Skip to content

Jacqueline PAVLOWSKY (1921-1971)

Jacqueline Pavlowsky was born in 1921 in Vincennes to Russian and Polish Jewish parents who had immigrated to France. After the war, she started her studies of chemistry, while at the same time devoting herself to painting. A full and captivating character “Independent, provoking, festive, she lives freely. Short hair, suit, cigarette, intimidating silhouette.”

In the years of 1950, she met Serge Poliakoff in the Pigalle area where they played the guitar and quickly became good friends. He lived in rue de Seine, her rue Madame, and they saw each other everyday, playing music together, until the death of Poliakoff in 1965. An emancipated woman, full of energy, she was condemned to rest and to lead a calm life made of restricted gestures after a car accident the same year.

She then worked with paper, crumbled it and glued it, to make objetcbooks like the “Livre du Ah” (The Book of Ah) (1965-1967). “I explored the illogical until the point of distress”, she noted. In 1971, upon the news that her daughter had committed suicide, Pavlowsky ended her life. “Her work, today, proves that she knew how to go from lyrism to rigour, from anxiety to structure, from feeling to symphonie.” – Jean-Dominique REY.

The gallery has published a monographic book in the occasion of the exhibition “La Peinture de Jacqueline Pavlowsky” (“The Painting of Jacqueline Pavlowsky”, text in French) available here. Two major works of Jacqueline Pavlowsky are exposed at Center Pompidou.

A catalogue of her work is in preparation – for any information or contribution to the project, please contact us.