Philippe Hosiasson

1898 1978
(Ukraine) 1898 /   (France) 1978

Philippe Hosiasson grew up in Odessa in family of merchants, relatives of the Russian writer Boris Pasternak (1890-1960). Between 1910 and 1912, Hosiasson travels to Berlin with his parents and gets in touch with the occidental avant-garde. He starts drawing very early and in 1912, after a short stay at the Acedemy of Fine Arts of Odessa, he studies law and history of art at the University of Odessa.

In 1917, he publishes a text on Le Gréco.

In 1918, he marries Olga Bilinsky and in 1920 his university sends him to Rome where he meets André Derain who was working for Diaghilev’s ballets. Fascinated by the Romans, he draws everything around him, the crowed, the streets.

In 1922, Hosiasson is in Berlin where he is, in turn, set designer for the Russian ballets of Boris Romanov. 

Hosiasson arrives in Paris in 1924 and obtains the French nationality in 1928. With Léon Zack, he joins the neo-humanist group founded in 1930 by Waldemar George and the young painters of the Ransons Academy.

In 1937, he participates in the International exhibition of Paris for the decorations of the Martinique lodge. Enrolled in 1939, Philippe Hosiasson in seriously wounded in Dunkerque. He spends the years of Occupation in Toulouse, Marseille and in the region of Nice. He then comes back to Paris in 1948 after a long illness triggered by his wound. Philippe Hosiasson paints his last abstract picture for the National Front of Marseilles in 1945.

Between 1947 and 1948, he starts painting his first “informal” canvas that Michel Tapié and Michel Seuphor will classify as Abstract expressionism. Supported by Clement Greenberg, he gains momentum and shows with Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko and Kenneth Noland at the Kootz gallery of New York. According to the artist, abstraction isn’t only about the strict application of the biblical story, which bans the reproduction of the image, but it constitutes “his way to express his conception of the world and of his Judaism”.
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