Tag Archives: Russia

Isaac Pailes Biography – Jacob Samuel

Palies was born in the city of Kiev in the Ukraine, to a family of goldsmiths. His grandfather on his mother side was a wood burner. When Pailes was thirteen years old he begun showing interest in printmaking and sculpturing. 

His early sculpture works were acquired by the museum of Kiev. In 1910, he entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Kiev, where he met Isaac Rybak and Max Kaganovitch (both Jewish- Ukrainian artists) who will later become his art dealers for the next forty years. Pailes arrived at Paris in 1913, where he shared a room with Mane Katz (1894-1962) and studied sculpture in the Academy of Fine Arts of Paris. A year later, in 1914, he decided to go back to the Ukraine and Russia via London, Norway,Image Finland and Sweden.

When the Bolshevik revolution broke in Russia, he was sent to the front line in Crimea, but refused fighting. In exchange to a gold ring, he manages to get a ticket on a boat heading to Constantinople. In the following few years, Pailes is trying to come back to Paris and finally when he succeeds in doing so in 1919, his first stop in Paris is “La Rotonde” cafe. In the cafe he finds two of his friends Michel kikoine (1892-1968) and Isaac Dobrinsky (1891-1973), they welcomed him home and gave him clothes to wear.

In the first period of his resumed life in Paris, Pailes works as a model in order to support himself. In 1920, Pailes abandons sculpture and starts painting; also that year he becomes a collector of primitive art. During this period he kept a close relationship with the art lovers of his time: the commissioner Zamaron, the dealer Paquereau and Georges Berheim. Pailes was always very much attached to his Slavic origin- he participated in the activities of the Russian artists’ society, and he was the chairman of the Russian artists in Montparnasse. During War World II, Pailes settled in eastern Pyrenees and later in Auvergne. He joins a Belgium resistant group from Rochefort, called “Travail Obligatoire en Allemagne” (compulsory labor in Germany), and he stays in an attic for eleven months. When the day of liberation comes, Pailes returns to Montparnasse and continues with his painting. Only in 1948, Pailes paints his first abstract painting ever. His abstract paintings are perhaps the most interesting of his work. His maturity as an artist is well shown in these paintings, full with a rich texture and a colorful plate. Also expressing the pleasure he takes out of painting, having such a large number of painting.

Of all the painters, members of the “ Ecole de Paris”, he is the most unusual one, first his interesting biography, Pailes most certainly led an extraordinary life, second- the fact that he is not a proper painter, most of his career was actually in sculpture. And third, but most important- his painting are very unique, if we compare it to other member of “ Ecole de Paris”, his language in so individual- from the colors through his texture and to his themes. His work has no similarity to the work of any other painter in his times, he combines many of the artistic movements that was popular in his days- expressionism (shown in the massive texture of his painting), fauvism (the disharmonious colors and the diversity of it), Cubism (he describes figures as analyzed forms) and of- coarse Abstract painting.


Jacques Chapiro Biography – Jacob Samuel

Jacques Chapiro. He was born in Dvinsk, Belarus. As a son of a wood sculptor, he began his artistic education at the early age of ten. In 1915, he entered the Krakow academy of fine art and in 1918 he moved Kiev to study in the Academy of Fine Arts. 
During the Russian Civil War, while pursuing his studies, he contributed to the revolution efforts by painting posters. In 1921, he studied art in Petrograd, and during this period he worked as a decorator in the Meyerhold Theater. He worked for Stanislavski and Vachtangov, both notorious in the field of theater.

In 1925, he left Russia in favor of Paris, and settled down in Montparnasse. He had exhibited his works in Les Independents Salon (the Independents’ Salon), the Tuileries, and other places as well since 1926. In 1939, he became a refugee, escaping to Carpentras and later on to Hautes-Alpes. When the war ended, he traveled to Italy before returning to Paris. When he returned to Paris, he set down to write his book of anecdotal stories taken from the life of the artists from La Rouch. He opposed the demolition of La Rouch in 1967 and he founded, along with Marc Chagall and Raymond Cogniat, a committee that fought against this move.

The committee succeeded in its cause. Chapiro’s works can be found in museums in the United States (Chicago), Russia (Moscow) and France (Jeu de Paume, Paris). As to his artistic style, it seems that Chapiro was fond of experiments. His many paintings are much different from one another; some are definitely Cubistic in style, some are Impressionist, while others are Fauvist.

We cannot say the same about his sketching. Throughout his artistic career, Chapiro sketches bore his unique signature, with a light and talented hand. It is his realistic sketching, which is somewhat casual, that one can be truly impressed by his talent.

Molli Chwat Biography – Jacob Samuel

Born in Bialystok, Poland to a family of bankers. He studied art in his hometown and then entered the Saint Petersburg Academy of Fine Art. With the encouragement of thr notable painter Ilia Repine, he went in 1906 to a brief stay in Paris, were he was a free auditor in an art courses in the Art Academy. 
In 1909, he went to Geneva where met Gattin, a medicine student. The two fell in love and got married in the same year. In 1910, they came back to Saint Petersburg. Not much is known about this period of time in his life, until 1918. Feeling the tense building up in Russia, Chwat managed escaping from Russia before the revolution started. He and his wife went to Paris and during these years he entered the Fine Art Academy and later on the Open University. During the Second World War, Chwat became a refugee in Casablanca. He came back to Paris after the liberation and devoted his time to painting. In 1952, he received the Othon Friesz award.

In 1957, he immigrated to Israel. Until 1945, Chwat dealt with traditional classic subjects such as Portraits, but in 1945 he dedicated his painting to biblical themes, a transition that was very typical for Jewish painters after the Holocaust. Chawt died in 1979 in France. His works can be found in various museums in Israel and in France.“There are artists who attached to the ceremonial religion, others attached to the mysticism of the legends and some who enter the esoteric traditions. Chwat, in his painting, praises enthusiastically the great events that relate to the holly book. By this, he makes a strong and ancient connection to the source of Jewish art. Perhaps it is driven from the fact that Chwat is used to the countryside, were he lived the most.” La Via Juive, November 1955.
“There is a strange seduction in Molli Chwat talent, he is a remarkable colorist and living in alliance is an amazing force and the most subtle preciousness. His paintings combine cold tones that live in harmony with warm and generous tones. It is a silence, almost deaf symphony. In his paintings we can find the daring of the great primitive artists”.
Pierre Mornand La Revue Moderne Jenuar 1953.

Molli Chwat
Molli Chwat