1942 Born in Paris. Drawing class at Lycée Claude-Bernard, Paris. Many travels abroad. Learns engraving at l'atelier Lacourière-Frélaut.
1964 Marries Hélène Delafargue.
1965 Birth of his son Tristan.
1971 Dies at the age of 29.
1997 Enters the Alain Margaron gallery which becomes his exclusive dealer.
– Catalogue Galerie Transat, préface de Bernard Noël, 1970
– Catalogue, préface de Pierre Dalle Nogare l’oeuvre gravé complet, 1981
– « A Vif, François Lunven et ses amis », textes de Ramon Alejandro, François Deck, Alain Le Foll, Jacques Le Maréchal, Vladimir Velickovic, Jean-Pierre Velly, 1984
– Lunven, dessins, Editions calligramme, 1987
– « Regards F. Lunven », textes de Ramon Alejandro, François Lunven, Bernard Nöel, 1989
– Lunven, gravures, texte de Manuel Jover (Alain Margaron Editeur), 1997
– François Lunven, textes de Ramon Alejandro, Gerard Durozoi, Manuel Jover, Bernard Nöel (Musée de l’Hospice saint-Roch/Alain Margaron Editeur), 2005
Musée de l’Hospice Saint-Roch, Issoudun
Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris
Victoria and Albert Museum, Londres
British Art Council, Londres
Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid
Musée d’Art moderne, New York
Musée d’Adélaïde, Australie
Musée de Skopje, ex-Yougoslavie
Musée de l’Abbaye Sainte-Croix, Sables-d’Olonne
Musée de Brest
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes
Musée de Vannes
His paintings, with their surprising colors, seem to foreshadow a society where robotics, the virtual and biotechnologies would exert a dominant influence. Lunven worked essentially on paper (drawings and etchings) until 1966, then mostly on canvas. Attuned to the movement of the world, the works of François Lunven probe its course and frenzy, whose developments the artist had foreseen as early as the 60s, as the drawings presented in this exhibition demonstrate. The forms produced by François Lunven intercross organic and virtual, even robotic shapes, thus crystallizing a dazzling prospective vision. Represented by the Galerie Alain Margaron since 1997.
Bernard Noël, who was probably his closest friend, helps us decipher his oeuvre : “from ‘a repertoire where the machinic and the monstrous intercross and hybridize to produce an image that tears our eyes open…’ Didn’t François Lunven style himself a ‘morphologist’ rather than a painter or engraver ?… Striving to invent a new sacred art, François Lunven’s artistic quest was inspired, his whole life through, by many artists and poets – from Hieronymus Bosch to Antonin Artaud by way of Nerval, Rimbaud, Lautréamont and Redon –, and reveals an extraordinarily complex thought blending personal experience, spirituality and psychoanalysis. François Lunven always taught, because his thought was always transforming, and needed exchange and sharing, to feed itself as much as to try itself out.” (Bernard Noël) “In the first years of his life as a painter, François Lunven was very interested in biology (…). Fascinated by the Arthropods, crustaceans and insects especially, he spent long hours at the Museum, and still longer observing small bits of crab and spider crabs legs, bits of shells, a grasshopper’s body… Everything about skeletons and bones interested him. The notion of entropy also obsessed him. He’d learned about it by chance, had asked me about it and I had made him read Science and the theory of information by Léon Brillouin. Two points especially were discussed : the unavoidable evolution of all living systems towards an increasing state of disorder, and the fact that life delays this evolution despite everything. The idea that death and disorder were somehow synonymous was of utmost interest to him. Thinking about energy, he had come to be interested in the origins of life. It isn’t by chance that one of these etchings is entitled ‘Birth of entropy’ or that others (…) deal with birth.” (Bernard Canguillem, 1987)