Marek Szwarc - Zgierz - 1892 - Paris - 1958
Marek Szwarc comes from a family of intellectuals. His father, judge in the court of Zgierz and research worker on dead oriental languages dies in 1940, killed by the Nazis while trying to protect his library which was burnt.
He studies at the Hedder up to the beginning of the Polish high school of Lodz. His first works, executed at the age of 14, disappeared during the Second World War.
In 1910, he arrives in Paris, settles down at the Hive (La Ruche) until the First World War and becomes the student of Antoine Mercier at the Fine Arts Academy. At the Hive, in contact with other Jewish artists, he creates “Makhmadim” with Tchaikov and Lichtenstein, (“pleasures”), the first magazine of Jewish art without text or manifesto. Only of few editions were actually published and distributed by the artists themselves.
In 1914, back in Poland for his holidays, he is stopped by the war and exempted of military service thanks to a letter of Antoine Mercier to his friend the tsar of Russia.
In 1919 is the beginning of a new era for him. He marries Eugenia Markowa and the couple settles down in Paris.
In 1920, his wife and he convert to Catholicism. Then begins a tough period in the life of the artist. His conversion shocks his friends; he is banned from his family and cut out of the world. He is a mystic man who considers himself as Jewish but at the same time very close to the Christian faith. The essential of his work during this period is dominated by bas-reliefs depicting biblical and evangelical scenes.
In 1921, he meets Zaramon, an official auctioneer who buys him his works.
For the International Exhibition of 1937, he makes bas-reliefs for the pontifical lodge.
In 1939, he enrols in the Polish army because this war gives him a reason to fight against Hitler. After three years in the army, he is sent to London by his superiors to honour a request from the Cardinal Hindslay, a hammered silver plate. London will be a new turn in his prolific creation. This is the time when he exclusively works on sculptures as well as hammered copper.
In 1945, he comes back to Paris with his family and is naturalized French. He settles down in his studio at the 65 Boulevard Aragon and will live there up until his death. A significant collection of Marek Szwarc’s works purchased by George Brazzola was offered after his death to the museum of art and history of Judaism.
Nadine Nieszawer, Marie Boyé, Paul Fogel
"Peintres Juifs à Paris 1905-1939 Ecole de Paris"
Editons Denoel 2000