Serge Charchoune (1888 - 1975)
Oil on canvas
4 1/4 x 7 3/4 inches
Signed and dated at lower right: Charchoune / X 44
Russian-born Serge Charchoune was an artist that moved within the Dada and Cubist circles, although never really associated himself with one or the other. He was said to be the first Russian Dadaist poet, and would author a number of books on this subject.
The Dada movement lost its glamour for Charchoune around 1925 because he was no longer interested in the political aspect of it. This gave way for the artist to begin using symbols and elements from his native Russia and French roots, which became apparent throughout the rest of his artistic career.
Although he moved within certain artistic circles, critics have attributed his failure to connect with one group of artists as his reason for being a lesser-known artist today. Charchoune had his first exhibit in the United States in 1960, and it wasn’t really until then that his work had become noticed.
Although he was a friend and contemporary of Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp, Serge Charchoune's reluctance to associate too closely with any one group contributed to his prolonged relative obscurity. ARTnews "introduced" Charchoune to the general public in 1960, the year of his first solo exhibition in the United States. Man Ray took this portrait in 1925 shortly after Charchoune's break with Dadaism. Put off by the political elements of the Dadaist movement, Charchoune pursued an unapologetically ornamental style of abstract painting influenced by Spanish-Moorish art and the icons of his native Russia.