Biography from Oise Encheres, Chantilly
Gabriel Spat was born in Kishinev, Russia, now Chisinau, Moldova. He was active in France from 1919 to 1942 and in the United States from 1942. Spat studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Geneva, as well as in Paris, at the Colarossi Academy and at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. After the First World War, he lives in Paris where he frequents Soutine and Modigliani. Spat has spent most of his career in France painting small figurative works in oil and watercolour and leisure scenes in places such as racecourses, parks and beaches. As a student, he was so poor that he was forced to paint on the remains of canvas given to him by other artists. As a result, he learned to paint in miniature, and continued to work on a small scale throughout his career. Spat fled to the south of France in 1940, during the German occupation of Paris, but returned two years later. His watercolours reflect the darker mood of the time. In 1943, Spat managed to escape, and in 1945 he arrived in the United States, where he settled in New York and married. The following year, the Carroll Carstairs Gallery in New York held an exhibition of Spat’s watercolours; several other exhibitions followed in the United States and in Paris.