2018-01-19 13.09.17

Artist: Serge Poliakoff

Title: Abstract composition

Year: 1964/1966

Dimension: 162 x 130 cm

Technique: Oil and watercolor on paper


About the artist:

Serge Poliakoff was born in Moscow 1906 and died in Paris in 1969. He started his studies on art at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture but he fled Russia to live in Turkey in 1918.

He moved to Paris in 1923 where he studied at the Academie de la Grand Chaumiere.

His worked remained academic until he discovered the abstract art and luminous colours of Egyptian Sarcophagi in London in 1935.

This, plus the fascination he had with the Russian Icons he were familiar with due to his mother’s devotion will influence his work.

Poliakoff came to be considered as one of the most powerful painters of his generation.

Just after he became a French citizen, a room of the French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale was dedicated to his work (1962). The Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, organized his first major retrospective (1963), and his work was included in the Tokyo Biennial (received the International Award, 1965). Additional important retrospectives were presented at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland (1966); Tel Aviv Museum (1971–72); Musée Fabre, Montpellier, France (1974); Lorenzelli Arte, Milan (1978) and Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris, France (2014) among others.

What “Abstract composition” is saying?

There is something very appealing in abstract art and that is that they are an open window for submerging ourselves in a world that is a clear outcome of how we see, what makes us feel and what aspects of us are being touched by those images, some of them even we did not know were there. Because there are not “figurative” images to be studied, to be understood or to wonder about why they are there; abstract paintings give you the opportunity of feeling first and ask later.

Besides the beauty of this composition and the striking colors there is a serene almost hypnotic quality on this work. Probably it is the consequence of dividing the work in two major parts, left and right, maybe is the disposition of the abstract figures or maybe it is the creation of solid surfaces vs surfaces with a depth. I think is all of it together. It is a puzzle and it has been solved within the frame though it does remain the mystery of its being.

Whatever the reason I think it is that curiosity it awakes that makes this piece a special one.

In what Room to place it?

This is a too beautiful piece for being kept in a bedroom, so it has to be in one of the social rooms giving it a notorious location where it can provide happiness and wonder to the souls that are curious enough to stand there and allowing themselves to feel and travel.

Displaying it

Due it is a good size painting a wall big enough should be used (ideally 2.5 mts wide). I would use a neutral color for that wall so not to interfere with the vibrancy of the piece.

If you have high ceilings the piece can endure to be moved above the comfortable eye level but I would not push that much so the forced perspective do not damage the perception of the forms on the painting.