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Felix Lembersky

Painter and theater stage designer

Died when: 57 years 21 days (684 months)
Star Sign: Scorpio


Felix Lembersky

Felix Samoilovich Lembersky (Russian: Феликс Самойлович Лемберский) (November 11, 1913 – December 2, 1970) was a Russian/Soviet painter, artist, teacher, theater stage designer and an organizer of artistic groups.A refugee of World War I, he grew up in Berdyczów (now Berdychiv, Ukraine) and studied art in Kiev and Leningrad—at the Jewish Arts and Trades School, known as Kultur-Lige (1928–29), the Kiev Art Institute (1933–34) and the Leningrad Academy of Art (1935–41).

He graduated with high honors, completing his thesis during the Siege of Leningrad.He was wounded in the defense of Leningrad during World War II.

His parents perished in Holocaust in Ukraine.After evacuation in 1942, Lembersky spent two years working in the Urals, recording industrial war effort.

After the war, Lembersky joined the Leningrad Union of Artists (LOSKh, LOSSKh).He exhibited widely in national and privately organized art shows in Russia and his work was acquired by museums and private collectors.

While living in Leningrad, he also toured and worked in the Urals, Ladoga, Pskov and Baltic Republics.Much of his art is inspired by the Eastern Europe of his childhood—Ukraine and Ukraine.

Among his most moving images are the portraits of his fellow citizens and the places where he lived and visited.

Lembersky's art is rooted in the early Soviet Avant-Garde, with which he became acquainted at Kultur-Lige and while working as a theater sets designer in Kiev in the 1920s and early 1930s.

He was further exposed to Avant-Garde at the Kiev Art Institute, where Kazimir Malevich and Vladimir Tatlin taught in the years prior to the ban of Avant-Garde in 1932; and their influence continued at the Institute into the 1930s, when Lembersky studied there.

In Leningrad Lembersky visited the studios of the great Avant-Garde painter and theorist Pavel Filonov and a former member of the Knave of Diamonds, artist .

At the Academy of Art, Lembersky attended art history lectures given by the Avant-Garde theorist Nikolay Punin.Lembersky's art was also formed by his rigorous classical education at the Academy, where he mastered realist and impressionist techniques at the studio of a great Russian painter Boris Ioganson.

LEMBESKY was highly regarded for his expressive and nuanced work.During enforced Socialist Realism and in spite of state-imposed restrictions on Western art, Lembersky continued to synthesize a wide range of influences, including German Expressionism, the French school, , Russian icons, African folk art, and Dutch and early Renaissance painting, among others.

He was keenly interested in modernist and contemporary literature, poetry, and theater.Music was essential to his art, he regularly attended concerts of classical music and personally knew many musicians, including Dmitri Shostakovitch and conductor Natan Rakhlin, whose portrait he created in the Urals in 1943–44.

He studied Western philosophy and mysticism.Lembersky's work is intensely spiritual in defiance to atheism endorsed by the Communists.His art is centered on the idea of a two-tiered reality, expressed in painting as a union between recognizable objects and hidden symbols shown “between the lines.” He frequently included religious symbols in his paintings.

He was haunted by the memory of Holocaust.His 'Execution.Babi Yar' series (1944–52) are the earliest known artistic renderings of the Nazi massacres in Kiev.

In his later work, he persistently brought back Holocaust symbols to his semi-abstract canvases.The themes of war and industrial labor—as alternating forces of destruction and reconstruction—appear again and again in his work.

Yet, in contrast to the gravity of the content, Lembersky'S paintings appeal to his viewers with brilliant color, light and formal beauty.

His art speaks to the universal experience evoking emotional response and delighting the eye.

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