Francoise le Goff


Born 1916 in Brest – France.

François Le Goff came from a working class environment. After primary school he became a sheet metal worker at the Arsenal of Brest. He completed his military service in the Navy and was taken prisoner during the war. His mother died in a bombing raid. 
Delirious, assailed by feelings of persecution, Le Goff was committed in the fifties in various psychiatric centers to end up at the hospital in Quimper. He never received any artistic training and his production is limited to the single year 1957 ; he painted a dozen of oils on masonite, then stopped all activity. He wrote texts as diverse as Les Secrets de la défense nationale (The Secrets of National Defense), L’Energie thermonucléaire (Thermonuclear Energy) or La Philosophie de la psychiatrie (The Philosophy of Psychiatry). He considered himself “Colonel Marshall” in the secret service. A serious lung disease led him to cease all his activities. His mental illness worsened. He lost interest in everything. When he was asked about his works, he gave only few explanations. The composition of his paintings is without perspective, provoking a flattening, crushing effect. Everything is desperately still. One could think of naive figurations, recall even some surreal compositions because of the visibility of certain symbols. But the determination to crush everything is too powerful to leave space for genre scenes.

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