Jesekiel Kirszenbaum – Exhibition in Solingen

Studying Maimonides, Berlin 1925. Indian ink on paper, 50 x 32 cm. Private owner
Studying Maimonides, Berlin 1925. Indian ink on paper, 50 x 32 cm. Private owner

In 1948/49 Kirszenbaum travelled to Brazil to try to forget the memories of the sad mood and devastation in Europe. There he found not only a friendly welcome, but also a tropical world that inspired him to paint the country and its people in swathes of pure colour. These were still in the manner of the Fauves, but were also influenced by indigenous painting, and even visionary colour experiments (ill. 28, 29). During this time, in 1948, he even had exhibitions at the Galeria Domus, the leading art gallery in São Paulo, and in the same year at the Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil in Rio de Janeiro. After his return to Paris, which had now become his real home, he became a French citizen in 1949. He subsequently travelled to Morocco in 1950 and to Italy, where he expanded his artistic interests to include nature, particularly exotic fruits and plants. His "Still Life with Fruit" (1952) is reminiscent of motifs by Paul Cézanne, but is nearer to Pablo Picasso in its moderate Cubism (ill. 28).

Between 1951 and 1953 Kirszenbaum fell seriously ill with cancer and died in Paris in 1954. For experts and art lovers the first retrospective of his work in Germany after almost ninety years at the Zentrum für verfolgte Künste in Solingen opened up a completely new view of a work that combines numerous aspects of modernism. Indeed it brought a hitherto unnoticed Bauhaus student into the public eye. Further exhibitions with a larger circle of lenders and more intensive scholarly work are eagerly awaited.

Axel Feuß, April 2019

 

We should like to express our gratitude to the Zentrum für verfolgte Künste (Solingen), Mr. Nathan Diament (Tel Aviv) and Ms. Anna Taube (Goethe Institute, Tel Aviv).

Further reading:

J.D. Kirszenbaum (1900-1954). The Lost Generation, edited by Nathan Diament and Caroline Goldberg Igra, Paris 2012

Johanna Linsler: Jesekiel David Kirszenbaum, entre aspiration révolutionnaire et mémoire du shtetl/Jesekiel David Kirszenbaum, zwischen revolutionärem Streben und Erinnerungen an das Schtetl, in: Anne Grynberg/Johanna Linsler (editors): L’Irréparable. Itinéraires d’artistes et d’amateurs d’art juifs, réfugiés du „Troisième Reich“ en France/Irreparabel. Lebenswege jüdischer Künstlerinnen, Künstler und Kunstkenner auf der Flucht aus dem „Dritten Reich“ in Frankreich, Magdeburg 2013, pages 265/290-313

J.D. Kirszenbaum (1900-1954). Retrospektiva/Retrospective. Exhibition catalogue: Muzej Mimara/The Mimara Museum, Zagreb 2018

Mediathek
  • The Kunsthalle Solingen and the Zentrum für verfolgte Künste

    ill. 1: The Kunsthalle Solingen

    The Kunsthalle Solingen and the Zentrum für verfolgte Künste
  • The estate administrator, Nathan Diament, at the opening

    ill. 2: Nathan Diament

    The estate administrator, Nathan Diament, at the opening
  • Reproductions and original documents from Kirschenbaum's lifetime

    ill. 3: Caricatures and Documents

    Reproductions and original documents from Kirschenbaum's lifetime
  • The anthology of Ulk magazine with the caricature of Kirszenbaum

    ill. 4: The sporty companion, 1927

    The anthology of Ulk magazine with the caricature of Kirszenbaum
  • The anthology of Ulk magazine with three caricatures of Kirszenbaum

    ill. 5: Three Caricatures, 1926

    The anthology of Ulk magazine with three caricatures of Kirszenbaum
  • Autobiography of J.D. Kirszenbaum in the Solingen exhibition

    ill. 6: Autobiography

    Autobiography of J.D. Kirszenbaum in the Solingen exhibition
  • Historical photographs of J.D. Kirszenbaum and his family

    ill. 7: Photographs

    Historical photographs of J.D. Kirszenbaum and his family
  • Letters from J.D. Kirszenbaum and his wife Helma, 1940

