Serge POLIAKOFF ( 1900 - 1969 )

Serge Poliakoff was born in Moscow in 1900. Poliakoff spent his childhood in Moscow and St. Petersburg, where he received his elementary musical education. He attended the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, but fled during the Russian Revolution in 1917. Arriving in Constantinople in 1920, Poliakoff lived from the profits from his talent as a guitarist. In 1929, he enrolled at the "Académie de la Grande Chaumière". His paintings remained purely academic until he discovered, during his stay in London from 1935 to 1937, the abstract art and luminous colours of the Egyptian sarcophagi. Shortly afterwards he was to meet Wassily Kandinsky, Sonia and Robert Delaunay, and Otto Freundlich. With these influences, Poliakoff quickly came to be considered as one of the most powerful Abstract painters of his generation. In 1932, Poliakoff exhibited his works at the Salon of French artists and in 1935 at the National Salon of Fine Arts. In 1937 a solo exhibition was held at the Zac gallery. From 1938 until 1945, he was successfully exhibited at the Salon of the Independent and at the Autumn Salon. In 1947, he received training by Jean Deyrolle in Gordes, within the Vaucluse region of France amongst peers such as Gérard Schneider, Giloli, Victor Vasarely, and Jean Dewasne. In 1952 he signed a long-term contract with the Paris gallery Bin. In addition to painting, Poliakoff often used the collage technique and colour lithography. In 1957 he designed the ballet “Counterpoint” by M. Constant in an abstract manner. In 1947, Poliakoff was awarded the Kandinsky Prize. His works received awards at international biennales in Italy in 1955, Тоkyo in 1965, and Menton in 1966. In 1962, he became a French citizen and soon became Honorable Member of the Academy of Fine Arts and Letters, participating in the Biennale of Venice. Poliakoff developed his recognizable style in abstract painting : his oeuvres are based on the contrast of large and meticulously drawn geometric colour spots. Attaching great importance to colour, he strives to create his own paints preparing and mixing pigments in his special way, and pays attention to the texture of painting..