Barcinsky (Barczinsky), Henryk

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BARCINSKY (Barczinsky), HENRYK (Henoch ; 1896–1941?), painter and graphic artist. Barcinsky was born in Lodz, Poland. As a child, he received a traditional Jewish education and prior to World War i attended a private art school in Łodz. In 1915–16 he studied at Henryk Glitzenstein's studio in Warsaw. As a teenager, he became close to the circles of young Jewish writers and artists who made it their aim to develop "contemporary national art." These ideas were a formative influence on the development of Barcinsky's national and artistic Weltanschauung, and the artist maintained close ties with this environment all through his life. In 1918, he participated in the exhibition in Białystok organized by the Artistic Section of the local Kultur-Liga. In 1919, in Łodz, he joined the "Yung Yiddish" modernist group and published his drawings in its anthologies. In the same year, he moved to Dresden, where he attended the Academy of Arts. In 1924, upon completing his studies at the Academy, he traveled around Spain and then settled in Berlin. He joined Elsa Lasker-Schüeler's group, which brought together German-Jewish intellectuals and cultural figures. In the 1920s, he participated in a number of exhibitions in Berlin and Dresden. Living in Germany, he never broke ties with Poland and regularly sent his works to be shown at exhibitions there. In 1933, when Hitler came to power, Barcinsky returned to Poland and settled in Łodz. In 1934, the Jewish Society for the Encouragement of Artists organized his solo exhibition in Warsaw, in the Jewish community building. Barcinsky is one of the most remarkable and original representatives of expressionism in Polish art. He drew his themes from the Jewish life around him, as well as from Jewish folklore. When German occupation troops entered Poland and were approaching Łodz, Barcinsky fled to Tomaszow in the hope of finding refuge with friends there. After 1941, no trace of him remained‥


Y. Sandel, Umgekumene Yidishe Kinstler in Poiln, vol. 1 (1957), 47–53; J. Malinowski. Grupa "Jung Idysz" i żidowskie środowisko "Nowej Sztuki" w Polsce. 19181923 (1987); idem, Malarstwo i rzeźba Żydow Polskich w xix i xx wieku (2000), 158, 189–91.

[Hillel Kazovsky (2nd ed.)]