Léon Zack

Born: 1892, Rastyapino (Nizhny Novgorod Province)
Died: 1980, Vanves (near Paris)

Painter, graphic artist, theatrical designer, illustrator, poet. Literary pseudonyms: Chrysanth, M. Rossiyansky. Born in Rastyapino in Nizhny Novgorod Province in the family of Vasily Zak (1892). Studied at the Faculty of Philology of Moscow University (1907–10) and at the studios of Fyodor Roehrberg and Ilya Mashkov in Moscow (1910s). Frequently visited Paris. Member of the Poetry Mezzanine group of Futurist writers (from 1910). Designed Futurist collections and almanacs (1911–14), in which he printed his own poetry and prose under the name of “Chrysanth.” Lived in Florence (1920–22) and Berlin (1922–23), where he illustrated books and designed for Boris Romanov’s Russische Romantische Theater. Settled in Paris (1923), awarded French citizenship (1938). Illustrated books and worked in the theatre (1920s). Evolved in the direction of Expressionism and non-objectivity (1940s). Became a popular book illustrator (from 1945). Took up abstract painting (1947). Designed and restored about twenty installations (stained-glass windows, reliefs, crosses) (1950s–60s). Died in Vanves near Paris (1980). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1908). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Moscow Association of Artists (1908–12, 1916, 1917), World of Art (1916, 1917), Salon d’Automne (from the 1920s), Salon des Indépendants (from 1924), Super-Independent (member-founder, 1929), Artists-Set Designers (1929), May (from 1952), joint exhibitions with Philippe Hosiasson and Voldemar Boberman (Paris, 1925), E. Kotyol (Paris, 1925), Contemporary French Art in Moscow (1928), Defence of the West (Paris, 1931), New Generation (Paris, 1932), Salon of Modern Art (Antwerp, 1933), In Honour of Victory (Paris, 1946), Russian Artists in the Paris School (Saint-Denis, 1960, Paris, 1961), Russian Art in Brussels (1928), Paris (1932), London (1935), Prague (1935), international exhibitions in Brussels (1946, 1947), London (1947, 1958, 1959), Venice (1949) and one-man shows in Paris (1927, 1930, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1946, 1948–50, 1955, 1958, 1960–79), Brussels (1928), Venice (1949), London (1959, 1961), Overnier (Switzerland, 1972) and Luxembourg (1973).

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