One of the vitally important artists in the Aimé Maeght stable that included Marc Chagall, Giacometti and Joan Miró, was François Fiedler (1921-2001). Fiedler’s life and art was chronicled in many books and journals, including Collection de la Fondation Maeght,and several Maeght publications entitled simply Fiedler.
After receiving a Masters in Fine Arts degree from the Academy of Budapest, François Fiedler moved to Paris with his first wife in 1946. His wife died six months later, leaving him alone in a country where he barely spoke the language and had no friends. To make money, he made official copies of famous paintings for museums, as well some small figurative paintings of his own.
He met his second wife, Claire, and they lived in a little house in the forest south of Paris. One day while looking at a pot of house paint, crackled by the sun and making such beautiful designs, he decided to reproduce this process on canvas. After this he never made any more figurative paintings, finding so many forms of expression in this new technique.
The great artist Miró saw one of these in a corner of a little gallery and was amazed by it. He decided to find the artist and so met Fiedler. They became close friends, and Miró presented François to the famous gallery and art dealer Aimé Maeght. Now he was connected with some of the greatest creators of the time, all managed by Aimé Maeght. He became close with Giacometti, Brach, Cesar, Ubac, Tal-Coat, Miró, Chagall, and so many other artists of this era.
During his long career, François was regularly featured in salon shows alongside his contemporaries mentioned above, and his works were a regular feature in the Maeght Foundation publication DERRIÈRE LE MIROIR:
As many young collectors did not have the money to buy an oil painting, he decided to find a way to convey the same feeling and meaning in etchings that he had achieved in oils. He started a series of etchings, some in very limited editions. It was original artwork for an affordable price, which is exactly what Fiedler intended.
Aimé Maeght had told Fiedler that he was “next in line” to be made famous, but sadly Aimé died before François could reach the level of notoriety that some of his fellow artist friends had achieved. After Aimé’s passing, Fiedler was taken under the wing of well known Parisian (via Lausanne, Switzerland) art photographer Daniel Kramer. Kramer continued to support Fiedler with paint and canvases, while also wearing the hats of manager, photographer, publicist, and plumber.
When Fiedler died in 2001 he left behind a large and diverse body of work, including scores of oil paintings ranging from .5 meters across to well over 2 meters, monotype prints, and etchings.
Fiedler’s works can still be seen in many of the most prestigious museums and galleries around the world, including the Maeght Foundation in Paris, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and many others.