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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Serge Poliakoff: Gouaches, 1938–1969

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Cheim & Read / New York / Art

In a letter to Joseph Albers in May of 1936, the Russian-born artist Serge Poliakoff wrote, “Abstract art is finally taking off in quite a few countries.” In the 1940s, as Abstract Expressionism was gaining steam in America, abstract art began to attract attention in Paris. A member of the New School of Paris, Poliakoff was known as a painter’s painter. Working in a cramped studio, he focused on geometric forms in chromatic colors, and made small paintings in thick brushstrokes that are esteemed for their pure pigmentation and poetic intimacy. Following an exhibition of his work in 2016, the first since 1981, this show focuses on Poliakoff’s gouaches, executed between 1938 and 1969, the year of his untimely death. —E.C.

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