Murray Zimiles WAR IN UKRAINE
November 15, 2022 - January 29, 2023
War In Ukraine, a series of 5 large scale oil/mixed media paintings by artist Murray Zimiles, was on view in tandem with the exhibition Boris Margo - A Ukrainian Sensibility.
Murray Zimiles on his artistic practice:
"Recently my wife and I completed a long overdue inventory of the 50 plus years of my art work remaining in my studio. That gave us the invaluable opportunity to see the scope of my life as an artist. We both became aware of my life-long engagement with the tragic events that I have witnessed. My wife half joked that I should have a theme retrospective entitled “Master of Disasters and Catastrophes” because, in fact, making art has always been the way that I constructively channeled my own rage, grief, heartbreak, and helplessness into a form that
An activist in the Vietnam war era, I never stopped responding artistically to events such as the catastrophe of 911, The Black Lives Matter movement, the destruction of animal habitats, the burning of Notre Dame, and, for thirteen years, the Holocaust. Many of these engaged works, that I like to think of as “horrible beautiful”, are in museums and memorials where they will have a life and reach beyond my own. My family, like that of so many eastern European Jews, had a troubled history in Ukraine, fleeing pogroms and wars. But, it also resonates as
my homeland and the birthplace of so much of my culture.
Boris was raised in a small town on the Polish-Russian border of what is now Ukraine, where he had intense memories of childhood, parents, siblings, and nature. There he also suffered through the Russian revolution not arriving at last
in America until 1930. He hated Russia and refused to return even when honored
in a show at the State Museum in Moscow.
Boris was not just an uncle to me and my brother, he saved me, taught me,
opened my eyes, and gave me daring and love.
So when this horrible invasion of his homeland began, added to my expected outrage and need to express it, I felt something touch me very deeply. The urge
to say something, do something took form almost immediately in this series of paintings. I want them to keep the suffering of Ukraine and the madness of this desecration right before the public eye. That is why I choose to make them horrible as well as beautiful."
Biography - Murray Zimiles
Murray Zimiles, a painter, printmaker, curator and author was a professor of art at Purchase College, State University of New York, from 1977-2014. He achieved his BFA in painting and printmaking from the University of Illinois and his MFA from Cornell University. Post graduate study of printmaking at the Ecole Nationale Superior Beaux Art, and at private workshops in Paris, France lead to co-authoring two books in lithography.
In 2007 he was elected a member of the National Academy, N.Y. Zimiles was the Guest Curator of the American Folk Art Museum’s exhibition and author of the book/catalogue publication Gilded Lions and Jeweled Horses. In 2008 the book won the National Jewish Book Award in the Visual Arts category.
Zimiles has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions since 1965. In 2003 a mid-career retrospective of his paintings and drawings was held at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY. He had a major exhibition of his Holocaust paintings, drawings, and prints at the Florida Holocaust Museum which acquired 140 pictures executed from 1984-91. In 2016, his painting triptych, 911 was acquired by the 911 Memorial and Museum, NY.
His work is held widely within private collections and museum collections throughout the world, notably - the Museum
of Modern Art, NY, the Brooklyn Museum, NY, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the National Collection,
Learn more about the artist at www.murrayzimiles.com
Zimiles, who is Boris Margo's nephew, presented a gallery talk on the life and art of Margo, and also discussed his War In Ukraine series on Tuesday, November 15.
Read about this exhibition in the December 22nd PROVINCETOWN INDEPENDENT