James Coignard (1925-2008, France)

Melding primal influences with refined European sensibilities, James Coignard created a highly personal style of graffiti inspired by African Art, the caves of Lescaux, as well as archaeological sites in the western United States and Mexico.

Born in 1925 in Tours, France, James Coignard studied at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Nice, and then as an apprentice to the painter Marchand des Raux.

Coignard is most recognized for his primary colors, sweeping gestures and extraordinary textures. Curiously, his recent incision drawings are both figurative and monochromatic, revealing a wide range of expression -- from boldly aggressive to profoundly subtle.

His museum credentials are extensive and include the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, British Museum, London, Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, Dublin Museum, Ireland, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Museum of San Diego, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, New Orleans Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Luxembourg.