Jean Fautrier (May 16, 1898 – July 21, 1964) was a French painter and sculptor. He was one of the most important practitioners of Tachisme.
He was born in Paris and studied in London at the Royal Academy of Art and the Slade School. He first exhibited his paintings at the Salon d'Automne in 1922 and at the Fabre Gallery in 1923. In 1927, he painted a series of pictures (still lifes, nudes, landscapes) in which black dominates, and in 1928 he began work on a series of engravings for an illustrated edition of The Divine Comedy of Dante, prepared by Gallimard (which did not succeed). Until 1933 he divided his efforts between sculpture and painting; he then spent five years as a ski instructor in Savoy.
Fautrier resumed painting in 1937, and in 1943 made his twenty-second and last sculpture. The same year, stopped by the German gestapo, he fled Paris and found refuge in Châtenay-Malabry, where he began work on the project of the Otages. These paintings were exhibited in 1945 with the Drouin gallery. In the years that followed, Fautrier worked on the illustration of several works, among them Alleluiah by George Bataille, and made a series of paintings devoted to small familiar objects.
His late work is abstract, generally small in scale, often combining mixed media on paper. He died in Châtenay-Malabry in 1964. A retrospective was organized by the Gianadda Foundation with Martigny in January-March 2005.