Georges Mathieu was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, in 1921. A self-taught painter, he began his artistic career in 1942. Mathieu’s early abstract investigation consisted of amorphous shapes and experimentation with drip techniques. In 1947 he resettled in Paris, and quickly became attracted to the works of artists such as Camille Bryen and Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze, which he referred to as Lyrical Abstraction. Within his first year in Paris he had organized L’imaginaire at Galerie du Luxembourg to promote the Lyrical Abstraction movement. Mathieu’s own works were closely associated with Tachiste painters (from the French tache, meaning blot or stain), often squeezing paint directly onto the canvas and emphasizing the necessity of rapid execution to harness intuitive expression. He identified his work as aligned with abstract history painting, as many of his titles refer to events in French history. Mathieu’s artistic experimentation expanded into performance art, often executing large canvases before an audience.