Lot 232: Serge Poliakoff, Composition abstraite, 1966
December 2, 2016
Cologne, GermanyLive Auction
Description: Signed 'Serge Poliakoff' in black lower left.Serge Poliakoff's works are devoted to painterly visualisation. While the way in which he developed his abstract paintings scarcely changed after the mid 1940s, the works of his late period are often characterised by a less vibrant polychromy. The tonality's reduction in the direction of a more monochrome composition is also reflected in the forms of the present work, which produce a calmer and almost purified effect.With generously conceived, relatively architectonic forms, Poliakoff marks off, distinguishes, mediates and fills the initially unoccupied spaces of the canvas. Built up with a cool palette, his composition largely eliminates the pictorial space's layering into fore- and backgrounds, thus all the more intensely emphasising that process of superimposing planes of individual colours and forms which is so typical of Poliakoff's work. At the same time, the layers of colour individually laid on top of one another provide the painting with a delicate transparency and luminosity that reveal themselves to viewers only gradually, so to speak. The bold blue and deep dark green possess an astounding depth and prove themselves to be complex nuances of colour that turn the picture plane into a sounding board through the superimposition of colour. This specific vitality is a typical feature of those works by Serge Poliakoff which, only at first glance, seem monochrome.Having already become a French citizen, Poliakoff was honoured with his own room at the Biennale di Venezia as early as 1962. In 1966 the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen dedicated the first extensive retrospective to his work.
Condition Report: Two minimal retouches in lower left and upper right margins.
Notes: Droit de suite according to conditions of sale
Provenance: Galerie Smith, Paris; formerly Collection Marcel and Liliane Pollak, Paris: auction house Germann, Zurich, 26 March 1996, lot 57; formerly West German private collection (acquired Dec. 1996), estate; Private possession, Rhineland
Dimensions: 73 x 60 cm
Artist or Maker: Serge Poliakoff
Medium: Oil on canvas Framed