(1920 – 1977)
Gaston Sebire was born in Rouen in 1920. He began to paint when he was around eighteen years old and in 1952 he had his first exhibition in Paris.
1953 marked a double triumph in his career when he won both the Prix de la Critique and Prix Casa Valasquez, which allowed him to spend a year and a half working in Spain. Winning the Greenshields Prize in 1957 enabled him to take a further two years of study. Sebire said of that time “They were the first, wonderful years without worry. For fifteen years I had never known what the next day would bring.”
Carrying off so many coveted awards naturally drew public attention to Sebire, and he was given the opportunity of presenting one-man shows in Paris, which were highly successful. But Paris is not Gaston Sebire’s preferred milieu. “When the snow falls, I can’t stay indoors. I set out with my paint box. I paint outdoors from nine in the morning until five at night.” Sebire was silent and solitary by nature, with a personality as strong and frank as his paintings. “A painting must have an element of mystery,” he said, “and show an effort to look beyond the surface of things.”
In 1966 he won the Grand Prix of the Biennale of Trouville and in 1968 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Salon des Artistes Francais as well as the Medal of Honour of the Salon de la Marine. In 1975 he was made Chevalier dans l’Order National du Merite, one of France’s most coveted awards.
He has had exhibitions in Germany, England and America and in Paris. His paintings are in the collection of the Musee d’Art Moderne in Paris, Norwich and Rouen art museums, The University of Wisconsin and the Joe and Emily Low Art Gallery of Syracuse University.