Lasar Segall

Lasar Segall - Vilnius - 1891 - São Paulo - 1957

Lasar Segall grows up in Vilno into a religious family whose father was a calligraphist.

From 1905 to 1906 Segall studies at the Beaux-Arts of Vilno.

In 1907, Segall arrives in Berlin and attends the Beaux-Arts lessons during two years.

In 1909, he travels to Amsterdam.

In 1910, he leaves Berlin for Dresden and keeps learning at the Beaux-Arts as a “Meister-Schueler” (Student-Master) with the privilege of having his own atelier. It satisfies his need for independence.

In 1911, he undertakes to go to Brazil for the first time and exhibits there in 1913 only. When war is declared in 1914, Segall, Russian citizen, is sent into exile in Meissen.

In 1916, he is allowed to go back to Dresden and travels for the last time to Vilno. In 1918, he gets married with Margarete Quack and, inspired by the short story of Dostoïevski called Krotkaya, he publishes his first album of five lithographies.

In 1919, he takes part in the group secession of Dresden and the museum of Dresden purchases one of his works. That same year, “Memories from Vilno”, an album of lithographies prefaced by Paul Ferdinand Schmidt, is published. In 1920, he helps Marie Wigman to create her dancing school in Dresden. At that time, he meets Paul Klee.

In 1921, he meets Wassily Kandinsky, El Lissitzki, Naum Gabo and Alexander Archipenko. That same year, he publishes an engraving album, “Bubu”, inspired by the book of Charles-Louis Philippe, “Bubu de Montparnasse”. 1923 is the year of his second journey in Brazil where he permanently settles. He is granted Brazilian citizenship and he gets married for the second time with Jenny Klabin, a Brazilian woman today recognized for her translations in Portuguese of Molière and Racine. They will have two boys.

He arrives in Paris in 1928 and starts sculpting. He often goes to the cafés of Montparnasse and meets the artists of the time. Back to São Paulo in 1932, Segall founds, with a group of friends, the “SPAM” (Sociedad Paulista de Arte Moderna) with which he takes part in several national projects of decoration. Two events leave their mark on him : an exhibition at the Renou and Colle gallery and the publication of a second monography of Paul Fierens. This motivates Segall’s second journey to Paris from 1935 to 1938. In 1937, ten of his works are exhibited in Munich for the exhibition “Art Dégénéré”.

He spends the Occupation years in Brazil and goes back to Paris in 1956 on the occasion of an exhibition at the National Modern Art Museum for a retrospective of his work. Lasar Segall is already affected by his illness and dies on August 2nd , 1957 in his house of Alfonso street in São Paulo. His works are currently at the Lasar Segall Museum of São Paulo. 

Nadine Nieszawer, Marie Boyé, Paul Fogel
"Peintres Juifs à Paris 1905-1939 Ecole de Paris"
Editons Denoel 2000




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