Andre Lanskoy (1902-1976)

Biography

Andre Lanskoy was born in Moscow on the 31st of March 1902. He was a pupil at the School of Pages in St. Petersburgh. After serving for the Czarist forces during the Russian Revolution, Lanskoy moved to Kiev where he began to paint under the guidance of Soudeikine, a fashionable painter and decorator. He then attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris in 1921, where he discovered the work of Van Gogh and Matisse. During this time Lanskoy also associated with Soutine, whose influence is clearly evident in his early expressionist paintings of figures and still-lives.

After exhibiting in a group show in 1923, Lanskoy was discovered by Wilhelm Uhde, who organized his first one-man show in 1925. During the exhibition, Lanskoy showed landscapes and interiors, but the subject matter of his work was secondary to the surface quality of the paint and the luminous colour harmonies, which tended towards a dominant monochrome. In 1938 an exhibition of his work toured the Netherlands.

By 1939 Lanskoy's gouaches had developed away from the constraints of subject matter and showed colour liberated from its imitative capacity and used for its purely expressive qualities. But it was not until the final years of the war that the rest of his work became concerned with abstracting the painted form from reality. Despite the gradual progression of his work towards abstraction, Lanskoy always refused to attribute great importance to the development of his work in its journey to abstraction, affirming the identity of nature between figurative and non figurative painting. But his focus on abstraction evidently dominated the character of majority of his later work and it was these works, produced form the 1940s onwards that were exhibited in Paris, Brussels, London, Lausanne, Zurich, New York Berlin and elsewhere, making his painting known across the world.

Lanskoy died in Paris in 1976. He is remembered largely for the abstract energetic coloured paintings which he produced in the later years of his career.