LEOPOLD SURVAGE

Galerie Arista

Léopold Stuzwage, known as Léopold Survage, was born in Moscow (Russia) in 1979. He became an apprentice in a piano factory. In 1901, he began to receive art training at the Moscow Academy of Fine Arts (1901-06), where he met Larionov and Malevitch. Léopold Survage participated in an exhibition of the Russian avant-garde, “Stephanos” (1907), and in the “Jack of Diamonds” group in 1910. He settled in Paris in 1908 where, while painting, he worked as a piano tuner until 1915. His pictorial world presaged the surrealist universe and enthusiasm for Apollinaire.

After a period of experimentation during which he became interested in the rules of “Cezanne-style” construction and Cubism, he painted abstract watercolours that he called “Coloured Rhythm”. He intended to animate these creations by filming them on camera, creating a “pictorial symphony” equivalent to music; however, with the advent of war, this project never saw the light of day. Survage painted highly-coloured canvases, figurative and symbolic compositions in which he abolished traditional rules of perspective; his figures were oversimplified and, most often, placed within an urban environment. He became a founding member of the Section d’Or (along with Gleizes, Archipenko, etc.). Survage expanded his oeuvre to include themes of the village and its inhabitants, works that were marked by their obvious associations with Cubism. He created sets and costumes for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (1922).

Léopold Survage, who held a unique position among the creators of the Ecole de Paris, died in Paris in 1968.