Monday 10 June 2019


            He was a graphic artist and draftsman, born in Elisavetgrad.  At age fourteen he entered the painting school in Kiev.  He traveled through the Jewish towns of Ukraine on assignment from the Jewish historical-ethnographic society in St. Petersburg.  He helped direct (1917-1918) the artists’ section of the “Kultur-lige” (Culture league) in Kiev.  He lived for two years in Moscow (1919, 1925), 1921-1924 in Berlin, a short time in Kharkov, and from mid-1926 in Paris.  He was one of the pioneer Jewish designers and graphic artists who, through all the twists and turns of his artistic pathway, never ceased looking for the plastic arts.  He illustrated an entire series of Yiddish publications, among them three volumes of children’s stories (Berlin, 1922), a series of children’s booklets from the publisher “Shveln” (Thresholds [Schwellen]) (Berlin, 1923), and for Yiddish publishers in the Soviet Union, among others.  He published the art albums: Mayn khorever heym, a gedenkenish (My destroyed home, a remembrance) (Berlin: Shveln, 1922/1923); Af di felder fun ukraine (On the fields of Ukraine) (Paris: A. Simon, 1926), 21 pp. in Yiddish, French, and English.  With Boris Aronson, he published a work, “Di vegn fun der idisher moleray” (The ways of Jewish painting) which appeared in the Kiev anthology, Oyfgang (Arise), and “In khersonen stepes” (In the Kherson steppes) in In shpan (In line) (1926).  In 1937 there was published in Paris Yisokher ber ribak, zayn lebn un shafn (Yisokher-Ber Ribak, his life and work) (93 pp.).  He died in Paris.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4.
Berl Cohen

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