Born in in Kishinev, Josef Gurvich started to paint at the age of 13. In 1925 he presented his art works on the competition to the Visual Arts Institute of Odessa and was accepted without examinations. Since 1932 he participated in official  art exhibitions like "Industry of Socialism", Moscow, 1939; "All-Union Art Exhibition", Moscow, 1947, 1949, 1951 and hundreds others.
   Josef Gurvich is a living classic of the Soviet Art who remembered the Revolution and Civil War. He was a member of the Communist Party since 1940 and was considered as one of the leading Soviet artists. He was trusted to paint compositions with Stalin and all members of the Government and received numerous art awards. Josef Gurvich is an example of an extraordinary talent who created without conflicting with the official system. At the WWII he was in command of a machine-gun battalion and was highly decorated for his courage. During his life Josef Gurvich painted a Jewish theme only once. In 1944, during the Red Army attack in Baltic region, he found a pack of photographs on the body of the killed German soldier. These photographs showed the massacre of Jews. It made a terrible impression on Gurvich. He saved the photographs and only in 1988 dared to show on canvas all that pain that was inside of him since Holocaust ("Ordinary Fascism").
   The Art of Josef Gurvich is beyond the boundaries of the "Socialism Realism". He said that his real teachers were Cézanne and Renoir. It is not an accident that he is the rare example of the "official" Soviet painter recognized in the West.
   Josef Gurvich had personal exhibitions in England, Switzerland, Spain, France, Austria, Finland, and his works are in the collections of most  European countries, USA and Japan.

 (general view of the current condition).
Click for larger view

In the Studio, 1979, oil on canvas, 43x39

Plain Fascism, 1988, oil on canvas, 39x50

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