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Nahum Tschacbasov
Seated Man Portrait, Large Modernist Oil Painting WPA Artist

$6,000

About

Nahum Tschacbasov was born in Baku, in the southeast of Russia. When he was eight years old, he came to America, where his family settled in Chicago. His career, spanning more than five decades from the 1930’s to the 1980’s, is a kaleidoscope of influences, from modernism to the Byzantine style and expressionism of his Russian roots. Tschacbasov’s paintings of the 1930’s reflect the social and political preoccupations of the times. He received considerable critical attention for his powerful dramatic satirical depiction of social injustice. In the 1940’s he gained wider recognition when his style evolved into a fusion of Cubism and Surrealism. Through the influence of Jung, as well as currents brought to America by the newly arrived group of European Surrealists, he created a powerful personal iconography in which the inner workings of the psyche are revealed as myth and metaphor. His first encounters with modern art are the works of Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Rouault. 1932-33 Tschacbasov moves for a short time to New York City in order to be in a modern art center and then to Paris, where he adopts the name Tschacbasov, an anagram of different family names. He studies with Leopold Gottlieb for eight months, then with Marcel Gromaire, who teaches him pictorial structure, and briefly with Fernand Leger. Working in his studio on the edge of Montmartre and later in the Hotel de Sante in Montparnasse, he produces a large body of work, retaining fifty paintings. After trips to North Africa, Spain, and the Balearic Islands, he travels often from Paris to New York City, where he spends six months painting a series of Depression-inspired pictures after finding that his American business has gone bankrupt in his absence. 1934 In Paris, Galerie Zak exhibits landscapes from his trip to Majorca in the first one-man exhibition of Tschacbasov paintings; Salon de Tuileries also exhibits his work. His savings exhausted, he returns to New York via Tunisia in the midst of the Depression. 1935 Living on Pineapple Street in Brooklyn Heights, Tschacbasov works on the WPA Federal Arts Project, Easel Division, where he meets other artists and becomes politically involved. His works are shown at Galerie Secession with those of Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, and other modernist and expressionist painters. Tschacbasov, Rothko, Gottlieb, Joseph Solman and others from Galerie Secession form a group called The Ten combining common aims of social consciousness with an expressionist and abstract style. Themes of social injustice are more dominant in Tschacbasov's work than in that of others of The Ten, as he draws on his own childhood experiences of the harsh realities of immigrant life in industrial Chicago. In the summer, a one-man exhibition of his non-objective paintings is held at Galerie Secession, and in December, Montross Gallery in New York City holds the first exhibition of The Ten, including two works by Tschacbasov, "Handout" and "Three Graces." 1936 In January, an exhibition of The Ten is held at Municipal Art Galleries in New York City, and later in the fall an exhibition, also of The Ten, is held at Galerie Bonaparte in Paris. 1936-38 Among the paintings exhibited in the "Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting" at the Whitney Museum of American Art are Tschacbasov's "Deportation", "Clinic", "Friday Night", "Harbor Sunset", and "The Matriarch". 1936-37 Tschacbasov is appointed business manager of Art Front Magazine, a publication associated with the Artists' Union. His circle of friends at this time include Philip Evergood, Milton Avery, Stuart Davis, David Burliuk, William Gropper, the Soyer brothers, Robert Gwathmey, Marsden Hartley, and Max Weber. Due to cut-backs in WPA funding, he teaches at his 38 West 22nd Street studio and at the American Artists' School. On the faculty are David Burliuk and the Soyer brothers, as well as Elaine de Kooning and other artists with similar aesthetic and social points of view. Personal and artistic crises lead to his entering into Jungian psychoanalysis, which provides new impetus and direction to his painting. Under the influence of analysis, he starts to write portions of a surrealistic autobiography, The Moon is My Uncle. His paintings, "Refugees" and "Friday Night" are shown with works by Avery, Burliuk, and DeHirsh Margules in a group exhibition at Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. In September, the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts focuses on themes of social criticism in an exhibition entitled "The World Today", curated by Elizabeth McCausland, which includes Tschacbasov's, "Little Red School House". 1940 Tschacbasov takes up photography. Photographing the works of friends and other artists, he builds a collection of color slides which serves as a foundation for the American Library Color Slide Company, an archives which continues to be of service in art history education. His painting, "Portrait of Sondra" is exhibited in the "Second Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Paintings" with works by the Soyer brothers, John Sloan, and others at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. 1941 Tschacbasov exhibits at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia. 1942 Now living at 1 Christopher Street in New York City and painting in his studio at 30 East 14th Street, Tschacbasov participates in "Artists for Victory", an exhibition of contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, exhibiting his painting "Deportation". 1943 Tschacbasov's painting style changes from social criticism to themes that are personal and symbolic, leading to a break with the ACA Gallery. He spends part of the year living and working in Oklahoma City, where nature and the landscapes of Oklahoma serve as subjects for his painting. In the 54th Annual Exhibition of American Paintings and Sculpture held at the Art Institute of Chicago, his painting, "Deportation" is exhibited. He re-locates his studio and residence to the Chelsea Hotel, a West 23rd Street haven for artists, where he remains throughout the rest of his life. 1944 Tschacbasov works at Stanley William Hayter's printmaking workshop, Atelier 17, a center for surrealist ideas., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City acquires his painting, "Deportation". A one-man exhibition of his works is held at the Arts and Crafts Club in New Orleans. 1945-46 Children's Holiday Circus of Modern Art, at Museum of Modern Art, December 4, 1945-January 6, 1946. Works sent by Perls Galleries. "The Aquarium," "Little Girls' Wonderland" 1944-48 Tschacbasov has four one-man exhibitions at Perls Gallery in New York City and participates in three group exhibitions. 1945 His painting, "The Admiral" is exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago. Critic Harriet Loveman chooses his painting, "Sondra and the Solar System" for "The Critics' Choice of Contemporary American Painting" exhibition held at the Cincinnati Art Museum. His painting, "Rabbi in White" is shown in a group exhibition, "American Artists for Israel", at the Jewish Museum. 1983 Tschacbasov participates in a group exhibition entitled "The Expressionist Vision, A Central Theme in New York in the 1940's",Paintings exhibited are "Landscape and Trees", "Flower Port", "The Four Muses", and "The Matriarch". Other artists exhibited include Max Weber, Marsden Hartley, Abraham Rattner, David Burliuk, and Jack Levine. 1984 Tschacbasov dies on February 18 in New York City.

Details

  • Creator
    Nahum Tschacbasov (1899-1984, American)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 40 in. (101.6 cm)Width: 30 in. (76.2 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
    minor scratches.
  • Gallery Location
    Bal Harbour, FL
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU382689562

Shipping & Returns

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    Ships From: Bal Harbour, FL
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