Philippe Hosiasson (1898-1978) was a Ukrainian-born French artist and a prominent figure within the School of Paris. Renowned for his talent in abstraction, he worked with various mediums including oil on canvas, gouache on paper, and watercolour.
Born into a family of merchants in Odessa, Hosiasson had familial ties to the renowned Russian writer Boris Pasternak, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1958. During the years 1910-1912, Hosiasson travelled to Berlin with his parents, where he was exposed to Western avant-garde art. This exposure sparked his artistic pursuits, leading him to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Odessa.
When Hosiasson arrived in Rome in 1920, the city immediately captured his attention, and he started to sketch everything around him. Here he met André Derain, who was working for Diaghilev's ballets and developed a deep fascination with modern dance. Two years later, Hosiasson designed sets for the Ballets Russes in Berlin.
In 1924, Hosiasson settled in Paris and eventually obtained French citizenship 1928. He became a member of the Neo-Humanist group, alongside Léon Zack and Christian Berard. This group was founded in 1930 by Waldemar George and the young painters of the Académie Ranson, focusing on figurative painting.
He took part in several artistic endeavours during the 1940s, including the illustration for the poetry collection "Le Crève-Coeur" by Aragon. Hosiasson decorated the Martinique Pavilion for the 1937 World's Fair in Paris.
During World War II, Hosiasson served in the army and sustained severe injuries near Dunkerque. He spent the years of the Occupation in various locations across France and returned to Paris in 1948.
Between 1947 and 1948, Hosiasson gradually shifted away from his decorative and figurative style towards abstraction. The influential French art critic and curator Michel Tapié, along with art historian Michel Seuphor, associated his work with Abstract Expressionism.
At that time, Hosiasson gained recognition from the legendary American art critic Clément Greenberg. His works were exhibited alongside artists such as Mark Rothko, Kenneth Noland, and Barnett Newman in New York.
During his career, Hosiasson participated in three Biennials, including the Venice Biennale in 1930 and 1964, as well as the São Paulo Art Biennial in 1955, while his works were exhibited in various galleries and museums across France, Italy, the US and Luxembourg.
His artworks are featured in museums worldwide, including Mumok in Vienna, MoMA in New York, Centre Pompidou in Paris, The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Saint-Etienne, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
February 15, 1898
July 13, 1978