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Samson Flexor

(1907 - 1971)

Shortly after his installation in São Paulo, Samson Flexor turned to abstraction. His works, initially close to a semi-abstract painting of neo-cubist inspiration, gradually transformed into purely abstract geometric compositions. His paintings are then characterized by a search for a certain dynamism, combining geometrical elements and a special care given to colors. A few years later, led Flexor towards a more “lyrical” abstraction and his paintings lose their strict geometry in favor of shapes More organic. At the end of the sixties, he returned almost to figuration, with a phase synthesized by the artist as “anthropomorphic”. Surprisingly, although he was a creative and ardent advocate of abstractionism in Brazil, Samson Flexor, throughout his life, preserved a figurative practice through, on the one hand, his prolific portraitist activity and, on the other hand, His religious works. Samson Flexor was born in Soroca in a wealthy Jewish family. His father, Modest Flexor, the son of merchant agricultural colony in Zguritsa (now Soroca District of Moldova) was known throughout the province as an agronomist, a landowner and one of the richest men. His mother Marie-Georgette (née Kleiner) was born in France. Samson was educated at a private school in Soroca, then in the Odessa Art School and school in Bucharest, where she moved the whole family. In 1922-1924 he studied at the Belgian Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts) in Brussels, and since 1924 in the Paris National School of Fine Arts (École Nationale des Beaux-Arts) Lucien Simon (Lucien Simon, 1861-1945), and also attended lectures on art history at the Sorbonne University. In 1926 he studied fresco technique in private Academie Ranson. In the late 1920s, his parents also settled in Paris, and in 1929 the family received French citizenship. Flexor began to paint with Sorokskaya landscapes, to the 1920s, almost entirely focused on portretistike, first performed in a realistic manner. Over the years, portrait work appear more pronounced expressionist features. The first solo exhibition of works by Flexor held 22 April 1927 in Brussels in the gallery Campagne Premiere, followed by a part in group exhibitions in Paris, during the 1930s, he regularly exhibited at the Salon des Surindépendants. His first solo show was held at the Campaign Première Gallery in Brussels (April 1927) and during the following decade he regularly exhibited at the Salon des Surindépendants. In 1933 his wife died in Flexor’s childbirth Tatiana Yablokov. This tragedy led to a creative and existential crisis: in the same year Flexor adopted Roman Catholicism and some time to painting. When he began to paint again, his works have appeared distinctly religious motives. The relationship of the artist with his family at this time dramatically cooled and financial situation deteriorated. The death in childbed of his first wife causes a serious existential crisis in him. He then converted to Catholicism, ceased for a while to paint and cut off all contact with his family. In 1939 he married again with Magda Mezhicher, and in the same year his first son was born and he restored relations with the family. In the next year his father bought for him a house in Normandy, where, after a brief participation in the French Resistance movement, the artist has retired with his family and spent the entire World War II years.

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