Born in 1904 in Russia, Paul Flegel loved to travel and he wound up in New York in the 1920s. But, it wasn’t until 1945 that we begin to see Paul Flegel on the art scene. New York art circles accepted him immediately as he spun beautiful pieces of art that were hard to categorize.Some would say he was influenced by the impressionists who rebelled against the conventional artistic techniques of 1800’s France.
Rather than the traditional dark paintings of historical or mythological characters, artists such as Renoir and Monet took their canvases to the open air and began painting natural settings taking great pains to focus on different effects of light.While Paul Flegel would in fact paint great outdoor scenes with plenty of activity in the vein of an impressionist, he could also be categorized as an expressionist. While it is arguable, Paul Flegel’s artwork certainly had conventions of expressionism when he distorted certain subjects or simply went with his own inner experiences to his subjects rather than confining himself to depicting the integrity of reality.
Paul Flegel would often paint his subjects only while leaving the rest of the canvas untouched by any paint at all. That was certainly not common. Most artists would paint the background of the painting using the entire canvas and then paint the subject. Paul Flegel, on the other hand, would mix his colors, apply his paints to the canvas to create the scene and then wipe off his palette knife never to use those colors again.His artistic style was greatly appreciated during his time. He was a regular contributor in the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit in Greenwich Village, "The Art Cradle of America." His works were also put on display in such places as the Carus Gallery, New York as well as the Claude Levin Gallery, Paris. He had a studio in both New York and Paris, but his favorite was in a quiet lot in New Hope, Pennsylvania.The greatest of his accomplishments throughout his life was when the Queen of England commissioned him to paint for her. While that is an enormous accomplishment for any artist,
Paul Flegel was also commissioned by Princess Grace of Monaco, Golda Meir of Israel and Kitty Carlisle of America among various other distinguished commissions he received throughout his life.Paul Flegel’s artistic voice has been rediscovered in the art world after thirty years of silence. His works are growing in popularity among a younger crowd of art connoisseurs. The youth and brilliance of his art, almost like a song someone renews, is coming to life anew and his legacy is being reborn to a new world of art lovers.