Lev Meshberg (Ukrainian/American, born 1933, Odessa, Ukraine; died 2007, Carrara, Italy).
Meshberg's enigmatic paintings are largely autobiographical. A figurative painter and superb colorist, his still lifes depict both familiar as well as
indiscernible objects, with dream-like tonality and ethereal light. A master of subtle textures, Meshberg's paintings have unique physical depth,
achieved through a build-up of matte pigments, encaustic, and other materials to create a three-dimensional, sculptural effect. But it is perhaps the
luminosity of his pristine colors and the meticulous execution of his paintings that have brought him world-wide admiration and recognition ''[Meshberg is] a wonderful, wonderful painter...," said of him one of his famous students, the American artist John Currin.
Lev Meshberg started painting and drawing in early childhood. In 1946, he was awarded First Prize at the Ukrainian Annual Art Contest. In 1950, he began to study painting and drawing at the prestigious Odessa College of Fine Arts, which he graduated with high honors. In 1967, the Ministry of Culture of the Soviet Union named Meshberg one of the country’s six best painters.
Meshberg emigrated to the United States in 1973 to escape the stigma of being an "unofficial" artist during the time when the country’s Communist
government demanded that all artists adhere to the style of Socialist Realism. Shortly after his arrival in the U.S., Meshberg's paintings were
exhibited to great acclaim in the Capitol Building Rotunda in Washington, D.C. – the first time such honor has been bestowed upon a foreign artist.
Lev Meshberg’s paintings have been exhibited all over the globe and can be found in many important public and private collections including the Pushkin Museum of Art in Moscow, the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, the Kiev National Museum of Art in Kiev, the Russian Art-in-Exile Collection in Paris, France; the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York, and the Museum of Russian Art in Jersey City, USA, among others.
Oil and encaustic on canvas
28" x 30"