Lot 51: A RUSSIAN PAINTING OF A FIGHT BY AXELROD, 1933
Discover Soviet Art & Books at Shapiro Auctions: No Reserve Lots of Drawings, Rare Books and Early Soviet Paintings
October 30, 2016
New York, NY, USA
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MARK MOISEEVICH AXELROD (RUSSIAN 1902-1970), a sketch to a painting Peasant Rebellion, 1933, oil on board, 12 x 20 in (30 x 50 cm), signed, dated and titled on board.
Axelrod was born in Maladzyechna, a small Jewish town in Belarus. As a child, he survived a pogrom and moved to Russia during World War I. He was a well-known Russian and Soviet painter, graphic and theater artist, Jewish by origin. He is famous for his watercolors depicting the lifestyle of Jewish people in Russian Empire and USSR. He studied in VHUTEMAS-VKHUTEIN. He was frowned upon in Soviet newspapers for pessimism, sketchiness, deformations, incomplete nature and even his proximity in style to Modigliani. He was forced to shift to book illustrations and theatre work. In particular, he worked in Belarus State Jewish Theatre, sometimes in Moscow State Jewish Theatre. His brother Zelik Axelrod was executed in 1941. He lived in evacuation in Alma-Ata in 1941-43 where he supported Jewish refugees from Poland. Many of Axelrod`s paintings are dedicated to Jewish scenes, for instance the series Ghetto (1968-1969), series In the Steppe - based on the impressions from the trip to agricultural Jewish commune in Crimea in 1930-31. He is the author of the paintings Recollections of the Old Minsk. The poet Arseniy Tarkovsky valued highly his art. His artworks are kept in Tretyakov Gallery, Russian Museum, Pushkin Museum of Visual Art. His work was barely known outside the former Soviet Union until his daughter, Elena Akselrod, published her father's biography and a representative collection of his works in Israel in 1993.