photo © Michel Chassat

Born on March 3, 1929, in Montigny-lès-Metz in Lorraine, Rustin studied at the School of Fine Arts in Paris and was known as an abstract painter; but, from the early 1970s, his output sharply veered from the beautiful and colourful to decidedly darker figurative work.

Rustin came to be known for his expressive depictions of the naked body which explore sexual urges and the decay of the human body. His radical works tend to create a sense of uneasiness in the viewer. Solitude was his main subject, and he would situate his figures in a dark and twisted universe. Rustin used acrylic which gave him the flexibility to work spontaneously and decide what to create as he was in the process of creating a piece. The Jean Rustin Foundation is to open a permanent space this year in Anvers, Belgium.

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