Mané-Katz was born into a religious Jewish family in Kremenchug, Ukraine. After studying in Kyiv he visited Paris in 1913. Where he befriended Chagall and Soutine at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
In Paris Mané-Katz discovered the works of Rembrandt exhibited in the Louvre museum and also became influenced by the Fauves, especially Derain, and briefly by Cubism. After the outbreak of World War Mane-Katz returned to home where he was one of the major players of avant-garde scene in Kharkiv. He was a member of Group of Three and Union of Seven that were stylistically influenced both by French Cubism and Italian Futurism.
In 1919 he held his personal exhibitions in Kharkiv, Rostov-on-Don and Tiflis (today's Tbilisi).
Back in Paris in 1921, he started to collect many Jewish art objects and took French citizenship in 1927. In Paris he painted many works on the subject of life in the ghettos of Eastern Europe, the rabbis and Talmudic students, the fiddlers and drummers, comedians and beggars. He also painted a number of landscapes and flower studies. Mane-Katz held his exhibitions in major European cities.
In 1940-1945 Mane-Katz lived in New York where he began making sculptures. The artist donated many of his works to the town of Haifa.
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