Israel Tsvaygenbaum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Israel Iosifovich Tsvaygenbaum
Born (1961-02-01) February 1, 1961 (age 56)
Derbent, Dagestan, Russia
Nationality Russian, American
Known for Painting

Israel Tsvaygenbaum (Russian: Исраил Иосифович Цвайгенбаум; Hebrew: ישראל צווייגנבאום‎‎; born February 1, 1961), is a Russian-American artist of Jewish descent. A number of his works are in the Museum of Imitative Arts,[1][2] Derbent. Other works can be seen in private collections in different countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, England, France, Netherlands, Israel, Russia and the US.[3]


Tsvaygenbaum was born in the Southern Russian city of Derbent, one of the oldest cities in the world. The population is predominantly Muslim, but there are also Jewish families residing there. Tsvaygenbaum's parents are Jewish. His father, from Bedzin, Poland, escaped to the Soviet Union during World War II. Tsvaygenbaum's mother was a Mountain Jew from Dagestan, Russia.

The culture and dynamic of the life of the area where Tsvaygenbaum grew up and his Jewish background are reflected in his paintings. The Russian newspaper Derbentskie izvestiya (Russian: Дербентские известия)[4] once wrote about Tsvaygenbaum's work:

"The theme of loneliness and melancholy is prevalent in many of the paintings, such as Nostalgia, Lonely, The Nailed Men, and others. This theme is inspired by images from the artist's father, who is from Poland. In 1939, at the age of 29, he fled Poland to escape the brown plague [Nazis]. His other relatives were killed. The composition of the pictures reveals sadness and melancholy."

Another paragraph in the newspaper says:

"The palette of the colors in the paintings is moderate and muffled. This is a palette of autumn, in which the gold of the birch harmonizes with the copper of the oak tree's leaves. The crimson of the maple tree harmonizes with the darkness of bare branches."

From 1976 to 1980 Tsvaygenbaum studied art at Izberbash College, Izberbash, Dagestan. In 1991, he completed his masters in Fine Arts at Kuban State University, Krasnodar. Tsvaygenbaum organized Coloring,[5][6] an association of artists, in Derbent in 1986. Coloring had art shows in Derbent and in the Art Gallery in Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia.[7][8][9]

In November 1993 and April 1994 Tsvaygenbaum had his last two shows in Russia. Both shows were two solo exhibitions held in Moscow, the first at East Gallery[10][11] and the second, JEWISH RHAPSODY, at The Central House of Artist on Krymsky Val.[12][13][14][15] The artist dedicated JEWISH RHAPSODY to his father.[4]

In July 1994, Tsvaygenbaum and his family left Russia because it had become very dangerous for his family to continue to live in the republic of Dagestan.[3] Currently, he is a resident of Albany, New York. In the USA Tsvaygenbaum has continued to work with oil on canvas. His paintings continue to portray both universal and Jewish themes, but noticeably, his palette has shifted from browns to yellows.

On December 25, 2016 in Europe and in Israel and on January 15, 2017 in the USA, RTVi broadcast an interview with Tsvaygenbaum in the program "In New York with Victor Topaller," where the artist talked about his artwork, life and interesting people that he encountered in his life.[16]

Artist's signature[edit]

Tsvaygenbaum signs his paintings with his first name in Hebrew: ישראל‎‎, or in an abbreviated version of the Hebrew: יש‎‎, except for the paintings Boy Leading The Blind Angel (1997) and Flower (1998) where he signed in English as Tsvaygenbaum. His name is written on the left or right corner. He writes the titles of the paintings on the back of the canvas. Earlier titles were written in Russian, and those produced after emigrating to the United States in 1994, are written in English.

Cooperation with other artist[edit]

"People of Derbent" (1999)
People of Derbent[17] (1999)

In 2001, in Albany, NY, Tsvaygenbaum began collaborating with dancer Judy Trupin.[18] Trupin created dance compositions based on nine of Tsvaygenbaum's paintings. These were the foundation for the show Worlds in Our Eyes.[19] In 2002, the newspaper The Record[20] wrote:

"Tsvaygenbaum's paintings and Trupin's performance are intended to reflect memories of Jewish life in Eastern Europe and Russia while touching on universal themes. …Tsvaygenbaum is dedicated Worlds in Our Eyes to the people of his home city, Derbent. His painting, People of Derbent,[17] is one of the nine paintings Trupin draws from."

