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Benjamin Kopman
Portrait of a Gentleman, Large Modernist Oil Painting

1959

$3,200

About

BENJAMIN KOPMAN (1887 - 1965) Painter, Illustrator and printmaker Benjamin Kopman was born in Vitebsk, Russia and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1903. It was a center of religious Judaism with a strong Judaic Chabad presence, but also had a very active Zionist community. In 1905 Kopman enrolled at the National Academy of Art where he remained for 6 semesters. In New York Kopman was tutored by Abel Pann, who had studied at the Yehuda Penn's Vitebsk Academy (where Marc Chagall had studied). In 1905 Kopman enrolled at the National Academy of Art. A leading American Jewish painter, his first major exhibition was at the annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1914, followed by several others during the 1920s. Kopman worked for the WPA as an artist during the Depression and had solo exhibitions in the late 1930s and 1940s. His paintings and prints are distinctive for their primitive character and their use of heavy black outlines that suggest the influence of Henri Rousseau and Georges Rouault. He also exhibited with Jennings Tofel and Claude Buck as part of the Introspective group of painters. In 1925 Kopman and Tofel founded the Jewish Art center which held exhibitions for two seasons in the East Village. Kopman worked for the WPA FSA as an artist during the Depression. He enjoyed solo exhibitions at the New Art Circle in 1937, ACA Galleries in 1945, Phillips Memorial gallery in Washington D.C. in the same year, and several others venues in future years. His themes include American views, Great Depression and Social Realist scenes as well as Judaica scenes. Kopman’s work is held in the collections of many institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Modern Art, New York City and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. and in galleries in many other American cities, and also at the Ein Harod Museum in Israel.

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