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Artistic periods

"Kirszenbaum was inspired like many of other East European Jewish painters by his personal memories,his childhood environment. He always looked for the "lost time" ("la recherche du temps perdu"), this with a very distinctive pallet, in a drawing style composition and  texture personal to him and different from the styles of Marc Chagall and Mane Katz.His work is scattered and badly represented in the great museums, the famous private collections and few are his paintigs that are offered at public auctions.Kirszenbaum like Jankel Adler,Lasar Segal, Issachar Riback may be Simon Segal and Issac Pailes is one of the great neglected painters of our time."


His art can be divided into four periods of work: the Early Period as his childhood in Staszow, Poland until 1920, the Germany Period while living in Weimar and Berlin, the French Period from 1933 on and the time before his death in 1954, when he travelled the world for artisitic inspiration. 


Early period

While no early works of the artist survive, slightly later examples indicate much of the artist's experience in his formative years. These works concentrate on various individuals remembered from his childhood in Staszow and include both local characters occupied in everyday activities and those rabbinical students busy studying in the .



Kirszenbaum's immediate involvement with the avant-garde "School of Paris" afforded him exposure to the former generation's new occupation with light, broken brushwork and a focus on everyday life and the even more modern exploration of expressionism in both subject and means. During this period the artist delved into both mystical memories of the life left behind in the shtetl as well as the tragic experience of the displaced Jews.


Kirszenbaum's studies at the Bauhaus exposed him to many of the most avant-garde artistic styles including constructivism, expressionism and even early abstraction. His graphic works from this period utilize a strongly linear, angular cubistic style to capture life in the shtetl . His work as an illustrator for local Berlin newspapers allowed him to adapt this style to the social life and morals of the contemporary Berlin population.


Kirszenbaum's journeys to exotic locations stemmed from an urgent attempt to escape the pain and memories of Europe. Once abroad the artist was able to restart his life and his artwork from this period, focusing on local figures, celebrates life with an expressionistic style sometimes verging on abstraction.



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