Issachar Ber Ryback, 1897-1935, Ryback was born in 1897 in Yelizavetgrad (Ukraine). He studied at the Kiev Academy in Moscow from 1911 – 1916. Ryback initially experimented with Cubism and then began painting Jewish subject matter in the 1920s when critics and collectors began to appreciate his analytic Cubism and recognize his importance in the Russian vanguard movement. In 1921 Ryback moved to Berlin, where he participated in the “Der Sturm” group. He was invited back to Moscow in 1925 to design costumes for the Moscow Theatre. In 1926 he moved to Paris where he adopted a new style of Realism, portraying Russian Jewish “shtetl” life, bringing out the forceful, distinctive character of his Yiddish-speaking subjects without resorting to sentimentalism. Ryback was an important member of the Russian Jewish, modernist movement that included Lissitsky, Altman, Aronson and Chagall. Edouard Roditi said of him, “Ryback may be generally recognized as an artist whose genius bears comparison only with that of Chagall.” He died suddenly in Paris in 1935, a few days after the opening of a retrospective exhibition of his work organized by the Wildenstein Gallery.
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