LE GOFF françois

1916 . brest . france

François Le Goff was from a working class environment. After primary school he became a sheet metal worker at the Arsenal of Brest. He did his military service in the Navy and was taken prisoner during the war — his mother died in the bombing. Delusional, assailed by feelings of persecution, he was committed from 1950 in various psychiatric centers to finish at Quimper hospital. Altough he had no artistic training during 1957, he painted a dozen oils on masonite, then stopped. The composition of his paintings is without perspective, provoking a flattening, crushing effect.  Everything is desperately still. One could think of naive figurations, evoke even surreal compositions, because of certain symbols. But the determination to crush everything is too powerful to leave room for genre scenes. François Le Goff had also written texts as diverse as Les Secrets de la défense nationale [The Secrets of National Defense], L’Energie thermonucléaire [Thermonuclear Energy] or La Philosophie de la psychiatrie [The Philosophy of Psychiatry]. He considered himself “Colonel Marshal” in the secret service. A serious lung disease led him to interrupt his activities, while his mental illness became more serious.