Jakub Zucker. Live to paint

Exhibition date & place
Godziny otwarcia:
‘I don’t paint for money, or out of a sense of duty, or to achieve success and make a name for myself. I paint to grace the Lord, to thank for all the mercy He has given me. I paint for myself because art is the most secure way to freedom, an escape from the troubles of life.’ This is how Jakub Zucker explained his passion for painting, which he nurtured incessantly, despite all odds and the many difficulties he experienced during his lifetime: from his early youth, when he struggled with financial problems, until the very last years of his life, when an eye disease was making it increasingly hard for him to paint. Wherever he was staying – and he travelled and moved places extremely frequently – he would transform his observations and realisations into painterly visions. Although Zucker’s painting may be associated with the art of École de Paris, to which he was exposed during his many stays in Paris, his main source of inspiration was always the real world: above all, nature. He would produce art driven by emotions that nature provoked in him; working without preparatory sketches, he wished to provide the beholder with the excerpt of the world that had moved him, just the way he had seen that piece of reality himself. His lack of a complete training in painting was not an obstacle for Zucker – rather, it strengthened the power and the unique character of his artistic expression, rendering it free from hackneyed forms and academic conventions. At the age of fourteen, Jakub Zucker became the youngest student in the history of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, which he managed to reach after an extremely hard, lonely journey from his native Radom, Poland. During the First World War, he served in the British-led legion of Jewish soldiers in the Middle East; after the war, he settled in Paris, where he attended local drawing and painting classes. In the meantime, he spent time absorbing the extraordinary aura of creativity exuded by Parisian cafes and bistros. Hoping to achieve greater financial stability, the artist decided to move to the United States. He succeeded in clearing the Ellis Island immigration owing to his own artistic prowess: one of the US immigration officers purchased Zucker’s portraits, giving him enough money to buy his entry into America. In New York, Zucker earned his living designing jewellery and working in a local shop. He kept saving money to continue artistic education and to be able to paint. Having married his cousin, Nina Wolham, the artist returned to Paris, where he could finally spread his wings and work as a painter. In 1931, Galerie Bonaparte hosted his first solo exhibition. Around that time, Zucker travelled extensively, visiting Italy, Israel and Spain, and deriving inspiration from the local natural wonders, architecture and daily life. That was until the economic and political situation forced the artist to go back to the USA. After the Second World War, Zucker and his family would often move between New York City and their house on the outskirts of Paris, while the artist himself was travelling more and more. In 1950, a major retrospective of his painting was displayed in Tel Aviv. During the final years of his life, not only did Jakub Zucker refuse to stop painting, but he was also actively engaged in multiple artistic societies, notably American ones. The artist died in New York in 1981.

Browse Lots (15)

Object type
Jakub Zucker - The Grand Canal in Venice
Jakub Zucker
The Grand Canal in Venice
oil/canvas, 61 x 74 cm
Price: 27,800 PLN
Jakub Zucker - Landscape
Jakub Zucker
oil/canvas, 59 x 72 cm
Price: 22,300 PLN
Jakub Zucker - A Street in Paris
Jakub Zucker
A Street in Paris
oil/canvas, 27.5 x 35.5 cm
Price: 19,500 PLN
Jakub Zucker - City Gate
Jakub Zucker
City Gate
oil/canvas, 54 x 66 cm
Price: 15,300 PLN
Jakub Zucker - Synagogue Interior
Jakub Zucker
Synagogue Interior
oil/board, 40.5 x 33 cm
Price: 15,300 PLN
Jakub Zucker - Wanderer
Jakub Zucker
oil/canvas, 56 x 46 cm
Price: 13,200 PLN
Jakub Zucker - Nude in interior
Jakub Zucker
Nude in interior, 1980
oil/canvas, 41.5 x 33 cm
Price: 13,900 PLN
Jakub Zucker - Pont des Arts in Paris
Jakub Zucker
Pont des Arts in Paris
oil/canvas, 33 x 40 cm
Price: 15,300 PLN
Jakub Zucker - Landscape
Jakub Zucker
oil/canvas, 40 x 60 cm
Price: 9,800 PLN
Jakub Zucker - Potrait of a Woman
Jakub Zucker
Potrait of a Woman
oil/canvas, 46 x 38 cm
Price: 7,000 PLN
Jakub Zucker - Nude Painter by the Easels
Jakub Zucker
Nude Painter by the Easels
oil/paper, 29.5 x 23.5 cm
Price: 9,800 PLN
Jakub Zucker - Garden
Jakub Zucker
oil/panel, 19 x 26 cm
Price: 18,100 PLN
Jakub Zucker - Boy
Jakub Zucker
oil/canvas, 29 x 21 cm
Price: 5,600 PLN