Jacques Grinberg was born in 1941, in Bulgaria, and lived in Sofia during the war years. His father, Natan Grinberg, a member of the Communist Party in his youth, held a high position in the leadership of Communist Bulgaria after the war. In 1954, the family moved to Israel and settled in Bat Yam. On his arrival, Jacques went to school in a kibbutz, and at a young age began studying art at the Avni School in Tel Aviv. He probably was not exposed directly to the horrors of the Holocaust, but the subject was not repressed, certainly not by his father, who already in 1945 had published a book of documents attesting to the attempts of the Bulgarian fascist government to eliminate Bulgarian Jewry and to the involvement of the army and the police in the expulsion and extermination of the Jews of Thrace and Macedonia. After the book disappeared from the bookshops in Bulgaria, he published it again in Israel (in Bulgarian). In 1961, Natan Grinberg published another book in Israel, with a painting by his son on its cover. Jacques’s communistic world view and his acute sensitivity to the events of the time and to man’s fate were an inseparable part of the habitus he grew up in, and are embedded in his work. After showing his works in several exhibitions in Tel Aviv galleries, Jacques moved to Paris in 1962, and in a short time found his place among the first artists who promoted the “New Figuration” orientation, which proposed a contemporary painting that struck out against the abstract, which had taken over everywhere. Grinberg’s paintings – large in format, bold in their colors – focused on human and animal images, and were highly successful. He was represented by a leading gallery and his paintings were shown in well-regarded exhibitions. But the failure of the Students’ Revolt in 1968 and the collapse of the gallery that represented him (and sold his paintings at a loss, which broke the market for his works) created a new reality for him, and he found it difficult to recover. Jacques Grinberg died in Paris in 2011. A bilingual catalogue accompanies the exhibition at the Mishkan Museum of Art, in collaboration with The Homme bleu Foundation. In addition to texts by the curators, the catalogue contains an article by the poet Meir Wieseltier. Further exhibitions Of Grinberg’s paintings are planned in 2016-2017 in France (Museum of Modern Art City of Paris, collector’s donations) and Bulgaria.

Jacques (Yaakov) Grinberg


Curators: Galia Bar Or and Nimrod Reitman

July-November 2015

גלגל הנוצות הגדול רבקה הורן 1997 צילום פרנק קליינבאך (Custom)
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