Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 7

Yonia Fain
1940s Judaic Oil Painting "The Victim"

1947

$15,000Asking Price

About

Starkly powerful early work in response to the Holocaust, this abstracted painting contains imagery of a crucified man with tefillin. Jewish artists working with the image of the crucifixion are noteworthy for their rarity, but more importantly, they are noteworthy for the personal risk they take when re-imaging Christian icons. As common as Old Testament themes are in the works of Jewish and Christian artists alike, Jews rarely depict images of themes from The New Testament." "For the Jewish people, the crucifixion of a Jew is not an image of hope. The image of crucifixion was and is a reminder of the religious persecution of a Middle Eastern Jewish man at the hands of the political regime of Herod and Pilate. Late in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Jewish artists and intellectuals began to speak out to remind the world that Christ had been a Jewish man who preached tolerance. This was a courageous and politically dangerous move for Jews to make in a time of religious intolerance in Russia and Germany." A Painter's Witness to History: Recent Work by Yonia Fain May 5 - August 8, 2008 Rochelle and Irwin A. Lowenfeld Conference and Exhibition Hall, Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library, 10th floor Yonia Fain has experienced first-hand many of the major events of the 20th century, from the Russian Revolution, through the invasion of Poland by the Nazis, to the upheaval of World War II in Europe, and the aftermath of the war as he immigrated first to Mexico and finally to the United States. Through his prolific body of paintings and drawings that comprise his life’s work, along with award-winning poetry composed in Yiddish, he stands as a personal witness to history. Born in Russia in 1914, he and his family escaped the Bolshevik Revolution by moving to Vilna (Vilnius, Lithuania), which was part of Poland in 1924. There he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and planned to continue his studies in Paris. He received his BA and MFA degrees from the University of Poland. When Vilna was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1939, he and his wife Helen fled to Warsaw. Poland They managed to escape the Nazis, but Fain was captured by Soviet troops and imprisoned. He and his wife were released into Russia, where they obtained Japanese transit visas. They fled the country traveling through Siberia and on to Japan. In 1941 prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese sent his family to Shanghai, China where they spent the remainder of the war years in a ghetto for Polish Jewish refugees. During those years, Fain earned his living painting portraits of individuals in the Chinese army. After the war ended, Yonia Fain was at a crossroads as he contemplated where to live. He did not wish to return to a Europe that no longer was home, and through the efforts of a friend, samples of his work were sent to the renowned Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera. Rivera was so impressed with Fain’s work that he sponsored a visa for the Fain family to Mexico in 1946. There Fain worked with Diego Rivera, learning the artistry of mural painting. He had several exhibitions during his years in Mexico, with Rivera championing his work, and writing essays for his exhibition catalogs. During his stay Yonia Fain also taught at the University of Mexico from 1947 until 1953, when, at the urging of the artist Rufino Tamayo, his family moved to New York City. In addition to painting and exhibiting his work in the New York galleries of the day, Fain was recommended by Rufino Tamayo for an art instructor position at the Brooklyn Museum, where he taught for over a decade. He then taught at New York University from 1964 until 1970 when he joined the faculty of Hofstra University teaching art history and the philosophy of art. He retired from Hofstra in 1983. Fain has been the subject of numerous one-man shows and his artworks have been included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Butler Institute of American Art, the Albright-Knox Gallery, and the Chrysler Art Museum, as well as the Carnegie International. A recent 2007 exhibit of his work took place at the London Jewish Cultural Centre. In addition to his work in the visual arts, Fain is an award–winning Yiddish poet, who has won international acclaim, with his books that include A Gallow Under the Stars, Beloved Strangers, New York Addresses, and The Fifth Season.

Details

  • Creator
    Yonia Fain (Mexican)
  • Creation Year
    1947
  • Dimensions
    Height: 27 in. (68.58 cm)Width: 21.25 in. (53.98 cm)
  • Medium
  • Condition
    Good. Frame has signs of wear and tear.
  • Gallery Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 100001021stDibs: G130816243167

You May Also Like

Important "The Victim" Avant Garde 1947 Judaica Expressionist Oil Painting
By Yonia Fain
Located in Bal Harbour, FL
Genre: Avant-Garde Subject: Abstract Medium: Oil Surface: Canvas Country: Mexico Dimensions: 25 3/4" x 19 3/4" x 3/4" Dimensions w/Frame: 27" x 21 1/4" THE VICTIM Yonia Fain Oil, 19...
Category

1940s Expressionist Abstract Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Jewish Mexican Avant Garde Fiesta of Guadalupe Expressionist Oil Painting
By Yonia Fain
Located in Bal Harbour, FL
Genre: Avant-Garde Subject: Abstract Mexican Landscape Medium: Oil Surface: Canvas Country: Mexico Dimensions: Yonia Fain Oil, 1947 Although this oil painting’s subject is predom...
Category

1940s Expressionist Abstract Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Oil on Canvas “BS Trust” by abstract-figurative artist, Frank Arnold
By Frank Arnold
Located in Fresno, CA
“BS Trust” is 50” x 40”. Frank Arnold’s paintings exhibit the highest quality materials for a truly archival piece, created to last generations. Much of Frank Arnold’s work is sourc...
Category

2010s Abstract Abstract Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Oil on Canvas “Arroyo 14” by abstract-figurative artist, Frank Arnold
By Frank Arnold
Located in Fresno, CA
" Arroyo 14" is 72” x 60”. A rich sienna and ochre figure centered on a textured field of light yellows and beige. Frank Arnold’s paintings exhibit the highest quality materials for ...
Category

2010s Abstract Abstract Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Oil on Canvas “Blake’s Wish” by abstract-figurative artist, Frank Arnold
By Frank Arnold
Located in Fresno, CA
"Blake’s Wish" is 60” x 48”. Solo female figure Dominant colors are black, white and deep crimson red.. Frank Arnold’s paintings exhibit the highest quality materials for a truly arc...
Category

2010s Abstract Abstract Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Oil on Canvas “850” by abstract-figurative artist, Frank Arnold
By Frank Arnold
Located in Fresno, CA
"850" is 72” x 60”. The smokey greens, greys and blues are combined in the heavy hand, brush and knife strokes which characterize much of this artist’s work. Frank Arnold’s paintings...
Category

2010s Abstract Abstract Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Oil on Canvas “Black 5” by abstract-figurative artist, Frank Arnold
By Frank Arnold
Located in Fresno, CA
" Black 5" is 36” x 36”. Solo figure, head and shoulders in bold white outline. Frank Arnold’s paintings exhibit the highest quality materials for a truly archival piece, created to ...
Category

2010s Abstract Abstract Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Oil on Canvas “Blue Shadow” by abstract-figurative artist, Frank Arnold
By Frank Arnold
Located in Fresno, CA
"Blue Shadow" is 60” x 48”. Ghostly figure in blue outlines against bright orange, beige and white. Frank Arnold’s paintings exhibit the highest quality materials for a truly archiva...
Category

2010s Abstract Abstract Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery