NICOLAS DE STAËL
Lead pencil, charcoal and oil on paper
39 x 51 cm / 15,3 x 20 in
Saint Petersburg 1914 - Antibes 1955
A Russian painter, Nicolas de Staël was entrusted to a family in Brussels in 1922 upon the death of his parents ans studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels.
In the 1930s, he travelled throughout Europe, notably to Paris and Nice where he met Alberto Magnelli, Jean Arp, Sonia and Robert Deaunay, who inspired his first abstract paintings, the "Compositions".
His deeply personal and expressive work staged a tangle of saturated color range, oscillating between figuration and abstraction. The artist will say :" All my life, Ihave needed to think about painting, to see paintings, to do painting to help me live, to free myself from my impressions, from all the sensations, from all the worries to which I have found no other way than painting."
Under Nazi occupation, de Staël met Braque and a first exhibition of his works was organized in 1944 with Kandinsky. He was very successful in the United States and England, but in 1953 a depression isolated him in the south of France, then in Antibes, where he committed suicide on 16 March 1955.