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Abstractionist Jean Helion, 83

October 29, 1987|Associated Press

PARIS — Jean Helion, a pioneer of the abstractionist school of painting, died Wednesday in Paris. He was 83, and his death coincided with that of Andre Masson, one of the last great exponents of the surrealist movement.

Helion was at the center of the abstractionist movement from 1929 to 1939 but gradually moved toward works clearly grounded in reality. After introducing curves and rounded forms into his work, by 1939 he abandoned the geometry of the abstract style.

Helion eventually introduced symbolism, using such objects as a loaf of bread, a bowl of soup and a black umbrella to portray the ordinary world.

His paintings hang in modern art galleries around the world.

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