Eugène Zak

1884 1926
(Pologne) 1884 /   (France) 1926

Polish painter Eugeniusz Zak worked primarily in France, though he also spent time in Poland and Germany. He was an outstanding exponent of Neo-Classicism and enjoyed links to the Warsaw-based RYTM / RHYTHM group (founded in 1922) as well as the École de Paris.

He spent his youth in Warsaw, departing for Paris in 1901 and then venturing on to Munich and Italy. He settled in Paris permanently in 1904 and joined in the dynamic artistic life of the city, participating in the Autumn Salon, the Salon of Independents, and salons organized by the National Society for the Fine Arts. He also exhibited broadly in the galleries of Paris, New York, Cologne, and London.

He spent the years of World War I in Poland, only to return to Paris in 1923 via Berlin and Bonn. Initially he was influenced by the Symbolists and the "Les Nabis" lead by Maurice Denis. He progressed on to stages of Neo-Classicism, Art Deco, and ultimately to the Expressionism of the École de Paris.

Zak considered himself an opponent of the avant-garde, though his painting seemed to absorb many of the experiments of innovators (Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse), which he adapted according to the principles of his own retrospective creative stance. Zak had two paintings in the New York Armory Show in 1913.

One, In Summer, was purchased by John Quinn for $340. The other, The Shepherd, was bought by Arthur J. Eddy for $540.