David Jakerson

Born: 1896, Vitebsk
Died: 1947, Moscow
Sculptor, graphic artist, painter, applied artist, designer, teacher. Born in Vitebsk in the family of Aaron Jakerson (1896). Studied at Yehuda Pen’s School of Drawing and Painting (mid-1900s), Vitebsk Commercial College (mid-1900s), Riga Polytechnic Institute (1910s, evacuated to Moscow during the First World War) and the Second State Free Art Studios in Moscow (1918). Sculpted Impressionist busts of friends and relatives (1916–17) and joined the Moscow Union of Sculptors and Artists (1918). Returned to Vitebsk (1918), where he was invited by Marc Chagall to decorate the town on the first anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution (1918) and to teach sculpture at the Vitebsk School of Art (1919). Designed statues of Karl Marx in Polotsk (1919), Nevel (1919) and Vitebsk (1920) and Yakov Sverdlov in Stavropole (1920–21). Passed through periods of interest in Cubism (1919–20) and Suprematism (1920). Member of UNOVIS (1920). Married the artist Elena Kabischer (1903–1990) in Vitebsk (1921) and studied at the VKhUTEMAS in Moscow (1921–22). Settled permanently in Moscow (1923), where he lived at 45 Herzen (now Bolshaya Nikitskaya) Street. Member of the Society of Russian Sculptors (1930). Accused of Formalism and forced to abandon non-figurative art (1930s). Designed a statue of Vladimir Lenin in Taganrog (1935, destroyed by the Germans in 1941) and contributed to the decoration of the Bashkiria Pavilion at the All-Union Exhibition of Agriculture in Moscow (late 1930s). Addressed themes from Jewish folk art in decorative ceramics (1930s) and sculpted polychrome wooden heads and statues (1930s–40s). Died suddenly in Moscow (1947). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1918). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Moscow Fellowship of Artists (1918), UNOVIS exhibitions in Vitebsk and Moscow (1920), Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (1926), Society of Russian Sculptors (1926–31), Fifteen Years of the Red Army at Gorky Park in Moscow (1933), Russian Museum in Leningrad (1933–34), Taras Shevchenko All-Ukrainian Museum in Kiev (1934–35) and the All-Ukrainian Picture Gallery in Kharkiv (1935) and a posthumous one-man show at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow (2000).

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