Rene Margotton was born in Roanne, France, in 1915. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris and later with Fernand Leger. He has exhibited extensively in Paris at the Salon de l'Art Libre, Salon des Independants, Salon de Printemps, Salon de l'Ecole Francaise, Salon de la Nationale, des Beaux-Arts, and Salon "Les Grands et les Jeunes d'Aujourd' hui." He participated in a show of French Masters in Rome. He also exhibited with the French Young Painters in Geneva, Brussels, Finland, Germany, Canada, London, and Denmark. His first one-man show in America was held at Newman Galleries in 1965.
He was awarded the Medal of Honor at the Marine Exhibition of the Marine Museum of Paris in 1959, the Grand Prix of the city of Sarreguemines in 1959, the Grand Prix of Marine Painting of the Museum of Narbonne in 1959, the Grand Prix of the Opal Coast in 1959, the Grand Prix of "Echo de la Finance," and the Grand Prix of the Palette Francaise.
His work is represented in the collections of the cities of Paris, Nabonne, St. Mans, Montpellier, and Sarreguemines. His paintings can be found in many prominent private collections throughout the United States and Europe, including that of the Swiss Consulate in Paris. The King of Cambodia purchased two paintings by Margotton for his country's Modern Museum.
Although Margotton used watercolors early on in his career, he later experimented with oils and continued to work almost exclusively in that medium. He often conceived his work according to the rigorous laws of composition, using an almost architectural foundation of solidly constructed volumes.
Margotton's paintings, largely landscapes and figurative subjects, are simple and direct at first glance. A closer look, however, reveals his tendency to render the concrete abstract, and to formulate a symbolic, even metaphysical myth from that which is real and present. With powerful expression and vibrant color, Margotton combines a vigor and vitality which demonstrates not only his strong understanding of the relationship between form and color, but also his physical and spiritual expression of life and the visual world.