Self Portrait with Dog. 1968. Art Museum Chernigov, Ukraine
December 11, 1930|
|Died||November 12, 2007
|Notable work||Still life, portrait, landscape|
Leonid Yakovlevich Mezheritski (Russian: Леонид Яковлевич Межерицкий, Pronunciation: [leoˈnid ˈyakovlevich meʒeˈrit͡skij], 11 December 1930 - 12 November 2007), was a Ukrainian and Russian (Soviet) artist, still-life, portrait and landscape painter.
Leonid Mezheritski was born on December 11, 1930, and spent most of his life in the cosmopolitan city of Odessa, whose streets and suburbs are found in many of his works. He often undertook creative trips to Ukraine and Russia. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, also to Italy, Germany and Israel, where in the north of the country, in Upper Galilee, he lived and worked for the last eight years of his life.
He graduated from Odessa State Art School in 1955, class of Dina Frumina and worked mainly in the medium of oil, in his own picturesque manner, based on the coloristic nature of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Some experts distinguish this artist first and foremost for his special gift of portrait painting. However, the major part of his paintings belongs to the genre of plein air (marine, urban and village) landscape which was a traditional genre of the South Russian School (Odessa School) of Painting.
|“||Loyal to the tradition of Odessa Impressionism, in which the French Impressionist treatment of light and form has been adapted to the uniquely atmospheric color palette of Odessa's silvery ash winters, warmly saturated flowering summers, and historic seaside landscapes and architecture, Mezheritski's bold, focused activity and confident, gestural handling of paint always verged on abstraction. Only his mastery of form restrained him.||”|
His love for this genre remained with him throughout his creative career. He painted gulfs of the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, Russian snowy winters and small Ukrainian villages with blossoming apricot and sour cherry trees, mounts in Tuscany and hills in Israel, cityscapes in Berlin, Tel Aviv and, of course, his most favorite nooks of Odessa.
The genre of still life was also attracted the artist; here are his paintings characterized by vital coloristic compositions with as well as laconically expressive objects.
The number of his paintings in the portraiture and still life genres is approximately equal. The Israeli period includes a large series of landscapes, a few still-lives and portraits.
He took part in several large exhibitions, including some all-USSR and republic (Russia, Ukraine) displays. From 1970, as a matter of principle, he refused, with rare exceptions, to participate in official exhibitions. He held two solo exhibitions: 1997 in Odessa at the Jewish Cultural Center  and 2002 in Berlin (Germany) at the Russian Center of Science and Culture. Several landscape works in 1973 were purchased by one of the world's largest private art galleries of twentieth-century art, Gekkoso (Japan), and exhibited as part of international exhibitions of Soviet art.
Creative works of the artist are represented in the collections of public art museums in Ukraine, in private collections in Ukraine, USA, Canada, Germany, the UK, Israel and Russia. The narrative-thematic paintings, created in the 60’s – 70’s on the orders of the Soviet Art Fund in realistic style can be found in current directories of galleries across Ukraine and Russia.
- Except from: Artist's Favourites by Adrian Piper . Spike Art magazine, No. 31 / Spring 2012, Vienna, ISSN 1813-6281
- Odessa preserved and somewhat reinforced its unique mix of Russian/Ukrainian/Jewish culture
- Narrative-thematic painting defines a crossing of traditional genres of painting (domestic, historical, battle, composite portrait, landscape, etc.), which originated in the Soviet art criticism and art practice of the 1930’s. Contributed to the creation of large-scale works on socially important themes (Revolution, Civil and subsequently the Great Patriotic War, construction of socialist cities and countryside work, struggle for peace, etc.), with a clear storyline and action plot, usually depicted in a multi-figure composition. Regardless of whether the composition is based on past or contemporary material, the main role is given to the subject (hero or antihero), the relationships of different characters are very distinct (usually a conflicting collision), not to mention apparent psychological emphases, identifiable ideas aimed to mobilize public opinion. .. Quote from the site of the Russian Academy of Arts
- Lev Mezhberg. "Few Grateful Words about Odessa Artists". New York, 1985. In:“The Modern Russian Poetry Anthology “By a Blue Lagoon”. (in Russian). (Russian: Лев Межберг «Несколько благодарных слов об Одесских художниках»)
- Vitali Bessmertny. “Travelling Sketching of Leonid Mezheritski”. “Odesski vestnik”. Odessa, № 239 of 11 December 1996 (in Russian). (Russian: В. Бессмертный. «Путевые зарисовки Леонида Межерицкого»)
- Raisa Bourlina. “An Inspiration is Not for Sale...”. “Novosti Karmielya”. Karmiel, № 320 of 17 February 2000 (in Russian). (Russian: Р. Бурлина. «Не продается вдохновенье...» )
- Dina Frumina. “My Memories”. Edition: “Galereya “Most”, Odessa. 2005 (in Russian). (Russian: Д. Фрумина. «Мои воспоминания» )
- Bella Kerdman. “Keep on Painting, it Will Pass to Your Account...”. “Vesti”. Tel Aviv, № 36 of 27 April 2006 (in Russian). (Russian: Б. Кердман. «Вы рисуйте, вам зачтется...» )
- Tamara Litvinenko. "To the Memory of the Artist and Friend”. "Tikva" – “Or sameakh”. Odessa, № 2 of 9 January 2008 (in Russian). (Russian: Т. Литвиненко. «Памяти художника и друга»)