David Garfinkiel

1902 1970
(Pologne) 1902 /   (France) 1970

David Garfinkiel was the youngest in a family of nine. His father was a wood carver. David Garfinkiel started to paint at a young age; he enrolled in the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw and later in Krakow.

In 1932, he arrived in Paris and acquired French nationality. He attended the Grande Chaumière Academy and the Julian Academy. Although his first paintings were reminiscent of cubism, his later work showed a preoccupation with a more realistic figuration. The art critic Waldemar George described him as a “quiet visionary”. He asserted himself through the Jewish themes of expressionist technique.

Garfinkiel was a painter and a photographer as well; he worked for Studio Harcourt in 1934.

He volunteered to join the army in 1939, and later took refuge in Brive in the Corrèze department. He left for Lyon in 1940. People in Lyon appreciated his painting and the exhibition “Province de France” (provinces of France) was inaugurated in 1942. The toll of the war was tragic: his brothers and sister died, as well as fourteen out of his fifteen nephews and nieces. After the Liberation, Garfinkiel opened a photography studio in Belleville called Studio David. It also served as his painting studio and enabled him to provide for his family. The city of Paris acquired his work Exodus in 1959. That same year, the Ministry of National Education awarded him the artistic encouragement prize. In 1970, he was appointed Vice President of the association of Jewish painters and sculptors in France.