Serge Poliakoff
Serge Poliakoff - Artists - Cheim Read

Serge Poliakoff
Serge Poliakoff was born on January 8, 1900, in Moscow. By 1914, he was taking drawing classes, but the Revolution of 1917 disrupted his family life, and in 1920 he slipped out of the country to Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey), where he spent a year. A talented musician, Poliakoff made his way across Europe, accompanying his aunt, a singer, on the guitar, before arriving in Paris in 1924. There he played folk songs in Russian nightclubs at night while taking private lessons in drawing and painting during the day.
In 1929, he enrolled at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Montparnasse, and later at the Académie Frochot in Montmartre while continuing to earn his living by playing guitar. He met his future wife, Marcelle Perreur Lloyd, a half-Irish Frenchwoman, in 1935, and settled with her in London, where he enrolled in the Grosvenor School of Art and, a year later, the Slade School of Art.
Returning to Paris in 1937, where he had his first solo show, he found himself drawn increasingly to abstraction after meeting Wassily Kandinsky, Sonia and Robert Delaunay, and Otto Freundlich. He started making abstract paintings in 1942, and showed them for the first time in 1945. His work has since been the subject of more than two hundred international solo exhibitions, and it has been included in hundreds of group shows. He died in Paris on October 12, 1969.
Poliakoff’s paintings, gouaches, and prints are held in more than one hundred public collections, including the Kunstmuseum Bern; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London; and Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, which held a major retrospective, Le Rêve des Formes [The Dream of Forms] in 2013. The 2016 exhibition at Cheim & Read marks the artist's first solo exhibition in New York in thirty-five years.

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