Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lasar Segall

Emigrantes III
other detail unknown

Lasar Segall (1891-1957) was born in the Jewish ghetto of Vilnius, Lithuania, which at that time was part of Imperial Russia. His work is derived from impressionism, expressionism and modernism. His most significant themes were depictions of human suffering, war, persecution and prostitution.

He was the son of a Torah scribe. He moved to Berlin at the age of 15 and studied at the Akademie der Kunste. He then continued his studies at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. Frustrated with the academic school of painting there, he left for Dresden in 1910 where he worked in an art academy as a teacher. In 1912, he moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where three of his siblings were already living, but returned to Dresden in 1914. In 1919, he founded the Dresden Secession Group together with his friends. In 1923, he finally moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he was to become a notable figure in Modern Art circles. His preferred subject matters now became the Brazilian countryside, mulattoes, favelas, and prostitutes. Due to the harsh and extreme nature of his portrayals and his depiction of human suffering, his artwork was not generally accepted in Brazil.

One of his most famous artworks is "Ship of Emigrants". A ship is overcrowded with emigrant passengers. Their solemn faces and lack of expression show the brutal reality of emigrants and their depressing voyage to a new life.