Ipoustéguy was born as Jean Robert at Dun-sur-Meuse on 6 January 1920. From 1938 Ipoustéguy attended evening classes in painting and drawing taught by Robert Lesbounit in Paris. After serving in the military during the second world war, Ipoustéguy tried to earn his livelihood by painting and did frescoes and stained-glass windows for St Jacques in Montrouge in 1947-48.
Since Robert was such a common surname, Jean Robert assumed his mother's maiden name as his nom d'artiste: Ipoustéguy. In 1949 Ipoustéguy moved to Choisy-le-Roi and began to work on sculpture. In 1953 he abandoned oil painting for drawing, watercolour, sculpture and writing. 
m Ipoustéguy showed work at "documenta" in Kassel in 1964 and 1977. In 1967 Ipoustéguy worked at the Carrara marble quarries.
Ipoustéguy saw his largest sculpture, "L'homme construit sa ville", set up in front of the Congress Centre in Berlin in 1979. It is his monumental work, however, that has given rise to objections from religious and political groups. Despite being controversial, examples of it have been set up in French embassies.
In 1977 Ipoustéguy was awarded the Grand National Prize for art and made a chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1984. Some of Ipoustéguy's work is exhibited in his native Dun while his sculpture is owned by museums world-wide. 
Ipoustéguy writes and works on sculpture in Choisy-le-Roi, France.

pousteguy trained as a painter and made stained glass windows, but in 1949 he turned exclusively to sculpture. His sculptures were at first abstract and geometric but around 1955 his forms became lumpier and more related to the human figure. 'Earth' was Ipousteguy's first life-size sculpture of a human figure, and it was followed in 1963 by another, entitled 'Man'. Ipousteguy wrote of 'Earth': 'this sculpture is limited to a torso and the face is hidden under the facets of a helmet .... although Earth has two legs, her arms are not completely detached from her body. One has to wait for Man in 1963 for the limbs to separate and spread out.'


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