b. 1905, Moscow, Russia
d. 1976, Paris, France
André Lanskoy was a Russian-French painter, printmaker, and an early adopter of the French painting style Tachisme. Following the Russian Civil War, Lanskoy moved to Paris where he was first exposed to James Ensor’s and Vincent van Gogh’s work in French museums. At this time, he painted primarily still lifes and figural works, participating in his first group exhibitions in 1923 at La Licorne Gallery and at the Salon d’Automne in 1924. In 1925, the collector Wilhelm Ude helped him stage his first solo exhibition. Throughout the next decade, he continued to paint and exhibit with other Russian expatriate artists, including Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Léopold Survage, and Ossip Zadkine.
After 1937, Lanskoy began a transition to abstraction, influenced by Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. By 1942, he had fully embraced abstraction and was also working in mosaic, tapestry, and collage. In 1944, Lanskoy exhibited at the Jeanne Bucher Gallery in Paris, where he met Nicolas de Staël; the two artists became close and exhibited together in 1948. Lanskoy’s work was shown at Fine Art Associates in New York in 1956, documenta II in Kassel in 1958, and at the Loeb Gallery in New York in 1959. In 1962, Lanskoy began a series of prints and collages to accompany Nikolai Gogol’s novel Diary of a Madman. In the midst of this major project, Lanskoy’s work was exhibited at the Musée Galleria in Paris in 1966 and at the Neue Galerie in Zurich in 1969. Thirteen years after Lanskoy’s 1976 death, The Aras Gallery exhibited the 150 collages and 80 lithographs of his Gogol Diary of a Madman series in 1989 in a major posthumous exhibition.