Constantin Kluge, Russian/French

(1912-2003)

Born of Russian parents in Riga, he emigrated to Manchuria in 1919.  There he studied the local dialect, which deepened his fascination with Chinese calligraphy.  Kluge graduated from the French College in Shanghai and at age 19 decided to travel to France to study architecture.

At the Paris Fine Arts Academy he placed first of 400 in a drawing competition for the entrance course and continued in the architecture section until 1937.

Returning to Shanghai, he devoted himself to art, exhibiting his oil paintings of the Chinese countryside, seagoing junkets, and portraits.  On a visit to Peking during the summer of 1943, he made the acquaintance of world-wide known scientist and philosopher Teilhard de Chardin, and drew his portrait.  He then practiced architecture in Hongkong but returned to painting in oil full-time, after a year.

Back in Paris, France in 1950, he exhibited in various galleries, and in 1962 was awarded the gold medal at the Salon des Artistes Francais.  He work was exhibited every year at reputed Left-Bank galleries; in 1965 he was part of Artist Witnesses of their Time.

From 1963 onward he exhibited at the Wally Findlay Galleries. Three times in Paris and in New York, Chicago, Palm Beach and Beverly Hills.