Artist Bio: Théo Tobiasse

Théo Tobiasse was born in Israel in 1927, of parents who had just arrived from Lithuania. Confronted by insurmountable material difficulties, the family returned to Kovno when Tobiasse was still a very young child, then settled in Paris where his father, a typographer, hoped to find work. Tobiasse will never forget his first impression of the City of Light. Just six years old, he saw it bathed in the grayish mist of a sad winter morning when they walked out of the "Glare de l'Est" after an exhausting journey that had lasted several days. From this very first contact, his Parisian landscapes would keep an aura of unreality and nostalgia, which accounts for much of the charm of his paintings. His work also owes the atmosphere of exile which envelopes it entirely to that never-ending train journey experienced by a little boy forced to leave the familiar banks of the Nieman.
On account of the occupation of Paris by German troops, he spent his adolescence shut up with his parents in their tiny apartment from July 1942 to August 1944. When Tobiasse finally saw daylight, he soon found employment with various advertising companies. He designed and created window displays of luxury goods on the Faubourg St-Honoré, and designed several tapestry patterns for the "Salon de l'Imagerie". Tobiasse created designs for advertising, first in Paris, then in Nice, where he moved in 1950. As soon as he could, and often at night, he painted. In 1960, his work was noticed at an exhibition of young artists at the Palais de la Méditerranée in Nice and he won first prize. From then on art galleries and collectors continued to show interest in his work and by 1962 Tobiasse was finally able to devote himself entirely to painting.
In 1970, he moved into his studio on Quai Rauba-Capeu, overlooking the Port of Nice. In 1976 he moved again to St. Paul-de-Vence where he rediscovered both the sky of Jerusalem and that of Florence.
Tobiasse has created monumental works such as the fountain entitled "L'Enfant fou" for the Arénas Business Centre at Nice Airport, and stained-glass windows for various institutions in Strasbourg and Nice.
He also designed costumes and stage-set models for Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion". He has filed many sketchbooks, some of which have been published, and created illustrated works for lovers of fine books, plus etchings and engravings.
Tobiasse also discovered a passion for ceramics, producing pottery and dishes, as well as a series of small bronze sculptures. Several monographs have been published on Tobiasse's work.