Isis Kischka Biography – Jacob Samuel

Born and raised in Paris, to which his parents moved two years before his birth. His father, a former restaurant worker, had a grocery store in the fifteenth district of Paris. Kischka attended the local community school as a child. Later on he attended a school in Mainz and the Commercial School of Paris.
At the age of nineteen he became interested in painting and literature. His first job was designing motives on medals in a medal’s factory. Along with his friends- Jacques Copeau, Michel Saint Denis and Georges Pitoeff he made plans of opening a theater company but these plans never worked up and in 1927, he decided to turn into painting. He attended the Chaumiere Grand Academy of art in Paris. During his studies many art critics, including the notorious Waldemar George, have noticed his unique work. In 1941, Kischka was arrested by the Gestapo. He was sent to a concentration camp in Romainville and then to another camp in Compiegne, afterwards he was transferred to Drancy were he was kept for two years until the liberation day on August 1944. In the camps he became friend with other painter inmates such as Jacques Gotko, Savely Schleifer and David Hoychman. The group improvised expositions of their works in the camp. Unfortunately all of his friends from the camp didn’t survive to the liberation day and were murdered by the Nazis. Kischka promised himself to be a painter if he will survive the war. It is believed that he painted about two hundred painting before 1940 and all of these paintings were destroyed by the Nazis. He returned to Paris in 1945 and had to deal with financial problems caused to him by the war, he set his mind on rearming his father shop. Leading his two front operations, he painted before and after work, that way he managed both earning money and being a painter. In 1946, he participated in the creation of a new salon along with several other artists such as Jean Cassou, Yvon Bizardel and Raymond Cogniat, the salon was named “the painters witnesses of their time salon”.

“Kischka was an active and generous person, he truly loved art and artists. He was the initiator of the idea of creating a new salon. This Salon presented each year an exhibition that was very vivint. How could it be otherwise? Kischka was convinced in the intimate link between art and life. He felt that art is a phenomenon of life and a testimony of it. It is facilitator within the meaning of the term. It was not only that he himself was a painter, he had honor and discretion. The painter nevertheless exists and its existence as deep as the painting”.
Jean Cassou, Paris 1957.


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