Friday, December 27, 2013

Moïse Kisling: Silplified Solidity

Moïse (Mojżesz) Kisling (1891-1953) was born in Kraków, Austro-Hungarian Empire, but moved to France in 1910 and remained there for the rest of his life aside from a period of time in the U.S.A. around the time of World War 2. Kisling because a French citizen due to his serving in the Foreign Legion during the Great War and being wounded. These and other facts can be found in this fairly brief Wikipedia entry.

Although Kisling maintained a base in Paris, he spent much of his time in the Riviera. He was sociable, with many friends in the School of Paris collection of artists as well as other modernists. His sociability was perhaps outshone by his wife, Renée (1896-1960), daughter of career cavalry officer Jules-Chalres-Émile Gros. She was not pretty by most standards, but compensated via her personality.

As for his art, Kisling didn't exactly plunge into modernism. Instead, his paintings depicted real people and objects, but in the simplified yet rounded, solid style that was widely used during the 1920s and 30s. To that degree, Kisling was comparatively conservative. Moreover, his style did not evolve much during those years, finally changing a little by the 1940s as can be seen below.


Portrait of André Salmon - 1912

Paysage de Provence - c.1919

Kiki de Montparnasse - 1925

Renée Kisling - 1928

Nu alongée sur l'herbe - c.1930

Portrait of a Young Woman

Self-Portrait - 1937

Nu assis - 1942

Sylvia Mann - 1943

Photo of Kisling with model - c.1935

1 comment:

Hels said...

Great portraits and lots of fun :)

Kisling took a studio in Montparnasse just before WW1 broke out so he was in a perfect position to meet and work with everyone that counted. My favourites were Pascin and Modigliani who lived in the very same building!!! I love Soutine as well, but Soutine and Kisling probably didn't meet in Paris - rather, as you say, in the south of France.