Nicolas De Staël was born in Saint Petersburg, he was French nationality of Russian origin. He was a painter known for his use of a thick impasto and his highly abstract landscape painting. He also worked with collage, illustration and textiles.
Before he attended the Brussels’s Royal Academy of Arts in 1932, he had travelled throughout Europe, living in Paris, Morocco and Algeria.
In 1939, De Staël joined the French Foreign Legion. He was demobilized in 1941 and he moved to Nice, where he met Sonia and Robert Delaunay and Jean Arp. These artists all had an almost immediate effect in inspiring him to begin abstract paintings, or compositions.
In 1943, De Staël returned to Paris, where he soon exhibited his works together with Wassily Kandinsky. His paintings appeared in several group exhibitions during the war though in 1944 he held his first one man exhibition in the Galerie Jeanne Bucher. In May, he exhibited in the first Salon de Mai.
In 1944, De Staël met Georges Braque and a year later he had gained important fame due to the exhibitions he partook in. He made a contract with Louis Carré in 1946 which agreed that he would buy all the paintings that De Staël produced.
With the help of friends, De Staël grew famous and managed to break into the United States, holding small exhibitions in the apartments of friends. He signed a contract with New York dealer, Paul Rosenberg, on returning to Paris. Rosenberg demanded more and more paintings from the artist and these marked a return to figuration, still life and landscape in his paintings after the largely concentrated abstraction.
De Staël moved with his family to Antibes, where he suffered from depression and committed suicide in 1955.
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