Entry date: 1988 (from the redistribution of the Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo [MEAC] collection)
Olga Sacharoff is part of the illustrious company of women artists who made their mark on the history of Spanish art during the 1920s and 1930s: Remedios Varo and Sacharoff in Barcelona; Maruja Mallo, Delhy Tejero and Norah Borges in Madrid; Ángeles Santos in Valladolid and María Blanchard from the modernity of Paris. Sacharoff’s work cannot be explained without making mention of the many life experiences of this refined woman, whose country of origin, Georgia, is home to the traditions of both East and West. Later, in Paris, where she moved in 1912, she came into contact with Cubism, cultivated at that time by Robert Delaunay, Albert Gleizes, Roger de La Fresnaye, André Lhote and Marie Laurencin. This is not to mention the impact the work of Cézanne had on the future painter. In 1915, like so many other artists, she fled the violence of World War I. She decided to travel to Spain, settling in Barcelona the following year. However, she remained in contact with Paris, while also getting involved in Spanish avant-garde circles. She collaborated on the magazine 391, which Francis Picabia published in Barcelona in 1917. As a result of all these experiences, her style begins by paying tribute to Cubism. It then later shifts to a figurative painting style featuring pleasing shapes. They are naïve in appearance, but filled with references which betray the artist’s extensive knowledge, from the ancestral art of her Iranian origins to the painters of the Italian Trecento and the peculiar scenes of Le Douanier, Henri Rousseau. Additionally, Tiovivo en la feria (Merry-Go-Round at the Fair, ca. 1934) clearly reveals elements of Modigliani and the intelligent combination of cool and warm tones. These compete with a compositional structure inherited from Cézannesque Proto-Cubism and a highly precise draughtsman-like conception, a hallmark of all Sacharoff’s compositions.
Paloma Esteban Leal