    ill. 8: Letters, 1940

    Letters from J.D. Kirszenbaum and his wife Helma, 1940
  • Letters and invitations to exhibitions in Paris and Brussels, 1945/46

    ill. 9: Documents, 1945/46

    Letters and invitations to exhibitions in Paris and Brussels, 1945/46
  • “Portrait of Dr. Freud”, “Man with Cigarette”, “Church”

    ill. 10: Paintings 1930-40

    “Portrait of Dr. Freud”, “Man with Cigarette”, “Church”
  • The Arrival of the Messiah in the Village, 1939, oil on canvas

    ill. 11: The Arrival of the Messiah, 1939

    The Arrival of the Messiah in the Village, 1939, oil on canvas
  • Paintings created during imprisonment in the camp and underground, 1941/42

    ill. 12: Art in the Underground

    Paintings created during imprisonment in the camp and underground, 1941/42
  • The Messiah and the Angel reach the Village, 1942, oil on canvas

    ill. 13: The Messiah and the Angel, 1942

    The Messiah and the Angel reach the Village, 1942, oil on canvas
  • Water Bearer, Staszów, 1942, oil on canvas

    ill. 14: Water Bearer, 1942

    Water Bearer, Staszów, 1942, oil on canvas
  • Portrait of Kirszenbaum's wife, Helma, 1945; Self Portrait, 1947; Portrait of Kirszenbaum by Alix de Rothschild, 1950

    ill. 15: Three Portraits, 1945-50

    Portrait of Kirszenbaum's wife, Helma, 1945; Self Portrait, 1947; Portrait of Kirszenbaum by Alix de Rothschild, 1950
  • The Flight of a Mother, 1945; The Lovers, ca. 1949; In our world there is no room for Jews, 1947; Angel carrying a lost soul in the Stetl, 1946

    ill. 16: Art after the Shoah

    The Flight of a Mother, 1945; The Lovers, ca. 1949; In our world there is no room for Jews, 1947; Angel carrying a lost soul in the Stetl, 1946
  • In our world there is no room for Jews, 1947, oil on canvas

    ill. 17: No room for Jews, 1947

    In our world there is no room for Jews, 1947, oil on canvas
  • The Blind Fiddler, 1945, oil on canvas

    ill. 18: The Blind Fiddler, 1945

    The Blind Fiddler, 1945, oil on canvas
  • Sitting Peddler; Jewish Man with Tallit, both ca. 1945, oil on canvas

    ill. 19: Typical people from Staszów, ca. 1945

    Sitting Peddler; Jewish Man with Tallit, both ca. 1945, oil on canvas
  • The Trumpeter, 1946, oil on canvas

    ill. 20: Trumpeter, 1946

    The Trumpeter, 1946, oil on canvas
  • Portrait of Robert Giraud, 1946, oil on canvas

    ill. 21: Portrait of Robert Giraud, 1946

    Portrait of Robert Giraud, 1946, oil on canvas
  • The Thinker, 1945; Saint, 1947, oil

    ill. 22: Thinker, Saint 1945/47

    The Thinker, 1945; Saint, 1947, oil
  • Apostle, 1946; The Thinker, ca. 1945; Man with Stick, 1946; The Artist's Father, 1945

    ill. 23: Jewish Thinkers, 1945/46

    Apostle, 1946; The Thinker, ca. 1945; Man with Stick, 1946; The Artist's Father, 1945
  • Paintings with religious themes in Staszów

    ill. 24: Paintings with religious themes

    Paintings with religious themes in Staszów
  • Landscapes and Still Lifes with flowers, 1940-47

    ill. 25: Landscapes

    Landscapes and Still Lifes with flowers, 1940-47
  • Abstract and abstract object pictures, 1949-54

    ill. 26: Paths to Abstraction

    Abstract and abstract object pictures, 1949-54
  • Fish on an abstract background, ca. 1948, watercolour

    ill. 27: Fish, ca.1948

    Fish on an abstract background, ca. 1948, watercolour
  • Still Life with Banana, 1952; Brazilian Woman with child, undated

    ill. 28: Exotic Motifs

    Still Life with Banana, 1952; Brazilian Woman with child, undated
  • Brazilian Masks, ca. 1949, Gouache

    ill. 29: Brazilian Masks, ca.1949

    Brazilian Masks, ca. 1949, Gouache