Exhibition of April 2018

Zhitomirsky Alexander Arnoldovich

«See. Hear. Breathe.»

20.03.2018 - 14.04.2018

“…at the exhibition happened some magic - black and white graphics, mostly landscapes and city sketches so beautifully intertwined with his watercolors, gouaches, pastels, that turned out to be a fantastic kaleidoscope: black and white streets of distant cities, shores of warm seas - and next to them blossom luxurious bright bouquets. As Lyudmila Nakhmanovna told us, Alexander Arnoldovich practically did not paint by color paints to the most advanced years (he did not paint by oil at all, he did not even have his own studio, he worked at home, at the table). Wife and friends literally forced him to paint flowers – they brought to him bouquets, cutting off all the surrounding flower beds. And it turned out fantastic - he was a great colorist. Many of his watercolors and gouaches reminded me of Japanese color engraving. To paint flowers so shrilly – by open color, while - without wet handkerchiefs and pink bubbles can only a real man. And a real master ... "

Natalya Shkuryenok

«Zhitomirsky Alexander»

Zhitomirsky Alexander Arnoldovich (Solomonovich)

(1907 – 1993)

Alexander Zhitomirsky belonged to a remarkable galaxy of Russian artists of political photomontage, among them were Alexander Rodchenko, El Lisitsky and Gustav Klutzke.

He came to Moscow in 1925 from Rostov-on-Don. In the first Moscow years, Alexander Zhitomirsky was engaged in drawing and painting with the wonderful colorist Ilya Mashkov. Mastery of graphics was taught him by Vladimir Favorsky.

In 1930, Zhitomirsky began to work as a cartoonist in the “Worker Newspaper” and at the same time as an artist-designer in the magazines Socialist Industry and “Illustrated Newspaper”. Quite quickly he was recognized as a talented illustrator, cartoonist and designer of magazines and books.

About the middle of the 20-ies in the publishing and advertising practice in Russia is widely included photomontage. Alexander Zhitomirsky was also fascinated by it. And so passionately that it became the main kind of his creative work. A vivid example for him were the political photomontages of the German artist John Hartfield, published in the left German publications AIZ (Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung) and Rote Fahne, which at that time were sold at newsstands in Moscow.

Years of the Great Patriotic War - the period of the highest manifestation of the talent of Alexander Zhitomirsky. He wrote about this time: "For a month the war raged on our land. We, the employees of the magazine "Illustrated Newspaper", were given the task of urgently making a model of a new magazine ...

So in July 1941, was born "Front-Illustrierte" - our battle magazine for the German soldiers. From that time until the end of the war, all my thoughts were engaged in propaganda among enemy troops ... There was no soldier in the German army, who would not have become our "subscriber".

Leaflets, magazines with photomontages by Zhytomyrsky were distributed in German, Italian, Finnish, Romanian, Hungarian and other languages in millions of copies. The fascist propaganda minister Goebbels put his name on the list of the most hated enemies of the Third Reich: "To be find and noose!"

In the post-war period, Alexander Zhitomirsky worked for more than forty years in the magazine "The Soviet Union", published in more than twenty languages. He was a man of his era, who believed in the ideals of his society.

Many of his works of this period are devoted to the "cold war". They are also represented at the exhibition and look like monuments to the past time. What is shown today at the exhibition is only a small part of the artist's heritage.

Photomontage and drawings by of Alexander Zhitomir carefully stored in the collections of the National Gallery of Art and the Library of Congress in Washington, in the Museum of German History in Berlin, in the Museum of Fine Arts named after Alexander Pushkin in Moscow and in other large collections of works of art.