Primary Shapes: Denise Mannoni

John Adams Fine Art presents an exhibition of Denise Mannoni's works, titled Primary Shapes.


Denise Mannoni was born in Nimes, France in 1918. She spent an idyllic early life on various French colonial islands including Martinique, Reunion, and Madagascar, where her parents educated her in European History and History of Art. It was during her childhood, inspired by the beauty of the islands, and her delight in the images of European art, that she began painting and drawing.


Denise Mannoni was a very independent artist who was keen to observe but not imitate. Her influences were Sonia Delaunay, Raoul Dufy, Joan Miró, and Paul Klee. But also the medieval stained glass windows to be found in cathedrals such as Chartres and Notre Dame, and the warm and vibrant colours of her beloved islands. She spoke often of “disembodied objects” and “the will to find that essence beyond their superficial appearances.”