the second part of the 20th century, from Nouveau Realisme (Klein, de la Villeglé, Arman) to lyric abstraction (Degottex, Mathieu, Guiette - d'Arquian was his agent from 1955 until 1960 - Viola and Sofu Teshigahara) and very original initiatives as the 'Gruppo Continuità' (Arnoldo and Gio Pomodoro).
It was at the 'Galerie Internationale d'art contemporain' (253, rue Saint-Honoré in Paris) that on the 9 March 1960, Yves Klein realized, in front of a very selective audience, his Anthropometric performance of the blue period (3 naked models realized prints of their bodies on canvas on the sound of a monotone symphony; second version directed by the artist) .
After being involved in the organization of the ART CONTEMPORAIN-exhibition in Paris (Grand Palais, 22 May-3 June 1963) he played a very important role in the organization and the birth of the first FIAC fair in Paris in 1973. At the end of the 1960's d'Arquian organized, together with Morton Lipkin, Robert Stolper and baron Freddy Rolin, several exhibitions dedicated to tribal art: pre-Columbian, oceanic and African art.
After having lived his live with a passion for art he passed away prematurely on 14 December 1975 in Geneva.