American abstract painter and sculptor; also writer and photographer. Born in Kiev, Russia. Studied painting at the Académie Andre Lhote in Paris 1929-31 and architecture with Auguste Perret at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts 1930-2. Art Editor of the magazine Vu 1933-6; made the film La Femme Française (one of the first colour films on painting) with the Louvre 1936. Moved to New York in 1941 and became a US citizen 1946. Joined Vogue magazine 1941; became Art Director of Vogue 1943, Art Director of Condé Nast Publications in the US and Europe 1944, and the organisation's Editorial Director 1962. Began in 1950 to paint in a hard-edge style, with sharply defined shapes (especially circles of different sizes), smooth surfaces and intense hues. Also made sculptures from the early 1950s, with flat cut-out metal shapes and cylindrical volumes; in 1960 started to weld. First one-man exhibition at the Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, 1960. From c.1963 turned away from hard-edge to a form of action painting, including spattered, blotted and poured colour. Published The Artist in his Studio 1960, and Greece, Gods and Art 1968. Lives in New York.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.435