Poliakoff, Serge

Born in Russia, Serge Poliakoff moved to Paris in 1923 and began his career playing in Russian cabarets. In 1929, he enrolled at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. During a stay in London between 1935 and 1937, Poliakoff developed ties with influential figures such as Kandinsky and Sonia and Robert Delaunay, who supported him in his exploration of abstraction...

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Serge Poliakoff, born in Moscow in 1900, was the second youngest of fourteen children. His father, a horse breeder and supplier to the Russian army, owned a renowned racing stable. In 1914, Poliakoff began taking drawing lessons in Moscow. His first works depicted landscapes in Nalchik, influenced by Isaac Levitan, the famous leader of Russian landscape artists. Less attracted by traditional studies, he devoted himself to singing, the guitar and a passion for opera. The Russian Revolution of 1917 forced him to follow his aunt Nastia, a famous singer, on her tours. Accompanying his aunt on guitar, Poliakoff traveled throughout Russia and the Caucasus, finding refuge in Constantinople, then crossing Europe via Sofia, Belgrade, Vienna and Berlin before settling in Paris.