André Lanskoy

Born in Moscow in 1902 and the son of Count Lanskoy, Andrei Mikhailovich Lanskoy was predestined for a military career. However, his fascination with visual representations of colour, particularly in everyday life and popular Russian culture, led him to pursue art. He fled to Kiev in 1918, where he joined Alexandra Exter’s workshop before joining the White Army, which he followed to Crimea and then Constantinople. In 1921, he moved to Paris, where he met Russian painters like Mikhail Larionov, Chaim Soutine and Natalia Gontcharova and honed his painting skills. He exhibited his works at the Salon d’Automne from 1923 onward. His participation in 1924 caught the attention of German collector Wilhelm Uhde, leading to Lanskoy's first contract with the Bing gallery, where he met another important collector, Roger Dutilleul.


André Lanskoy's work transitioned from figurative to abstract from 1922 to 1937. He exhibited a growing interest in the works of abstract painters Paul Klee and Vassily Kandinsky, and by 1941, he had completely broken away from object-oriented art. This intermediate phase was characterised by the creation of figurative, semi-figurative, and abstract gouaches. As he gradually freed his work from representation, he decomposed forms and turned past characters into assemblies of soft spots. In 1944, Lanskoy achieved pure abstraction and began a sixteen-year collaboration with the Louis Carré gallery. The same year, he met fellow artist Nicolas de Staël, and their deep friendship influenced both of their works.


From the 1950s to the 1970s, Lanskoy's works were exhibited in numerous Parisian galleries, and personal exhibitions multiplied both within France and abroad. He also participated in many collective exhibitions worldwide such as ‘Young painters USA and France’ at Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. In addition to drawing and painting, he made cartoons for tapestry, collages and illustrated books. Lanskoy's contributions to art history are significant. Being part of the new School of Paris, his work transitioned from figurative to abstract, with a unique graphic and visual plasticity. His works, characterised by a network of curved lines and a colourful palette, are exhibited at the Centre Pompidou, the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, and museums in Colmar, Grenoble, Le Havre, Lille, Maubeuge, Mulhouse, Saint-Étienne, Tourcoing, and Villeneuve-d'Ascq, as well as in New York, USA, and Toledo, Spain.

Portrait of André Lanskoy, 1954 © Ministère de la Culture - Médiathèque du patrimoine et de la photographie, Dist. GrandPalaisRmn Denise Colomb ADAGP, Paris