Museum Gunzenhauser
21. Mar 2021 – 20. Jun 2021

Serge Poliakoff

Serge Poliakoff, Composition abstraite, 1959, Foto: Bertram Kober © © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

Serge Poliakoff
Accomplished peinture

This exhibition selects an important artist from the Dr. Alfred Gunzenhauser Collection: Serge Poliakoff. The artist originally came from Moscow. In Paris around 1950 he developed his own very distinctive formal idiom. Drawing on Cubism and the colour theories of Robert and Sonja Delaunay, he produced works that linger neither in geometrical stringency and analytical constructivism, nor in the informal free gesture. Instead, in his characteristic polygonal forms, he used the finest of colour nuances to create a tension. Form and colour blend into a harmonious tone as a result of their successive compaction in the centre of the image. The exhibition highlights Poliakoff’s artistic development by means of ten paintings from the Gunzenhauser Collection along with works from international lenders. The presentation traces an arc from his still figurative beginnings to his unmistakable abstract forms of expression. Poliakoff’s »serial« works are also focused on, for after stabilizing his pictorial idiom he then began to explore it tenaciously. Often he worked on several works at a time. Each painting goes further than its predecessor; each anticipates its successor. The works in the Gunzenhauser Collection are complemented by paintings the artist did around the same time. These »series« not only testify to Poliakoff’s insistence on the formal order he had developed, they also enable us to see the artist’s delight in variation.