Shapiro Yakov

Self portrait 55x47 cm, oil on canvas, 1946
About work

(Українська) До автопортрету художник звертався в різні періоди свого життя, і кожен з них відрізняється багатогранністю.

В картині “Автопортрет” виражено самосвідомість майстра, дана оцінка власної особистості і творчих принципів вже в зрілому віці. З м’яким гумором художник “увічнив” себе на полотні, де постає як людина мудра, розсудлива і спостережлива. Автопортрет неоднозначний в прочитанні: маска це або сповідь художника – залишається загадкою. Створюється враження, що робота написана легко і швидко. Малюнок, ліплення живого виразного обличчя – все говорить про вільне володіння Я. Шапіро мистецтвом портрета.

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Shapiro Yakov Abramovich (Alexandrovich) (1887-1972) – a modernist artist with a remarkable creative personality, a representative of the “Paris school” – a creative group that also included M. Chagall, A. Modigliani, X. Sutin, M. Kisling and other

J. Shapiro was born in Daugavpils, Latvia (according to some sources in Belarus) in a family of woodcarver. The young man received his primary art education at the Kharkov art school (1915), then he studied in Kiev (1918). In 1919, Y. Shapiro led the drawing school in Yekaterinoslav (now Dnepropetrovsk), then – the children’s art school in Petrograd, where the artist moved in 1921 and where he continued his studies at the State Free Art Studios.

In the 1920s Y. Shapiro was engaged in scenography at the Petrograd and Moscow theaters. He participated in exhibitions: Art Bureau N. Dobychina (1922), Pictures of Petrograd artists of all directions (1923), the group “United Art” (1925), etc.

In 1925, the artist settled in Paris in the legendary hostel of artists “La Ruche” (“Beehive”), where he lived for five years. With his arrival in France, a new period of his work began, associated with active exhibition activities. The works of J. Shapiro were presented in French salons: Autumn, Tuileries, Independent, Populiste, etc. The master held solo exhibitions in the galleries Kleinman (1930), Bonaparte (1936), de L’Elysee (1946), participated in many exhibitions of Russian art, including the exhibition “Russian Artists of the Paris School” (1961). In 1939, J. Chapiro moved to the south-east of France to the city of Carpentra, then to the Upper Alps.

The book of memoirs about the life of the colony of artists “La Ruche”, famous in the 1920s, was published by J. Shapiro in I960. In addition, the artist helped preserve this famous building “Hive” in the Montparnasse area by setting up a special commission together with M. Chagall.

The artist turned to self-portrait at different periods of his life, and each of them is multifaceted. In the “Self-Portrait” by Jacob Shapiro, the master’s self-consciousness is expressed, his own personality and creative principles are evaluated already in adulthood. With gentle humor, the artist “immortalized” himself on the canvas, where he appears as a wise, reasonable and observant person. The self-portrait is ambiguous in reading: whether it is a mask or a confession of the artist remains a mystery. It seems that the work is written easily and quickly. Drawing, sculpting a lively expressive face – everything speaks of the free possession of J. Shapiro the art of portraiture.

The works of Jacob Shapiro are in the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris, at the Art Institute of Chicago and others, decorate private collections of collectors from around the world.

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