Youla Chapoval was born in 1919 in Kiev. He arrived in France in 1924, and continued his schooling until he obtained his baccalaureate in 1938, the year he met Pablo Picasso. He gave up the medical studies he had started to dedicate himself to painting, a period during which he met Jean Cocteau. After the Vél d'Hiv raid, he fled Paris and took classes at the Beaux-Arts in Marseille and Toulouse. In 1944, when he returned to Paris, he learned of the death of his mother and sister who had been deported. Two years later, he married Jeanne Despujols, moved to Avenue Montaigne and met Henri Bénézit, who would be the first to support him by buying his works. In 1947, he visited Picasso, where he met Douglas Cooper, while Bénézit introduced him to Henri Dutilleul. Dutilleul became friends with Chapoval. The same year, he receives the 2nd Prize for Young Painting, and exhibits at the Jean Bucher Gallery. In 1949, on the death of his father, he leaves cubism for abstraction and receives the Kandinsky Prize. At the same time, the art critic Charles Estienne moved into the artist's home. He is part of the group exhibition "Les Mains Eblouies" at the Maeght gallery, and the State buys him a work: "la Houille". He is in charge of several model projects for the Paris Opera which will remain without continuation. In 1951, he took part in the Salon de Mai during which the Liège collector Graindorge bought a work. On 16 December, the artist dies at the age of 32.Read More
His early career is characterised by figurative painting. Chapoval's most frequent themes are portraits, still lifes or landscapes. The techniques most often used are oil on canvas or marouflaged paper. The difficult events he will experience will have a great influence on his painting. Between 1946 and 1947, Youla Chapoval is a cubist artist with warm colours, geometrical and legible forms. In 1948 he left cubism behind and became an abstract painter. Grey appears in his compositions. In 1949, green takes a great place in the artist's palette which becomes colder, always abstract, which it will remain until the end of his career.