Abraham Manievich

Biography

Abraham Manievich (1881-1942) was a prominent figure in the artistic worlds of early–twentieth–century Europe and America. Born in the small Russian town of Mstislavl in 1881, his artistic training in Kiev and Munich led to early success. He returned to exhibit to acclaim across Russia and established personal relationships with many of the cultural luminaries of that time, including Marc Chagall, Maxim Gorky, Anatole Lunacharsky, and Vladimir Mayakovsky.

Manievich’s dynamic landscapes, animated by the vibrant colors of his native Ukraine, became increasingly subdued with the outbreak of World War I and the ensuing Revolution of 1917. Symbols and ideas generated by his traditional Jewish upbringing began to permeate his canvases, especially after the death of his son during the civil war in 1919. His most famous painting, the monumental Destruction of the Ghetto (The Jewish Museum, New York), was painted in the aftermath of that event and documents both his personal and the cultural loss.

After his immigration to the United States in 1921, Manievich joined the ranks of Russian expatriate artists who contributed to the burgeoning of American Modernism. His work retained his bold expressionist color and brushwork and gave his portrayal of the domestic vernacular an uncommon rhythm and vitality.

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