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John Lefebre (1905-1986) not only a gallery owner


John Lefebre will of course always be remembered for the gallery owner he was from 1960-1986 introducing many European COBRA artists, but he was a very gifted photographer and because of this he decided to photograph the artist he presented in his gallery. The result.. hundreds of great artist portraits which were at one time presented together with the works of art by the gallery artists in the exhibition ” DOUBLE EXPOSURE”. Decades later a great book was published containing many of these photographs. Both publications are now available at

After a long career in the movie business and service in the Office of War Information during World War II, Mr. Lefebre opened the Lefebre Gallery in 1960. At a time when European art was widely regarded as of small account, he persisted in showing the European artists to whom he was wholeheartedly committed.

The artists in question included Hans Hartung, Pierre Alechinsky, Asger Jorn, Carl-Henning Pedersen, Horst Antes, Pol Bury, Julius Bissier, Klaus Fussmann, Raoul Ubac, Tom Phillips, Henri Michaux and Serge Poliakoff.

”Over a quarter of a century, John Lefebre chose to further the distinguished yet generally neglected and commercially difficult work of European postwar artists,” Thomas Messer, director of the Guggenheim Museum, said yesterday. ”He did so with total devotion, meticulous attention and, ultimately, rewarding success.” a great series of portraits can be found here:

Schermafbeelding 2020-06-16 om 15.35.42

lefebre double exposure



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