GALERIE IRIS CLERT, 1969 – André Malraux, Boris Vansier et Iris Clert
Boris Vansier is a Swiss painter born in Russia on June 7, 1928. Boris’ body of work employs several innovative techniques, developed over seven decades of nearly daily artistic practice. However, his thematic ‘series’ – open ended groupings that recede and return cyclically – speak to tradition, borrowing and revision. Bridging the historical with the contemporary, his paintings also integrate the polarizing forces of abstraction and figuration to create an effect that Wassily Kandinsky called “inner necessity.” In Vansier’s paintings, sensual corporeal subjects impose themselves among abstract themes to evoke the sense of an intimate connection with a secret inner world. “In any true painting, someone will recognize himself” (Boris Vansier, 2016).
Vansier spent his childhood and adolescence in Geneva, and in 1946, left for the United States, settling first in New York where he took classes at Adelphi University and then in Los Angeles where he enrolled at the Chouinard Art Institute. In 1948, after a brief return to Switzerland, he moved to Montreal and married his Parisian fiancée, Claude-Marie Plouvier, who gave birth to their twin sons Gérald and Daryl the following year. It was in Montreal where Vansier met the New York gallerist Henry Kleemann, who offered him his first exhibition at the Kleemann Gallery in New York. In 1954, he separated from his wife and left Canada to settle in France, first in Cannes until 1956, then in Paris where he met New Realist artists David Lan-Bar and Raymond Hains, along with Frans Krajcberg and Gigi Guadagnucci. In 1960, he married Pascale Honegger, daughter of the renowned composer, Arthur Honegger, with whom he had a daughter, Maude, before separating in 1966. During his time in Paris, Vansier held several exhibitions and surrounded himself with more artists from the New Realist movement, including Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely and Arman, and his eventual gallerist, Iris Clert. In 1970, he returned to Switzerland and met Hiltrud Kratel, (Jacqueline), with whom he settled in the small mountain town of Saint Cergue where they still reside.
Vansier’s exhibits occur throughout Switzerland, France, Belgium, Israel and Sweden, and his paintings can be found in numerous private and public collections worldwide. Boris continues to paint prolifically in his home-studio where he lives with Jacqueline, their dog Canelle and their two cats. Boris’ son and granddaughter, Daryl and Natalie respectively, recently co-produced a documentary on his art, premiering at the American Documentary Film Festival on April 11, 2018 in Palm Springs, California.
For more information on Boris Vansier and available works go to: