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Serge Poliakoff, mon grand-père

Marie-Victoire Poliakoff

The every day life of art stars is no longer a mystery to us, especially if there is something scandalous about them: the lives of Dali, Picasso or Warhol hold few secrets for the public at large. It is a lot more difficult to penetrate the intimacy of artists less covered by the media. While commenting her photo albums, Marie-Victoire Poliakoff has us discover her grandfather’s hidden face, the abstract painter President de Gaulle and Malraux worshipped. There was the carefree youth in Moscow (the Poliakoff were horse breeders of Kyrgyzstan origin, related to the great families of Czarism), the passage through Istanbul where Serge Poliakoff played the guitar in cabarets, the arrival in Paris, the marriage to a distant descendant of Henry VIII of England… And then of course, the life in his workshop, the friendship with gallery owners (Renato Cardazzo, Denise René, Dina Vierny), the moments of leisure spent at the horse races or having dinner at chez Lipp. It even includes the wild football games in an empty lot: the team of the artists (in shorts and patent leather shoes) against that of the art critics. Definitely a golden age that is for ever gone! And an approach that allows us to see behind one of the great names of the School of Paris something more than a regularly growing rate.

Serge Poliakoff, mon grand-père by Marie-Victoire Poliakoff, Chêne, 2011, 320 p., 39,90 €.

Serge Poliakoff, mon grand-père - Marie-Victoire Poliakoff

Review published in the newsletter #229 - from 6 October 2011 to 12 October 2011

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