Serge Poliakoff

(Moskau 1900 - 1969 Paris)

Having fled Russia in 1918, the son of a Kirgiz horse breeder settles in Paris in 1923, making a living by playing the guitar. He studies painting at the Académies Frochot and Grande Chaumière with Othon Friesz and Ivan Cerf; in 1935–37, he is in London to take classes at the Slade School of Art. His first solo show, at Galerie L’Esquisse in 1945, is followed by his winning the Prix Kandinsky in 1947. Friendly with Wassily Kandinsky, Sonia and Robert Delaunay, and Otto Freundlich, Poliakoff develops a distinctive style defined by interlocking planar color-shapes.