Kirszenbaum, Jesekiel David

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KIRSZENBAUM, JESEKIEL DAVID (1900–1954), painter, draftsman, and etcher. His work is a synthesis of abstract and representational painting. Kirszenbaum was born in Staszow, Poland, and began his career by painting signs for the local tradesmen. At the age of 17 he went to Germany, where he studied for a short period at the Bauhaus in Weimar. Later he moved to Berlin where he worked for newspapers as an illustrator and cartoonist under the pseudonym Duvdevani. In 1933 he settled in Paris. His paintings of this period include biblical themes. During the German occupation he went into hiding; his studio was looted and his wife deported and murdered. After World War ii he returned to Paris. His work is characterized by its nostalgic evocation of the past, particularly of the world of his childhood. This is especially true of his postwar paintings. On a journey to Brazil in 1948 he witnessed the carnival at Rio de Janeiro with its fantastic figures. His paintings of this subject, which evoke the Jewish festivities he had known as a child, express an element of East European mysticism.

[Elisheva Cohen]