[I was pottering about trying to see exactly how Lilya Brik was a muse of the Russian avant-garde when I encountered Parashutov’s article on Alex Grig, a French painter of Russian origin. Bring on the emigres, I thought to myself, although in Alex’s case, it is a bit of a stretch – she is second-generation French.
Speaking of Parashutov, the man’s so prolific and wide-ranging in his coverage of Russian art that I could keep busy for the next year or two just translating his articles.]
Alexandra Onisimovna von Grinkrug (Александра Онисимовна фон Гринкруг) was born in 1938 in Paris in a Jewish-Russian emigre family. Her artistic talent was noted at an early age. In her drawing of balloons, her teacher observed the accuracy of form and the bright capture of their movement. She was four or five years old at the time; her artistic career was born then. Even to this day one will find in her bedroom her paintings completed at eleven years of age.
Her academic training went through the usual rigorous procedures in Paris; she was taught by such luminaries as André Lhote, Ossip Zadkine, Edouard Mac-Avoy and Claude Schurr.
Her work has obtained wide interest particularly in the USA where she executed portraits on commission by various famous directors and actors, and sundry folk in Chicago, Aspen, New York and Washington.
The artist once confessed that she was influenced by the Dutch painter
(Frits van den) Berghe (1883-1939) Brueghel.
From 1956, Grig began extensively participating at international exhibitions. Here’s a clever self-referential painting.
Alex Grig works in various genres – gravure, theatre costume design, large-scale mosaic and illustrations of books. You could try classifying her as an expressionist or a surrealist or even a musicalist; more accurately, you should say her work is movement.