Arbit Blatas

Beloosesky Gallery is interested in purchasing paintings or sculpture by Arbit Blatas. 

Please call (917) 749-4577 or email us at info@beloosesky.com

 

Arbit Blatas was born in Lithuania (then a part of the Russian Empire) in 1908. Blatas showed great skill and artistic talent from a very early age. He moved to Paris when he turned twenty-one, and quickly ingratiated himself in the Parisian art community becoming the youngest member of the “School of Paris”.

 

Paris offered a milieu of cultural richness, least of which included his fellow artists Pablo Picasso, Pierre Bonnard, Maurice de Vlaminck, and Maruice Utrillo. These talented peers provided immense inspiration for the young Blatas helping to nurture his distinct style.

 

Blatas was also influenced by the modest Jewish art community in Paris. This group helped foster the national aspirations as well as a continual experimentation with expressionism, many of whom would become members of the “School of Paris”.

 

During this period Blatas traveled back and forth between Paris and his native Lithuania, putting on exhibitions as well as opening a gallery in Lithuania. His profile grew immensely in 1933 after exhibiting in Paris, coupled with his relationship with the art dealer Pierre Matisse who organized the artist’s first exhibition in New York. Like many other artist’s living in Europe at the time, Blatas was forced to flee France and emigrated to the United States. He wouldn’t return until after the end of World War II.

 

Blatas was a multitalented artist, often working with painting, sculpture and theater design over the course of his career. His paintings often depicted portraits and landscapes, but also showed an adept understanding of many influential styles such as post-impressionism, fauvism, and expressionism. He never adhered to one “ism” but rather relied on his unique sense of color as a driving force. The palette of his paintings have been described as “understated, gloomy, almost monochromatic palette and fine modelling in greys and green semitones yielded to bright, vibrant, resounding colours, which sharpened the artist’s vision of the world.”

 

Many honors and prizes were bestowed upon Arbit Blatas during his career. He received the prestigious Chevalier de la Legion d’Honeur from the French government in 1978. Only two years later Blatas received a medal from the mayor of Venice in honor of his sculpture, comprised of seven bronze bas-reliefs, commemorating the liberation form the Nazis.

 

TIMELINE

 

1929:

Exhibits at Salon D'Automne and the Salon des Tuileries in Paris, France regularly until 1939.

1929:

At the age of twenty-one, he becomes the youngest member of the "School of Paris" and friend and colleague of many of the great figures of Paris art life: Vlaminck, Soutine, Picasso, Utrillo, Braque, Matisse, to name just a few. He eventually paints and sculpts them all.

1934:

Comes to the United States. First show at Pierre Matisse gallery.

1936:

The Jeu de Paume museum in Paris and the Musée de Grenoble buy the first paintings.

1936-9:

Shows regularly in major galleries in Paris.

1941:

Fleeing from Europe, he arrives in the United States where he becomes a highly respected member of the art community, eventually becoming an American citizen.

1946:

With the war over, he begins to divide his time between Paris and New York, exhibiting regularly in the USA and abroad.

1960:

First exhibitions of "The Threepenny Opera" in Paris, France, and Lausanne, Switzerland.

1967:

His life-size bronze of colleague Chaim Soutine is purchased by André Malraux for the Orangerie in Paris.

1971-84:

Designs and executes his first operas - "Carmen" in Hamburg, Germany and "Elektra" in Venice, Italy - with Regina Resnik as Director.

1980:

On April 25th, the National Holiday of Liberation from the Nazis, his Monument of the Holocaust (seven bronze bas-reliefs) is consecrated in the Historic Ghetto of Venice in the Campo del Ghetto Nuovo.

1981:

On April 23rd, a second edition of the Monument of the Holocaust is dedicated in Paris at the Shrine of the Unknown Jewish Martyrs.

1982:

On April 25th, a third edition of the Monument of the Holocaust is placed in New York City by the Anti-Defamation League in the Dag Hammerskjold Plaza facing the United Nations.

1982:

In Venice, Italy - a major exhibition of Blatas' "School of Paris" portraits at the Church of San Samuele under the auspices of the Mayors of Paris and Venice (Jacques Chirac and Mario Rigo, respectively).

1984:

In Venice, at the Teatro Goldoni, "Threepenny Opera" exhibition: Paintings, Lithographs, Sculpture.

1986:

"Threepenny Opera" exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York and the Goethe Institute in Toronto, Canada.

1986:

The Musée Bourdelle in Paris, France offers the first major exhibition of the "School of Paris" portraits.

1988:

Life-size statue of Chaim Soutine by Blatas is installed in the Square Gaston Baty in Montparnasse-Paris.

1988:

Exhibition "Arbit Blatas and his World of Music and Theatre" at the Museum of the City of New York

1990:

Musée Municipal in Boulogne-Billancourt acquires the entire collection of the portraits, drawings and bronzes of the "School of Paris" artists.

1991:

Bronze statue of artist, Jacques Lipchitz, is installed in the garden of the Hotel de Ville in Boulogne-Billancourt.

1994:

Paris presentation in Montparnasse of the "School of Paris" under the title "Memories of Paris".

1994:

In May, the Grosvenor Gallery in London presents the exhibition called "Arbit Blatas and his World of Music and Theatre".

1994:

On September 19th, Arbit Blatas is honored by the President of Italy who personally dedicates the sculpture called "The Last Train" in the Historic Ghetto of Venice. The monument honors the fiftieth anniversary of the Deportation of the Holocaust.

1994:

Eastlake Gallery in New York presents an entire exhibition dedicated to Arbit Blatas' paintings of Venice.

1997:

March and April - Beacon Hill Gallery in New York City shows paintings, drawings and sculpture in Arbit Blatas' last gallery exhibition.

1998:

The Museum of the Thirties of Boulogne-Billancourt opens officially in December with Arbit Blatas' "School of Paris" portrait collection permanently installed in rooms dedicated to the artist.

1999:

Arbit Blatas passes away on April 27th.

2000:

Regina Resnik-Blatas officially dedicates collection in Paris Museum of the Thirties.



MUSEUMS

USA:

 

 

Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; Newark Museum; Montclair Museum; Wichita Art Museum; Rochester Museum; Virginia Museum; Delgado Museum, New Orleans; Palm Springs Desert Museum; Museum of the City of New York; National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

 

FRANCE:

Jeu de Paume; Musée de l'Orangerie; Musée Georges Pompidou; Musée de Grenoble; Musée de Céret; Musée Bourdelle; Musée de Boulogne-Billancourt

 

ISRAEL:

 

Jerusalem Museum; Tel-Aviv Museum

 

ITALY:

 

Museo d'Arte Moderna; Ca' Pesaro, Venice

 

REUNION:

 

Musée de la Reunion

 

SWISS:

 

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne

 

WALES:

 

National Museum, Cardiff


 

HONORS

 

*

Elected life member of the Salon D'Automne

*

Chevalier de la Legion D'Honneur (France)

*

Officier de la Legion D'Honneur (France)

*

Gold Medal of Honor City of Venice (Italy)

*

Commandeur - Medaille de Vermeil (City of Paris)

*

Medal of Masada (Israel)

*

Special Honor of the City of New York

*

Presidential Medal of Italy

*

Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of Lithuania