Sergei Bongart was a Russian painter who was born in the Ukraine, studied at the Russian Academy of Arts in Kiev, and went on to paint and study in Prague, Vienna and Munich. He emigrated to the U.S. in the middle of the 20th Century, lived, painted and taught in Idaho and then in California, where he established the Sergei Bongart School of Art and administered it for many years.
He is admired for his richly colored and emotionally expressive landscapes, still lifes and portraits. He was best known as a colorist, working in exaggerated color, using dynamic but carefully controlled color relationships and extolling the virtues of approaching painting as “color first, subject last”.
Bongart’s approach looks like an intersection between Russian impressionist style painting (see my previous posts on Russian galleries in the U.S. here and here) and Cézanne’s oblique path into the distillations of modernism. Bongart’s brusquely applied strokes of vibrant color create representational images, but you can tell that it is not the objects but color itself that is the subject of his paintings.
Link via Art Notes – Interesting Art Stuff