Mane Katz

Young man with an umbrella 61x51 cm, oil on canvas
About work

(Українська) У представленому мальовничому полотні Мане-Катца “Юнак з парасолькою” енергійний мазок і стримана гамма палітри майстра передали стан глибокого роздуму молодої людини – хасида, думки якого ймовірно звернені до Бога.

Картина написана в експресивній манері. Тематика психологічного портрета посідала значне місце в творчості художника.

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Mane-Katz (Immanuel Lazarevich) (1894-1962) was born in Kremenchug in a large family of shames (business manager) of the city synagogue. Parents, wanting his son to become a rabbi, at four years old gave him to study as a heder. At an early age, the boy showed abilities and love for drawing. At the age of sixteen, he left the yeshiva (a Jewish educational institution) and embarked on the thorny path of the artist. From 1911-1913 I. Katz studied at the Kiev art school. In 1913, the young artist left for Paris, entered the National School of Fine Arts with Professor F. Cormon, where he studied for about a year. Here he became friends with X. Sutin. At this time, the Manet-Katz art style was formed, in which the influence of Rembrandt’s works, as well as the modernist artistic movements of Fauvism and Cubism, was clearly felt. Manet-Katz was acquainted with P. Picasso, A. Matisse and other famous artists.

Returning to Petrograd in 1916, Mane-Katz, an already well-established artist, participated in the exhibition of the Jewish Society for the Promotion of Arts. Works of M. Chagall, N. Altman and others were also exhibited here. In 1916-1917. studied at the New Art Studio with M.V. Dobuzhinsky.

The October Revolution returned the artist to his native city of Kremenchug, where he taught drawing. Mane-Katz became a prominent figure in the Kharkov avant-garde. He was a member of the “Group of Three”, “Liren” and “Union of Seven”, uniting the artists-followers of French Cubism and Italian Futurism. At this time, his work showed an interest in the national theme and subjects from Jewish life. In 1919, the artist held solo exhibitions in Kharkov, Rostov-on-Don, Tiflis. Realizing that the cruel times of the formation of the new government would not allow him to realize his creative plans, Mane-Katz in 1921 left Russia forever.

Having settled again in Paris, he joined the circle of artists of Montparnasse. The works of representatives of this art group were distinguished by their emotionality and expressiveness of style. Mane-Katz’s expressionism initially developed under the influence of the work of X. Soutine. However, he quickly found his own way. In his work, the artist tried to reflect the spiritual life of the Jewish people, the wealth of their internal culture. The first Mane Katz exhibition in Paris took place in May 1923 at the Persieux Gallery. In 1928, the artist visited Palestine. The trip inspired him to create numerous variations of the painting “At the Wailing Wall”. At the World Exhibition in Paris in 1937, Mane-Katz received a gold medal for the painting “At the Western Wall”.

From 1940 until the end of the war, Mane-Katz lived in New York. He worked hard on the Holocaust. In 1945, the artist returned to Paris. Since 1946, he often visited Palestine, then Israel, brought his work. In 1958, an agreement was reached between the master and the municipality of Haifa to build a house and a workshop for him – in exchange for a will, in which all his works and the unique collection of ancient Jewish art collected by him were transferred to the city. In this house he spent the last year of his life. September 9, 1962 Mane-Katz died.

Paying tribute to the creative heritage of the artist, he is rightly called the chronicler of his people.

In the picturesque Mane-Katz painting “Young Man with an Umbrella”, an energetic brushstroke and a restrained palette range of the master conveyed the state of deep thought of a young man, a Hasid, whose thoughts probably turned to God. The picture is painted in an expressive manner. Subject psychological portrait occupied a significant place in the artist.

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