Eugenio Foz

Painter artist


Eugenio Foz was born in Barcelona on July 31, 1923. He was obliged to leave school in 1936, going to work for his father as an apprentice printer. But at the age of thirteen, he already knew he wanted to be a painter. He went to the Escola Massana in 1939, where he learned egg tempera painting, retable technique, enamel painting and oil painting. His professors encouraged him to continue in the field.

In 1946, after a stint in the army, Foz and a friend, the painter Ismael Balanya, decided to cross the border illegally. They both wound up in Paris, where they were granted the status of political refugees. There, Foz studied fresco painting for a year (1947-1948) at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1950, he was asked to send 16 of his paintings to Caracas, Venezuela for an exposition. He would never see those paintings again and would always regret not knowing what became of them.

Over a twenty year span from 1948 to 1968, Eugenio Foz worked in newspapers, publishing, video and advertising. He was a regular contributor to daily comics in France-Soir (Le crime ne paye pas, Chéri-Bibi) and Paris-Jour (Le Marquis de Villemer and Lucile) as well as the weekly Ce Soir (La vie de Marie Stuart and La vie de Georges Sand). Over that same period, he published illustrations in editions of Balzac, Flaubert, Rousseau, Lorca and Lalos. Hired by decorator Jean Clemens, he also participated in the creation of advertising stands, as well as store and apartment design. In 1968, the company Discovision hired him to create 150 gouaches for an audiovisual montage on the Passion of Jesus Christ.

Beginning in 1960, Eugenio Foz began to work in theater, which for the rest of his life would remain a second passion. From 1960 à 1975, he was set decorator and/or costume designer on a great number of productions ranging from classic to contemporary, in Avignon and Paris, and notably at the Huchette, Plaisance, Lutèce Theaters, as well as the Comédie de Paris and the Alliance Française. He worked with playwright Jean Delpierres, directors Serge Ligier and Jean-Louis Bihoreau, among others. He won the costume and set design trophy at the 1969 Barcelona Festival for a production of Racine’s Esther, directed by Serge Ligier.

The year 1975 was a turning point in the painter’s life, who decided from then on to devote all his time to his art. Abandonning all his other activities, he holed up in his studio twelve to fifteen hours a day. Beginning in 1980, he showed in many Paris galleries, including Galerie de la Mandragore, Galerie de Chevreuse, Cercle Saint Louis, Galerie Jean Camion, Galerie Fay and the Galerie du Montparnasse…

Several salons also featured his canvases: Salon des Indépendants, Salon de l’Académie de Lutèce, Salon d’Automne. He won the Bronze Medal at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1980 and the Prix international d'Art Contemporain in Monte-Carlo in 1984.

In 1988, an American collector purchased about forty of his paintings, which he later showed at the Olivia Gallery in Newport Beach, California.

He loved the sea and often traveled to the Normandy coast, particularly the small Calvados town of Saint-Aubin sur Mer, where the Chamber of Commerce gave him a show in 1997.

n 1992, he met Jean-Luc Jeener, director of the Théâtre du Nord-Ouest in Paris, and renewed his involvement in theater. Until the end of his life, he would work on the sets, posters and costumes for several plays directed by his partner, Edith Garraud.

In 2013, his last show took place at the Galerie du Montparnasse. He fell ill shortly thereafter and died in Paris on June 9, 2014.

The Service Culturel of Paris’ 14th arrondissement, where he lived for more than forty years, has decided to honor him by programming a retrospective show of his life’s work in the same gallery, in January, 2016.