Still Life in Gray Artist: Serge Charchoune (Russian, 1888–1975)


Modern and Contemporary Art

Not on view

The subtle modulation of colors and the overlapping contours of classical forms in Serge Charchoune’s Still Life in Gray are evidence of the artist’s brief but profound immersion in Purism. Begun in 1918 by the painter Amédée Ozenfant and the architect Le Corbusier, the Purist movement sought to develop a rational and universal aesthetic that was free of embellishment. Charchoune met Ozenfant in 1927 in Paris. Deeply inspired by Purism’s simplicity and balance, Charchoune invested the next two years of his artistic production in creating still lifes like this one. In these works, he harmonized straight and curved forms on stable axes, while deploying a paintbrush and knife to create variations in surface and depth within a neutral palette.


Oil on canvas


73.8 × 68 cm (29 1/16 × 26 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Collection Société Anonyme

Accession Number



20th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



John Graham to KSD for the Societe Anonyme in 1936 (KSD to Marcel Duchamp, Apr. 4 1936)
  • Serge Charchoune, Charchoune 1888–1975 (Amiens, France: Conseil General de la Somme, 1989).
  • Robert L. Herbert, Eleanor S. Apter, and Elise K. Kenney, The Société Anonyme and the Dreier Bequest at Yale University: A Catalogue Raisonné (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1984), 157, no. 160, ill.
  • Charchoune, exh. cat. (Reims, France: Musee des Beaux Arts de Reims, 1971).
  • M. Faux, Charchoune, exh. cat. (Paris: Centre National D'Art Contemporain, 1971).
  • Gunther Metken, "Charchoune," Das Kunstwerk (July 24, 1971).
  • Serge Charchoune, Charchoune (Chicago: William and Noma Copley Foundation, 1961).
  • William Nelson Copley, "Introducing the Paintings of Serge Charchoune," Artnews 59 (March 1960).
  • Collection of the Société Anonyme: Museum of Modern Art 1920 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1950), 168-69, ill.
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

still lifes


Signed l.r. "S. Charchoune 27"
Signed verso, on stretcher "S. Charchoune, 7 r Coetlogon Paris"

Technical metadata and APIs


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