Serge Poliakoff was born in Moscow on 8 January, 1900. He is valued as one of the most important members of the Ecole de Paris. He moved to Paris in 1923, where he spent most years of his life. While earning a living as a musician Poliakoff first began painting. He enrolled at the Académie Forchot and Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris 1929, then went to London in 1935 to study at the Slade School of Art.


His beginning works were variations of academic traditions and predominantly figurative motifs such as nudes, houses, and trees. After 1935 Poliakoff increasingly turned towards abstract art, using color without any figurative context. Strong artist influences for Poliakoff were Kandisky and Otto Freudlich. Poliakoff developed a very individual form of abstract painting, arranging different colored fields next to one another.


During the 1940s shades of brown and grey were prominent in his works, while after the 1950s he expanded to working with bright tones, and dropping the vivid colors again in his later work. Poliakoff’s paintings were shown at international exhibitions during the 1950s and 1960s. Serge Poliakoff died in Paris on 12 October, 1969.