Вust of Solomon MikhoelsAbram Brazer
- Belarusian art of the 20th - the beggining of 21st cent.
Abram Brazer is a sculptor, a graphic artist, a painter and Honored Artist of the BSSR. He belongs to the generation of artists who wrote a page in the history of Belarusian art in the post-revolutionary years. Brazer was one of the first Belarusian sculptors who determined the development of this art in the 1920s and the 1930s. The fate of this artist, like other Jewish artists, is tragic: he and his family were shot in 1942. A little more than 10 of his works have survived to the present. They are in Belarusian museum collections.
Brazer focused on the portrait genre. He created images of famous public and political figures, as well as representatives of the creative intelligentsia.
The sculptural bust of Solomon Mikhoels (the real name is Shloyme Vovsi), the legend of the Jewish Drama Theater, the great actor and outstanding director, People’s Artist of the USSR, is considered one of the pinnacles of Abram Brazer’s creativity. The bust is displayed at the museum exhibition. The sculptor managed to depict some individual physiognomic features of the actor’s appearance: ‘bulgy eyes, a protruding forehead, curly hair, a short nose and full lips’. The artist also emphasized the person’s character, will power and intellect, the spiritual constitution of this majestic ‘Jewish’ King Lear.
There’s no accident that Brazer identified the image of Mikhoels with King Lear – the pinnacle of his acting creativity, and the role of which he played in 1935. The stage image, embodied by the great actor, was special with philosophical depth, severity and a monumental form. The contemporaries recalled: ‘In complete silence, hunched over, wrapping himself in a mantle, as if in a dressing gown, Lear appeared. Without looking at anyone, he slowly walked to the throne and pulled the Fool who sat there by the ear. The face of Lear appeared over the courtiers’ bowed heads. The face was without makeup and traditional beard. The face that was impossible to forget.
Abram Brazer astutely objectified Mikhoels’s acting formula and depicted in this work the dramatic collisions of future events, including both personal and universal ones.