Short Biography


1905: Ida Karskaya is born in Bender (Russia, province of Bessarabia, present-day Moldavian Republic).

1922: Leaves her country to study medicine in Ghent (Belgium), then in Paris from 1924 on.

1930: Marries the painter Serge Karsky. She herself starts painting a few years before the war and becomes acquainted with Chaim Soutine who encourages her to continue.

1943: First one-woman show in Montpellier, Galerie Favier.

1946: First one-woman show in Paris, Galerie Pétridès, with a preface by Francis Carco.

Nouveaux jeux nécessaires, gestes inutiles, 1950-51
1949: One woman show “20 Jeux nécessaires, 40 gestes inutiles” (20 Necessary Games, 40 Useless Gestures) in Galerie Breteau, Paris.

1950: Death of Serge Karsky. One-woman show “Nouveaux Jeux nécessaires et Gestes inutiles” (New Necessary Games and Useless Gestures) in Galerie “Calligrammes,” Paris.

1953/54: Karskaya begins to make collages, has an order for an Aubusson tapestry, travels to Spain, holdsa one-woman show “España” inGalerie Colette Allendy, Paris.

1955/57: Karskaya paints a series called “Lettres sans réponse” (Unanswered Letters).

Gris Quotidiens 1959.
1959: Begins the series “Gris quotidiens” (Daily Grays), shown in Galerie La Roue, Paris.

1962: One-woman shows:

Galerie Karl Flinker, Paris, prefaces by Jean Paulhan and Geneviève Bonnefoi.

Galerie Parnass, Wuppertal, Germany, preface by Herta Wescher.

Hanover Gallery and Gallery One, London.


1963: One-woman show in Galerie Argos, Nantes.

1965: Exhibition in Galerie La Roue, Paris: “Les Invités de Minuit” (The Midnight Guests), a series of collages produced in collaboration with the painter Hester Hess.

1967: Exhibition “Connusinconnus” (Knownunknown) with the painter Chafik Abboud, in Galerie Le Fanal, Paris, as well as in Galerie Simone Florentin in Dieulefit.

1972: First retrospective show of Karskaya’s works in the Center for Contemporary Art of the Beaulieu en Rouergue Abbey: “Karskaya – vingt-cinq années d’inventions” (Karskaya – twenty five years of inventions). A monography on the artist, by Geneviève Bonnefoi, is published.


1973/74: Creates three tapestries in her studio:

“Poste Restante” (“General Delivery,” in leather)

“Mur de Silence” (“Wall of Silence,” in sisal and wool)

“La tête” (“The Head,” in sisal and rope).

She receives an order for a large tapestry (18m2): “Mémoires d’un noyé” (Memories of a Drowned Man), also executed in her own studio.

1975: Participates in the Lausanne Tapestry Biennial.

One-woman show “Billi-Billi un rien du tout” (Billi-Billi A Mere Nothing) in Galerie Françoise Tournié, Paris.

1976/79: Participates in numerous exhibitions.
One-woman show in Galerie Arts Contemporains, Paris.


1980: Retrospective show of Karskaya’s works in the Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques (National Foundation for Graphic and Plastic Arts), Paris.
Participates in numerous exhibitions.

Personnage blanc 1989
1981: One-woman shows in Galerie Praestegaarden, Denmark, and Galerie Limmer, Freiburg, Germany.
Participates in several exhibitions.

1982/83: One-woman shows in Wilhelmshaven and in Galerie Becher, Germany, as well as in Galerie Praestegaarden, Denmark.
Participates in numerous exhibitions.

1984/86: One-woman shows, Galerie Praestegaarden, Denmark, and Galerie Limmer, Freiburg Germany.

1987/89: One-woman shows: Galerie Praestegaarden, Denmark, Galerie Rolf Ohse, Bremen, Germany, Galerie Philip, Paris, and Galerie Limmer, Freiburg, Germany.
Participates in several exhibitions.

1990: Karskaya dies in Paris, on March 23rd.
Galerie Limmer edits a catalogue and has a one-woman show of Karskaya at the International Art Fair in Cologne, Germany.

1992: One-woman shows in Galerie Philip, Paris, and in “La Petite Galerie”, Paris.

1993: One-woman show, Galerie Arnoux, Paris.

Collage baroque 1978
1995: One-woman show “Les Invités de Minuit” (The Midnight Guests), Galerie Arnoux, Paris.
One-woman show “Gris Quotidiens” (Daily Grays), Galerie Pierre Brullé, Paris.
One-woman show “Collages”, Galerie Philip, Paris.
One-woman show, Galerie Limmer, Freiburg, Germany.

1997: One-woman show in the Collegiale Saint-Pierre-le-Puellier, Orléans. Retrospective show of Karskaya’s work in the P.A.B. (Pierre André Benoit) museum in Alès (France).
One-woman show (1947-57) in Galerie Pierre Brullé, Paris.

2000: Exhibit “Karskaya / alltägliches Grau” (Karskaya / Daily Grays), Galerie Limmer, Cologne, Germany.

2003/04: Exhibit “Paris Russe” (Russian Paris) in the Russian National Museum of Saint-Petersburg, Russia, the Von der Heydt-Museum of Wuppertal, Germany, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, France.

2005: Retrospective show of Karskaya’s work in the Beaulieu en Rouergue Abbey, France, in celebration of the centenary of her birth.

2008: One-woman show “KARSKAYA,” September 25-October 25, in Galerie 53, 53 rue de Seine, Paris.

2011: Exhibit “Les Invités de Minuit” in June, at the Francoise Livinec Gallery, 29-33 av. Matignon, 75008 Paris.
Exhibit “L’arbre qui cache la forêt” (You Can’t See the Forest for the Trees), Ecole des Filles – Espace d’art, Huelgoat, 29690, France, June 18-September 26.

2012: One-woman show in the Antonin Artaud Center, Paraire Chapel in Rodez, 12000, France, March 1-March 31.

2012: One-woman show in Galerie Convergences, 22 rue des Coutures Saint Gervais, 75003 Paris, March 15-April 15.

2015: One-woman show in Galerie Intuiti, 16 rue des Coutures St Gervais, 75003 Paris, March 15-April 15.