Sacha Kolin, French/American (1911 - 1981)

Sacha Kolin (1911 Paris-1981 NYC) grew up in Vienna, where she trained at the Kunstgewerbeschule and Academy of Fine Arts and exhibited at the Secession and Künstlerhaus.

In 1933, Kolin returned to Paris and studied in the studio of Naum Aronson, formerly a stonecarver for Rodin. She participated in several Paris Salons and in 1935, was elected Societaire - the youngest full member - of the Nationale Societe des Beaux Arts. At age 25, Kolin immigrated to the United States and settled in New York City. From the 1940s, she was inspired by American Indian lore and iconography. In the 1950s, Kolin hosted a color workshop in her studio with fellow émigré Hannes Beckmann and developed further in a non-objective style. Music was another passion, and Kolin sought to convey a lyrical expressiveness in her canvases. Her work of this time - in particular her watercolors - is likened to that of Kandinsky and Klee; her later painted sculpture and calligraphic drawings, to Arp and Miró. From the 1960s, Kolin's three-dimensional work became increasingly geometric and addresses weight and balance, tension and grace.

Her monumental aluminum sculpture "Drawing in the Sky #1" (1973) remains on display at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York. Kolin was a member of Artist's Equity Association, E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology), League of Present Day Artists, and National Association of Women Artists. Her career history includes over 125 solo and group exhibitions; she is represented in over 70 public and private art collections in the United States and abroad. Lisa Thaler, a Chicago-based genealogist with a special interest in artist émigrés of the World War II period, created and maintains a private archive of Sacha Kolin and is writing the artist's biography. Thaler is keeping a catalogue of the whereabouts of Kolin's work.

© Lisa Thaler 2003.

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