Hugues Claude Pissarro, also known professionally as Isaac Pomié, is the grandson of the Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro and son of Paulemile Pissarro. Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine and enveloped in an artistic environment, he inevitably spent his childhood and youth with brushes in hand. Carrying on a family tradition established by Camille Pissarro, his father frequently took Hugues on painting excursions, accompanied by his numerous artist friends, and these proved formative for him.
Initially taught by his father, Hugues first exhibited his work at the age of fourteen. He subsequently studied art in Paris at prestigious establishments such as Ecole du Musée du Louvre and, in particular, at Ecole Normale Supérieur, a unique French institution dedicated to the pursuit of achievement and excellence to which only the academic elite have access. It was inevitable that this educational background would lead him to become a professor of art for much of his professional life and in 1965 he accepted an official invitation to teach art in Monaco.
Throughout his teaching career he was also a prolific artist exhibiting on several occasions in Paris and London, and like many of his family predecessors, the scope of his work and talent is wide-ranging; from engraver, lithographer, publisher and landscape painter to portraitist. He was even commissioned by the White House in 1959 to paint President Eisenhower.
Hugues’ work has evolved through a variety of different styles and techniques – including abstract, avant-garde, minimalist and conceptual art. However, he is now perhaps best known for his Post-Impressionist-style works, known collectively as “Petit Claude, which have been exhibited throughout the world since 1985.
At the end of 1989, Hugues began to develop a more contemporary style, known as “Grand Claude”, and he initially adopted the pseudonym Isaac Pomié to separate these works from his Impressionist work. These contemporary works are distinctive by the large canvasses, which have become his trademark, and the technique of applying colours with great speed straight from the tube to achieve a thick, robust texture. Further refinement is added by scraping away some of the paint once it dries, the end result having a remarkable effect. One of his artistic idiosyncrasies is to precede each painting by a small study executed in oil or in mixed media.
Splitting his time between Ireland and Normandy, and working in self-imposed virtual solitude, the choice to stay within the confines of his own physical world has not precluded him from keeping abreast of events and developments in the world of art. Indeed, he is a valued and respected contributor to several art publications.
Biography courtesy of the Stern Pissarro Gallery