Artist profile

Antoine Pevsner

The artist Antoine Pevsner was born in Russia in 1884 as the older brother to Naum Gabo. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kiev and St. Petersburg and drew inspiration from new aquaintances, like Robert Delaunay, Fernand Léger, Modigliani and Archipenko, in Paris during his visits in 1911 and 1913, which stimulated his interest in Cubism. After spending two years in Oslo with his brother Naum Gabo during the first world war, the artist returned to Russia in 1917 after the Russian Revolution to teach at the Moscow Academy of Fine Arts together with Wassily Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich. Both Pevsner and Gabo are considered to have been at the forefront of the twentieh century avant garde since they, amongst others, originated the practice of Constructivism and Kinetic Art. By welding metals as a new medium in sculpture they have combined mathematics with the arts for the first time in history. ‘Art must be inspiration controlled by mathematics. I have a need for peace, symphony, orchestration,’ Pevsner said. Based on this new approach, him and his brother issued the Realist Manifesto in 1920. Following this publication their work was exhibited in the Soviet part of Berlin in 1922 as part of the ‘First Russian Art Exhibition’ upon which Pevsner visited the city in 1923 and met Marcel Duchamp and Katherine Dreier. Soon after he moved to Paris and became a French citizen in 1930. Him and Gabo designed a ballet set for Sergei Diaghilev and were the leaders of the Constructivist group Abstraction-Création, an group of artists in Paris who embraced a mixture of abstract styles. Beginning with the exhibition in Berlin in1922, Pevsner started to gain an international reputation and showed work in Amsterdam, Basel, London, New York, and Chicago during the 1930s. In 1946 he founded the group Réalités Nouvelles amongst others and their first exhibiton was held at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles a year after. The same year Pevsner opened his first solo exhibition at the Galerie René Drouin. In 1948 the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented the exhibition Gabo-Pevsner, and in 1952 Pevsner participated in Chefs-d’oeuvre du XXe siècle at the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris. The same museum organized a solo exhibition of his work in 1957. In 1958 he was represented in the French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Pevsner died in Paris on April 12, 1962.

Biography

1884
Born in Russia
1908–1910
Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kiev
1911
Starts studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg
1911
First visit to Paris where he meets Robert Delaunay and Fernand Léger
1913
Second visit to Paris where he meets Amedeo Modigliani and Alexander Archipenko
1915–1917
Lives in Oslo, Norway together with his brother Naum Gabo
1917
Starts teaching at the Academy of Fine Art, Moscow together with Wassily Kandinsky and Kasimir Malevich
1920
Publication of the Realist Manifesto with Naum Gabo
1922
Part of the 'First Russian Exhibition' in Soviet Berlin with Naum Gabo
1923
First visit in Berlin where he meets Marcel Duchamp and Katherine Dreier
1924
Moves to Paris
1930
Obtains French citizenship
1930s
Starts to exhibit internationally
1931
Founding of Constructivist group Abstraction-Création
1946
Founding of Réalités Nouvelles group
1947
First solo exhibition at Galerie René Drouin
1948
Exhibition 'Gabo-Pevsner' at the Museum of Modern Art in New York
1952
Exhibits in Chefs-d’oeuvre du XXe siècle at the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris
1957
Solo exhibition at Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris
1958
Represented in the French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
1962
Dies in Paris on April 12