Biography

Artist biography

Abraham Mintchine 1898-1931

School of Paris painter of landscapes, portraits and still life. Born at Kiev in Russia. Apprenticed to a goldsmith at the age of thirteen as an engraver, but soon afterwards also began to paint. Left Russia in 1923 and went to Berlin, where in 1925 he exhibited some paintings in a Cubist manner, and designed sets and costumes for the Jewish theatre in Palestine. Moved to Paris, penniless, in 1926 and joined the group of emigré Russian and Polish artists of Jewish origin already working there, Soutine, Kremegne, Kikoine and others. All his surviving work dates from these last six years, 1926-31. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Alice Manteau, Paris, 1929. Worked much in Provence, especially from 1929 onwards, in contact with Othon Friesz. Died at La Garde, near Toulon.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.523

Wikipedia entry

Abraham Mintchine (4 April 1898 in Kiev – 25 April 1931 in La Garde), was a Ukrainian painter.

At 13, Mintchine was apprenticed to a goldsmith in Kiev. He began painting from the age of 16. In 1923, he left Russia for Berlin where he designed sets and costumes for the Jewish theatre. At the time of his first exhibition in Berlin he displayed some works that critics defined as of a style close to Cubism.

He arrived in Paris around 1925. In extreme poverty, married with a child, he was observed by the art dealer René Gimpel, who wrote in his journal: "I have bought about 35 of his canvasses, some are quite uneven, but that in itself is some proof of talent ...he barely managed to scrape a 100 sous to live on; he wouldn't eat, and, dying of hunger would say to his wife: Eat, Mintchine isn't hungry. Now, (in 1929), that he's achieved a measure of comfort and his health has deteriorated, he continues to deprive himself for his wife saying:Mintchine doesn't need anything. "

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