Henri Goetz was born in 1909 in New York, his family of French and American origin. He studied at Harvard University and the Grand Central Art School before moving to Paris in 1930 where he continued his studies at the Académies Julian and Ozenfant in Montparnasse. After a brief return to the US in the early 1930’s he settled permanently in France, taking a Parisian studio next to Victor Brauner. With Brauner Goetz became involved with the Surrealist group and was soon a highly accomplished exponent. 1935 would be a year of major importance for Goetz: he exhibited for the first time at the Salon des Surindépendants, he married the Dutch painter Christine Boumeester and he met Hans Hartung, who would become a close lifelong friend. In 1937 Goetz held his first solo show at Galerie Van Leer, Paris. During the war, having neglected to become naturalized french citizens, Goetz and Boumeester became illegal aliens and both worked in the resistance movement. They were nearly captured in 1942 and forced to flee to the south of France which had already become something of a colony for displaced artists, and remarkably resilient creative spirits.
The post-war period would witness the consecration of Henri Goetz’s career. He gained increasing critical acclaim, while his work became more abstracted, freed from any surrealist references. He became highly celebrated holding over a hundred one man shows in France and abroad, including Galerie Jeanne Bucher, Paris 1942; Mid-Century Gallery, San Francisco, 1948; Gunther Gallery Mannheim, 1949; Galleria Numero, Florence, 1951; Galerie Feigel, Basel, 1952; Circle and Square Gallery, New York, 1953; Galleria Schwarz, Milan, 1954; Art Center, Atlantic City, 1955; Obelisk Gallery, London, 1955; Institut Francais, Mayence, 1963; Boisseree Gallery, Cologne, 1965; Maison de la Culture, 1967; Ostermalm Gallery, Stockholm, 1970. There have also been regular retrospectives including “Cinquante Ans de Creation”, Galerie L’Obsidienne, Paris, 1985; “Goetz”, Galerie Hanin Nocera, Paris, 1990.(haninafinearts.com)