Meir Axelrod was born in the village of Maladzyechna of Vilna province, Russian Empire. As a child he attended traditional cheder. In 1921-1927 he studied at VKhUTEMAS, and then taught at VKHUTEIN (Higher Artistic and Technical Institute) (1928-1932). Later the painter was a member of “the 4 Arts Society”, an artistic group in Moscow and Leningrad (1924-1931). In 1930-1931 he twice visited Voio Novo, the agricultural Jewish commune, observations and sketches from that time had a strong influence on the artist’s further work.
The career of Meir Axelrod, as described by an art critic Grigory Ostrovsky, “was among traditionalists, who above all valued, on the one hand, the spiritual and aesthetic experience accumulated in the shtetl, and on the other hand, the professionalism, the culture of painting, drawing, plasticity, developed for centuries”.
In addition, the artist became well-known for his German Occupation cycle, made during the Second World War. This series of gouaches and watercolors is the only large depiction of the Nazi atrocities, created by an artist directly during the war. Our gallery has two artworks by Meir Axelrod.
“Riga” and “Aral sea”
The view of “Riga” is very gentle. Multicolored rooves stretch away into the distance. “Aral sea” was an endorheic lake between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which began shrinking in the 1960s. Meir Axelrod showed the beach full of people and a promenade pier. The painting reminds of “Early days in Tel Aviv” by Yosl Bergner, depicting families that have just arrived and are exploring the new place.
Kings Gallery is a leading fine art gallery established in Jerusalem in 1995. We strive to collect and sell the highest quality historic and contemporary Israeli and International art. Especially, the gallery specializes in artists from the early period of the 1920’s. Besides, Kings gallery features leading up-and-coming young artists who will definitely be prominent names in the next few years.