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Meir Axelrod

July 2, 2010

Molodechno, Byelorussia, 1902- Moscow, Russia, 1970

Meir Axelrod paintings are delicate and sensitive depictions of Eastern European Jewish life. Axelrod studied under Marc Chagall and Yehuda Pen in Vietbsk before moving to Moscow to study at the Higher State Artistic and Technical Workshops (the Vkhutemas-Vkhtein) where he was chosen to document Jewish farming colonies for the Soviet authorities. He stayed very connected to his small-town roots throughout his career. Despite his high quality education and his obvious talent, Axelrod lived a difficult life; he survived pogroms in his youth and fled Russia to Kazakhstan during WWII after his brother was shot as an “enemy of the state.” He was haunted by scenes from the Holocaust and created many paintings on the subject. Axelrod´s work was marginalized during his life because it did not fit into the Social Realist trend; only recently has his genius been fully realized.

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