Katz, Mané


Born in a large family оf synagogue attendant Lazar Katz. Manet studied in the Jewish elementary school (heder), received a traditional Jewish education. In 1911, he entered Kiev Fine Art School. In 1913, following the advice of his friend – an art connoisseur, left for Paris, with reference letters to baron Ginzburg and sculptor J. L. Aronson.

In 1913-15, Katz studied at the National School of Fine Arts at Fernand Cormon’s Studio, where he was acquainted with the painter Soutine. Entered the circle of Montparnasse artists. When the World War I began, he wanted to join the Foreign Legion, but was not enrolled because of small height. Returned to Russia in 1915, through the Athens, Sofia and Bucharest, due to the same reason was exempted from military service as well.

In 1916-17 lived in Petrograd. Studied at M.V. Dobuzhinsky's New Art Studio. Studied the collection of Jewish Museum, which was established in Petrograd in 1915. Began to collect items of Jewish art and antiquities. In 1916 participated in the Exhibition of the Jewish Society Arts Encouragement ("Self-Portrait" and "Portrait of a Sculptor") and the exhibition of sketches, studies and drawings of The Art World (pastel portrait). In November 1917 he returned to Kremenchug, began to give drawing lessons. In 1918-19, he taught at the Kharkov fine art school, participated in local literary and artistic life. Was on friendly terms with painters V. Ermilov, and V. V. Bobritsky.

He was a member of the avant-garde "Group of Three", collaborated with the groups "Liren’" and "Union of Seven", was one of the authors of the album "Seven plus Three" (1918). Katz’s works were presented at the 1st exhibition of paintings of the Union of Arts (1918) and at the 2nd exhibition in Kharkov Art shop (1919). In July 1919, his personal exhibition was organized in Kharkov; his works were exhibited in Rostov-on-Don and Tiflis. In 1921 left for Berlin via Minsk and Warsaw. From 1922, he lived in Paris. In 1927, he acquired French citizenship. Created paintings devoted to Jewish types, everyday life, folklore, ritual Jewish symbols, biblical scenes: "The Dreamer" (1923), "The Talmud Lesson" (1925), "Reverence" (1927), "Badhan" (1932), "Contemplation" (1934), "Ecstasy" (1936), "The Rabbis" (1942), the polyptych "Wedding", variations to the theme "Musicians". Some works were inspired by the Ukrainian memories. He painted landscapes of Paris and the Riviera, street and genre scenes, clowns, bullfights, bands, portraits and flowers. In May 1923, with the assistance of art critic V. Georges held a personal exhibition in the gallery Percier. Later, his exhibitions were held in the following galleries - Percier (1924, 1928), C. Granoff (1928, 1938), Brummer (1930), L'archipel (1931), G. Petit (1934, retrospective for 1922-34), Charpentier (1937). As well as in Prague (1926), Warsaw (1927, 1932), Amsterdam (1936), London (1936), Kaunas (1937) and new York (1938, Wildenstein gallery). Exhibited in the salons: Autumn, Tuileries, The Independent (1924) and Ultra Independent (1930) participated in collective exhibitions.

His works were exhibited at the Wandering All-Ukrainian jubilee exhibition (1927/28) and in the Russian section of the exhibition "Modern French Art" in Moscow (1928). Two paintings were acquired by the Luxembourg Museum in Paris (1934), one - by Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume (1938). In 1937, he received a gold medal at the world exhibition in Paris for the painting "The Wailing wall".

Participated in the Exhibition of Jewish painters and sculptors (1924), the charity balls of Parisian society for help to Russian Jews (1925) and the Palestinian club (1929), tribute nights to artists I. B. Fisher and A. B. Lahovskiy, was the member of the Committee for support of Jewish theatre in Paris (1938). Several times visited Palestine (1928, 1935, 1937), traveled to Czechoslovakia, Carpathians. Poland and Lithuania (1930), visited England and Mexico (1938).

In 1939, he was enlisted in the military school as a common soldier. After the downfall of Paris Katz was captured, but escaped, and via Marseilles left for the USA (1940). He lived in New York until the end of World War II. Katz organized exhibitions in New York, Chicago, Hollywood and Montreal.

Beginning from the end of the 30s, worked in the sculptural genre. In 1944, For the first time exhibited his sculptures in Wildenstein gallery in New York. Returned to Paris in 1945. Created a number of works on the topic of Disaster, among them is "The Opposition. The Rebellion in the Warsaw Ghetto" for the synagogue in Nancy (1946). Participated in the exhibition "In Honor of the Victory", organized by the Union of Soviet patriots (1946).

In 1948, in the midst of the war for Israel independence brought his exhibition to Tel-Aviv Museum. Since that time had been visiting Israel annually. His solo exhibitions were held in Paris galleries K. Granoff (1945, 1949), Charpentier (1951, Paris scenery and flowers), Durand-Ruel (1955), R. Cazenave (1957), New York (1946, 1947, 1950, 1954, 1961), Brussels (1949), Johannesburg (1950), London (1951, Redfem gallery; 1955, 1960, Gallery Ohana), Buenos Aires (1952), Tel Aviv (1948, 1954), Strasbourg (1954), Mexico City (1956), Tokyo (1957), Haifa (1958) and Geneva (1959, 1961). In 1961, his works were shown at the exhibition "Russian Artists from École de Paris» (Paris, House of French Concept). He spent the last year of his life in Israel. His personal Museum was opened in Haifa a shortly before his death. Katz’s works are presented in major museums all round the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris and the Tate gallery in London, as well as in private collections

Interesting facts:

  • In 1951, became a Knight of the Legion of Honor.

  • In 1957, at the age of 63 years, made a round-the-world trip on the route Tel Aviv-Tehran-Calcutta-Bombay -Hong Kong-Tokyo-Honolulu-San Francisco-Miami-Chicago-New York-Paris.

  • In 1958 signed the agreement with the municipality of Haifa. The city built him a house with a workshop, and the artist bequeathed his works and collection of rare items of Judaica to the city.

Exhibits in the Museum Collection