Meer Akselrod’s creation fully and expressively captured tha fate of Russian Jewry from twenties to sixties of the XX century.
Meir Akselrod was born on 18th of July in 1902 in a small jewish town Molodechno in Belorussia.
During the First World War jews were evicted from the immediate battle area. Artist’s family found refuge in Tambov. There, in 1916 Akselrod took his first lessons in drawing from V.N. Perelman. The cyclus «War. Refugees», created in twenties was based on the memories of this time.
In 1918-119 M. Akselrod lived in Minsk, earned his living by drawing billboards.
In 1919-1920 he served as a draughtsman in Red Army communications agency on the Western Front.
In 1921 he came out with 36 works in the exhibition of belorussian artists in Minsk. Thereafter David Shterenberg sent him to the VKHUTEMAS in Moscow.
From 1921 to 1928 he was a student under V.Favorsky, K. Istomin, S.Gerasimov, A.Rodchenko on Graphical Faculty of VKHUTEMAS.
He joined «4 arts» society, took part in three exhibitions of this society in Moscow and Leningrad, in company with pleiad of eminent masters — El Lisitsky, P. Kuznecov, M. Saryan, K. Petrov-Vodkin, K. Istomin..
Akselrod displayed his works from the series «Jewish Town», created on annual trips to Belarus. Young artist’s talent was valued higly by first string art critics — A. Efros, A. Sidorov, A. Fedorov-Davydov.
In 1928-32 Akselrod taught drawing in the Khutein and in Textile Institute, illustrates many books. His works were featured in many big international exhibitions in Switzerlan, Netherlands, France, USA.
In 1929 he got married to Rivka Rubina, famous jewish writer at the future date.
1930-31 — trips to the jewish agricultural commune «Voyo Novo» in Crimea, creation of the series of drawings, watercolours and gouaches – «In the steppe».
In the middle 30-s Akselrod, proclaimed a «formalist», started decorating performances in Jewsih theatres (State Jewish Theatres) of Moscow, Kiev and Minsk.
In 1941, evacuated to Alma-Ata, Akselrod was invited to join S.Eizenshtein «Ivan the Terrible» film crew (sketches and fresco-painting).
While Second World War Akselrod created watercolours and gouaches about Holocaust. Till the end of forties, till the supression of «Der Emes» publishing house Aselrod had illustrated books of jewish writers — Sholem Aleichem, I. Peretz, D. Bergelson.
In 1966 after long break of exhibitions he took part in retrospective group exhibition in Moscow with M. Gorshman, A. Labas, A. Teneta, G. Shultz.
To the last day of his life Meer Akselrod worked hard and fruitful. In 50-60-s he created series «Memories of old Minsk», «Ghetto», portraits of writers, artists, actors, landscapes of Crimea, Caucasus, Moscow region, Baltics.
There was no single solo exhibition of his works in Moscow during his lifetime.
He died of a heart attack in moscow hospital on 10th of January, 1970.
Since 1972 works of Meer Akselrod has been on display all over the world. But none of those exhibitions can exhaustingly represent Akselrod’s artistic legacy. Many works, remained in artist’s family, are represented on this site, which will help to become more acquainted with Meer Akselrod’s artistic legacy.