Alexandre Fasini (Saul Finesilber aka)

1892 1942
(Ukraine) 1892 /   (Pologne) 1942

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Alexandre Fasini, born Saul Finesilber, grew up in a family of grain merchants. He was very young when his mother died. Out of three sons, two became painters and one was a writer who died prematurely. Fasini spent his childhood in Odessa. He attended the School of Fine Arts and took classes taught by the Greek impressionist painter Kiriak Kostandi. He befriended painter Philippe Hosiasson and writer Isaac Babel. He illustrated some newspapers in Odessa, including Bomba and Iablstchko.

He arrived in France aboard a Soviet boat in 1922 and settled in Rue Dary. Fasini’s painting was on the fringes of abstraction and surrealism. He wished for its work to reflect a new experience, which would give him an original position within the School of Paris. He became quite famous between the years 1920-1925. Max Berger, owner of the Vanvin art gallery, exhibited his work for two years along with paintings by Jean Lurçat, Pablo Picasso and Georges Papazoff. Alexandre Fasini collected primitive art. He also devoted himself to photography and to the creation of furniture.

During the Occupation, he kept painting. His friends and family advised him to leave for the Zone libre (free zone) but he was too desperate to do so. On 16 July 1942, the French police arrested Fasini and his wife Rosa during the Vel d’Hiv roundup. His work was destroyed in his studio. Both of them were interned in Drancy and deported on convoy number 9. They were murdered in Auschwitz.