The newspaper Daily Gazette[21] wrote:

"Using a blend of dance, original stories, world music and slides, Trupin ...interpret nine of Tsvaygenbaum's paintings."

Worlds in Our Eyes had been performed in several cities of New York State.[22]


Section of Tsvaygenbaum's portrait Dr. Ilizarov 1988
Section of Tsvaygenbaum's portrait Dr. Ilizarov 1988

Tsvaygenbaum's paintings usually have figurative themes and still life, but he has done a few portraits. One of them was a portrait of the orthopedic surgeon, Gavriil Abramovich Ilizarov. In September 1987 Tsvaygenbaum flew to Kurgan, Russia, where he spent 6 days with Dr. Ilizarov to do sketches of him. Tsvaygenbaum worked on sketches in Dr. Ilizarov's office.

Later, in 1988 Tsvaygenbaum wrote in the Russian newspaper Znamya Kommunizma (Russian: Знамя Коммунизма)[23] about it:

"…On the first day Dr. Ilizarov was very uncomfortable. Then he got used to my sketching him. Later in the day he was so focused on his work he became more comfortable with my being there. During these minutes I did my best work. I was calmer when he did not notice that I was sketching his face."

The portrait of Dr. Ilizarov was once in Tsvaygenbaum's art show at The Museum of Imitative Arts,[6] Derbent. Later, Tsvaygenbaum gave the portrait as a gift to Dr. Ilizarov. Also, Tsvaygenbaum painted portraits of the actors of The Mouton Jewish Theater.


Tsvaygenbaum is married to Katerina Tsvaygenbaum, daughter of the Russian publicist Yagutil Mishiev. They have three daughters: Mirvari, Raisa and Esther.


  • 2013. Media 3. Art Biennial. Diploma of Excellence. Art Addiction Medial Museum. London.[24]



  1. ^ A new name of the museum is: Historic and Archaeologist Museum Reserve
  2. ^ Two graphical works (ink on paper) The Sarcasm of Fate and The Grief of People
  3. ^ a b "The Biography of Israel Tsvaygenbaum". Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Derbentskie izvestiya – Jewish Rhapsody, M. Matatova. May 6.1994.P.4
  5. ^ Znamya Kommunizma – The Meeting of Muse, I. Tsvaygenbaum, December 1, 1988. P4
  6. ^ a b Znamya Kommunizma – The Artist's Lounge, B. Menaev
  7. ^ Znamya Kommunizma – The Exhibition of Coloring, S. Lekova
  8. ^ Znamya Kommunizma – The Relationship Is Getting Stronger, S. Lekova
  9. ^ Znamya Kommunizma – Presents Coloring, 1987
  10. ^ Vatan – The Philosophy of Life, M. Matatova. December 14, 1993. P3
  11. ^ TV-6, Moscow – Ostankino. Channel "North Crown", Interviewed by journalist: D. Botonogov, November 1993.
  12. ^ Vatan — Jewish Rhapsody, M. Matatova. May 13, 1994. P3
  13. ^ Leonid Babushkin — Jewish Rhapsody, Moscow, 1994
  14. ^ TV-6, Moscow – Ostankino. Channel "North Crown", Interviewed by journalist: D. Botonogov, March 18 & 22, 1994
  15. ^ Channel One, Moscow – Ostankino. TV Program: "Morning", Interviewed by journalist: D. Botonogov, March 28, 1994
  16. ^ "Israel Tsvaygenbaum on the RTVi program "In New York with Victor Topaller"". Retrieved January 20, 2017. 
  17. ^ a b Hudson River Sampler (CC) – Worlds in Our Eyes Visual Artist Israel Tsvaygenbaum and Performing Artist Judy Trupin Team Up for Two Capital region Presentations, November 2002. P.12
  18. ^ Jewish World News – ...Trupin is a choreographer, writer and performing, artist whose work has been seen in the United States and in Europe. November 2002
  19. ^ Metroland – Worlds in Our Eyes, November 21–27, 2002. P.41
  20. ^ The Record – Judy Trupin's Dancer and painter form unique bond, December 12, 2002
  21. ^ Daily Gazette – Judy Trupin's Worlds in Our Eyes to interpret Tsvaygenbaum paintings, November 20, 2002
  22. ^ Jewish World News – Show Blends Visual Arts, Dance, November 2002
  23. ^ Znamya Kommunizma – The meeting with doctor Ilizarov, I. Tsvaygenbaum. December 17, 1988. P4
  24. ^ For the painting "Flight of the Soul"

External links[edit]