PAUL ACKERMAN (French, 1908-1981)
    Personnages Cubistes, 1949-1950
    Oil on canvas
    62 x 73 inches (157.5 x 185.4 cm)
    Signed and dated lower right: Ackerman 49-50

    Sale Paul Ackerman, conducted by Claude Robert, 5 Avenue d'Ely[...]. Paris (studio sale stamp on stretcher);
    Private collection, California.

    Paul Ackerman, 1908-1981, Editions Mayer, Paris, 1987, p. 84, color ill.

    Paul Ackerman was an active and prolific Romanian-born artist who forged a successful career as a French modernist during the mid-20th century. He was born in Jassy, Romania, to a well-to-do Jewish family who sought refuge in France four years later. The Ackermans settled in Paris, where young Paul was initially encouraged by his businessman father in his love of art. From a young age he drew and painted and regularly visited the Louvre. However, once he had finished his secondary education, Paul was expected to follow a practical career, and to please his father, he enrolled in law school. Nonetheless, he continued his interest in the arts, taking literature classes on the side, and enrolling in courses given by Fernand Léger on the rue Nôtre-Dame-des-Champs. Léger was enormously encouraging, and Ackerman, emboldened by the confidence Léger instilled in him, was convinced not to abandon his artistic inclinations.

    During the Second World War, Ackerman survived a prison camp and eventually met up with his new wife in St. Tropez. After Hitler invaded the so-called Free Zone, the couple went into hiding in the village of Chindrieux, near Aix-en-Bains where they remained in the house of a friend until France was liberated. Throughout the war, Ackerman made art continuously, painting and drawing on newspaper when he was unable to afford any real artists' materials. At the time of liberation, Ackerman met the painter Pierre Bonnard, whose evocative work and poetic touch had a lasting impact on his own.

    Upon his return to Paris in 1944, Ackerman fell profoundly under the sway of Cubism through his friendship with the artist Jacques Villon, which occupied him for a solid decade. The present work, as well as a similar composition of 1950 also in this auction, are outstanding and ambitious examples of Ackerman's work as a mid-century Cubist. They show an awareness of the color experiments of the Delaunays, and demonstrate the artist's ability to integrate figure and landscape, which served him well throughout his career, even as his style changed and evolved.

    Condition Report*:

    Painting bears marks from stretcher bars. Surface soil commensurate with age. Original stretcher.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th-21st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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