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 by 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.
HOMAGE TO ENSOR 1990-2004 Oil and encaustic on canvas 31 3/4" x 28" signed
STILL LIFE WITH SKULL AND BONES 1984 Oil and encaustic on canvas 26" x 33 1/2" signed
STILL LIFE WITH BLUE FLOWERS 2001 Oil and encaustic on canvas 36" x 30" signed
STILL LIFE WITH ANTIQUE BOTTLES 1981 Oil and encaustic on canvas 24" x 20" signed
STILL LIFE WITH FISH, BEETS, GARLIC, AND ANTIQUE BOTTLE 2000 Oil and encaustic on canvas 28" x 30" signed
STILL LIFE WITH BOTTLE AND PLUMS 1986 Oil and encaustic on canvas 20" x 14" signed
STILL LIFE WITH BOOKS AND FLOWERS 1993 Tempera on board 31 1/2" x 47 1/2" signed
STILL LIFE WITH BOTTLES I 1991-2001 Tempera on board 46" x 48" signed
ARTIST'S KITCHEN STILL LIFE 1992 Tempera on board 31 1/2" x 41" signed
THE BIRTH OF CREATIVITY 1983 Oil and encaustic on board 12" x 15" signed
BUILDING IN VENICE 1985 Oil and encaustic on canvas 30" x 26" signed
ODESSA WINTER LANDSCAPE 2004 Oil and encaustic on board 24" x 36" signed
ANCIENT WALL IN LANDSCAPE 2000 Oil and encaustic on board 26" x 22" signed
VISSO, ITALY 1992 Oil and encaustic on canvas 24" x 28" signed
THE LAST SUPPER YARD 1980 Oil and encaustic on canvas 24" x 20" signed
STILL LIFE WITH POTATOES 1979 Oil and encaustic on board 30" x 24" Signed
MORNING STILL LIFE 1979 Oil and encaustic on board 30" x 24" Signed
STILL LIFE WITH BOOKS 1979 Oil and encaustic on board 30" x 24" Signed