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Of Russian origin, Serge Poliakoff moved to Paris in 1923, where he began to play in Russian cabarets and then he enrolled in the Grande Chaumière Academy in 1929.
After a stay in London in 1935-37, he was linked with Kandinsky and Delaunay who both supported him in his approach towards non-figuration.
He then deviated from geometric abstraction to focus his style on the specific qualities of colour and values. Without seeking to create illusionist space, he imagined a nesting of shapes and colours, whose matter vibrates through the affixing of successive layers. All nuance and effects of matter.
Ch. Etienne wrote in a preface of a Poliakoff exhibition in the Dina Vierny Gallery:
“… Poliakoff is totally abstract: but he is not content with being merely non-figurative either – he proposes shapes, real shapes… that trouble and move us as only all the signs which allude to this deeply poetic world we are buried in can, like second nature…”
Poliakoff became one of the leaders of post-war lyrical abstraction.
The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris devoted a large-scale retrospective to Serge Poliakoff: “Serge Poliakoff, the dream of forms”, from October 13rd 2013 to Frebruary 23rd 2014
In all, some 70 paintings and many works on paper from the period 1936-1969.
Since 1970 there has been no significant exhibition of the work of this major representative of the School of Paris in what became his home city.
Video by Paris Musées, on Dailymotion