Chana Orloff, Ukrainian/French (1888 - 1968)

 
  
In 1904, the Orloff family emigrates to Israel, driven out by the pogroms. Six years later, Chana leaves for Paris. Its intention is to obtain a diploma of sewing. She works at Paquin which notices her and encourages her to develop her artistic gifts.

After a traditional formation at the National School of Decorative Arts, Chana studies sculpture at the Russian Academy in Montparnasse. It is in this point in time that her relations with Soutine, Modigliani, Pascin, Zadkine started.

From 1913, Chana participates in the Salon d'Automne, then with the Salon de Tuileries and the Independent.

Chana is then the appointed portraitist of the Parisian elite; genre in which she excels in subtlety and in mischievousness, without never falling into the caricature. " One day she did the portrait of Mac Orlan and, since then, Mac Orlan is only the reflection of real Mac Orlan created by the artist "! Chana Orloff by E. Des Courières.

In 1917, Chana marries the poet Ary Justman who dies in 1919 from the Spanish influenza, leaving her with a one year old son Elie or Didi.

Chana works more than ever, stone, marble, wood, bronze, and develop the topics which she will take again all her life: maternity, women, children... as well as the animal art to which she will later grant a symbolic sense.

In 1928, an exhibition in the United States receives an eulogistic criticism.

In 1937, a room is reserved for her in the Petit Palais in Paris.

The war stops her work. Refugee with her son in Geneva, she will never forget the cordial greeting that her Suisse friends reserved to her, providing workshop and materials, multiplying the commands of portraits. The Moos gallery devotes an exhibition in 1945 to her.

Back in Paris, Chana Orloff gives up the smooth form for one modelled more anxiously with intimate subjects like that of the Sited Woman.

Comes then the period of the great retrospectives and the final consecration of Chana Orloff in Europe in the United States and in Israel where in addition to many exhibitions, she gets orders for several monuments.

In 1968, Chana prepares a great exhibition in the Tel-Aviv museum. It is then and there that she dies and where she rests in peace.



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