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Emmanuel Snitkovsky
Outside the Synagogue Russian Judaica Oil Painting

c.1980s

About the Item

This piece came from the collection of the Bezalel Art Gallery on the Lower East Side of New York City. Emmanuil Snitkovsky is an internationally known artist, sculpture and poet. Emmanuil Snitkovsky was born into a family of artists and scholars from the Odessa Art College in Russia. Immersed in the traditions of Russia art, he approaches form, line, space and color with relentless vision and impeccable technique. Two highly successful artists, the husband and wife team of Emmanuil and Janet Snitkovsky have exhibited a selection of eight large Judaic paintings at the Chabad Chassidic Art Institute (Chai Gallery) in Crown Heights. Three of those paintings are truly singular visions of Jewish Art that cause us to stop and reassess our preconceptions about the meaning and importance of their subjects. Emmanuil and Janet Snitkovsky were both born in the Ukraine in the 1930′s. Emmanuil was trained in Odessa in public monument art, and Janet majored in fashion at the Lvov Decorative Art Institute. After both narrowly survived the devastation of the Second World War in Stalin’s Russia, they began to collaborate on state sponsored art works in 1962. For ten years, they worked on grandiose public sculptural projects to commemorate the fallen Russian heroes of the Second World War in Moscow, Kiev, Tula and Kazan. They were exemplary Soviet Realists working for the Soviet regime. Eventually, this career became untenable for them, both as artists and as Jews, when they clashed with Soviet officialdom over a commission to commemorate the Babi-Yar massacre. The Soviets refused to acknowledge this massacre of 100,000 Jews and eventually suppressed the memorial. In 1978, Emmanuil and Janet arrived in New York and began to recreate their artistic lives. In the ensuing 25 years, they have been quite successful, exhibiting widely in the United States and Europe. They have nurtured a hybrid style of painting and sculpture called “Renaissance Revival” combining contemporary and classical subjects in a stylized realism that evokes both the American regionalist Thomas Hart Benton and the Italian Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli. The works are highly proficient, polished, and commercial productions in a quirky decorative style. They have continued to accept sculptural projects that have not shied away from kitschy realistic sculptures of Charlie Chaplin as “The Kid,” The Little Tramp” and Buster Keaton as “Cameramen.” In some ways, they have appropriated American culture just as they once accepted Soviet culture. Janet, a graduate of the Lvov College, was invited- by virtue of the high honors she achieved there- to matriculate at the Lvov University of Art. Such an opportunity is extremely rare for anyone, particularly for someone of Jewish descent. Their works of art are included in collections of the Japanese Imperial Family, Sheik Mohamed Nasser of Saudi Arabia, Clint Eastwood, Tony Bennett, Jose Eber, M. Rostropovich and many others. Mr. Snitkovsky has sold at Sotheby's and Christie's alongside the works of Matisse, Rodin, Picasso and Toulouse Lautrec. He has exhibited in London, Italy, Japan, Russia, New York, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Las Vegas (Caesar's Palace) and New Orleans. He and his wife Janet have produced over 1,000 paintings and many sculptures. Marc Chagall once said about Janet and Emmanuel Snitkovsky that, "They possess the technique of a virtuoso and show great professional mastery in all their works."
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