Happy Birthday Jean Helion!! French born painter (1904), Helion’s first love was poetry with chemistry a close second. He was enthralled with the shapes, crystals, and colors of inorganic chemistry. He studied chemistry for a time, worked as an architectural apprentice and wrote poetry. He began to paint after spending time at the Louvre and was greatly influenced by the Cubists. Helion became known as an abstract painter, but then moved to simplified figure painting. He enlisted in the armed services in World War II, was taken prisoner for 2 years, finally escaping and making his way to the US. He wrote a book about his experiences “They Shall Not Have Me”. He continued to paint for the rest of his life, until his eyesight went and he was unable to anymore. His later work was simplified forms such as the Sliced Squash pictured below.