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Jaroslav Serpan

1922 Prag
1979 Pyrenäen

The Czech-French painter Jaroslav Serpan (actually Sossountzov) was born on June 4, 1922 in Prague. He came to France with his family in 1926 and studied biology and mathematics at the Sorbonne starting in 1939. He was a self-taught painter and also worked as a writer.
From 1946 – 1948, Jaroslav Serpan was a member of the group of Surrealists and exhibited with them in 1947 at Gallery Maeght. In 1948, the artist turned away from Surrealism and devoted himself to Art Informel under the influence of Antoni Tápie (*1923), Andre Masson (1896 – 1987), and Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze (a.k.a Wols 1913 – 1951).
Jaroslav Serpan received his doctorate in 1953 in statistical biology and later assumed a teaching post at the Sorbonne. The artist began living in Le Pecq in 1957. During the same year, there was a special exhibition with Serpan’s works at the Gallery Smela in Duesseldorf. In addition, his pictures were displayed in 1958 in Munich (Gallery van der Loo), Paris (Gallery Stadler), Brussels (Palais des Beaux-Arts), and in New York (Kootz Gallery). In 1959, he exhibited at the Gallery Hella Nebelung in Duesseldorf and participated at the "documenta II" in Kassel. In Stuttgart, the works of the artist were seen in 1961 at the Gallery Lutz and Meyeru.
Jaroslav Serpan applied clearly conceived pastose structures on a background that was usually monochrome, upon which rhythmically massing or dispersing black particles developed. One example of this is the work "Kselksheensi" (1952). In 1963, Jaroslav Serpan won the "Prix Marzotto" and the "Couronne d’or" of the International Center of Aesthetic Research in Turin. One of his last works was the triptych for the abbey church of Beaulieu created in 1972.
Jaroslav Serpan has been considered missing since a 1976 mountain hike in the Pyrenees.

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