ANDRÉ LANSKOY (1902 - 1976)
André Lanskoy was born on March 31, 1902 under the name of Andrei Michailovich Lanskoy, son of Count Lanskoy. In 1919 the artist fled the Russian revolution, going to Kiev. After a sojourn in the Crimea, André Lanskoy reached Paris in 1921, where he stayed for the rest of his life. Soon the artist began to study painting at the "Académie de la Grande Chaumière".
Lanskoy's figurative pictures and still lives of that time were inspired by Van Gogh, Matisse and Soutine. In 1923 André Lanskoy qualified for the "Salon d'Automne", where he was discovered by Wilhelm Uhde, who then put him in touch with the right people and helped him with his first solo exhibition in 1925. During this time, Lanskoy exhibited his works with those of Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Leopold Survage, Ossip Zadkine and other Russian artists in Paris. Soon Lanskoy's works could be found in museums and important private collections. Towards the end of the 1930s the artist slowly gave up figurative painting, turning entirely to non-representational painting by 1943. In his continuous quest for new means of expression, he turned to the illustration of books, tapestries, mosaics and collages.
André Lanskoy entertained a deep friendship with Nicolas de Staël, with whom he held a joint exhibition in 1948. During this time and the following decade, André Lanskoy gained international acclaim through exhibitions like the one of his latest works at the New York Fine Arts Associates in 1956. André Lanskoy is one of the most important exponents of "lyric abstraction" within the "École de Paris" and was honored with numerous exhibitions. Thus, the artist participated in documenta II in 1958 alongside other artists of Informel and in the exhibition "Les Peintres Russes de l'école de Paris" at the museum of Saint Denis in 1960.
André Lanskoy died on August 22, 1976 in Paris.
Originate from Russia, André Lanskoy begins his career in Paris in 1921 by entering the Academy of the Grande-Chaumière, which Alexander Calder and Serge Poliakoff also attended. During this formation he dedicates himself to painting. As soon as 1923, he is discovered by the rich German galerist and collector Wilhelm Uhde in the Galerie de la Licorne. The collector offers him a solo show in 1925. This very year, André Lanskoy exhibits alongside renowned artists such as Leopold Survage, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Ossip Zadkine and other Russian artists living in Paris.
First identified as a figurative painter, Lanskoy turns towards Lyrical Abstraction in 1938 and becomes one of the most famous representatives of this movement. Around 1960, he has full command of his abstract expression. The importance given to the pictural matter, closely linked to his thinking on colours, appears as a core caracteristic of his art.
He indeed says himself that "a stain laid on a canvas is willing to take shape and struggles with the other stains laid on the same canvas". On the other hand, the investigation on colours is apparently a prime matter to the painter. Some of his paintings revolve around a dominant colour, looking to create a spatial equilibrium. Others, as the one we propose, play on the numerous contrats of the chromatic scale, between balance and rupture of values, in order to split the colours. For Lanskoy, the stylistic process of colour fragmentation, which he explores after his figurative period, evolves as far as collage. The juxtaposition of coloured paperstrips is the exact same stylistic principle of parallel lines in pictural compositions. We can relate this technic to the ones of Staël or Matisse, with his cut-up papers. On the other hand, light and lightning are constant features in Lanskoy's work. Light is uniformly displayed and the lightning, always frontal, immerses the pictural space from side to side. This particularity in transcribing light, on a strictly technical basis, produces a heaviness in the pictural field. The space doesn't deepen and heaps of air are still and oppressive.
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