Nicolas De Staël (1914 – 1955) created works that balanced his concrete perceptions of the outside world with his inner, abstract visions. From the former Soviet Union, De Staël lived in Paris, initially painting still lifes and portraits. His work evolved into abstractions interwoven with realistic elements, created with a palette knife in thick, encrusted blocks of color. A year after De Staël arrived in Paris, he exhibited with artistic legend Wassily Kandinsky. His existence tragically cut short by suicide, De Staël lives on as a profoundly influential post-war European artist.