Moshe Kupferman

Moshe Kupferman was born in Yaroslav, Poland in 1926. He Passed away in 2003.

Kupferman was born in a town in south-eastern Poland, to a family of merchants that ran a textile shop.
His forefathers were coppersmiths, which accounts for his surname (Kupfer-Man).
As a child he attended the “Tarbut” school in Yaroslav, and celebrated his Bar-Mitzva less than a month before the beginning of World War II and the occupation of Poland. The family was living under the occupation for a few months and was then deported, along with the majority of the Jewish population, to an area that bordered the Soviet territory. This deportation was a constitutive experience for Kupferman.
The Kupferman family made it to Lvov, and was deported from there in 1940 to Ural and later on to Kazakhstan. The years of wandering between labor camps were very difficult, years of hunger and diseases. Both of Kupferman’s parents passed away during that period. Young Moshe had to carry out strenuous physical labor in order to survive. Few of the family members survived the war, and after its end Kupferman and his sister returned to Poland. The Poland they encountered, a Poland that had no Jewish population and no remnants of the world they had previously known, tremendously shocked them. Kupferman joined the “Dror Movement” and moved to a Displaced Persons Camp in Germany. His sister stayed in Poland, where she died later on.
It was at the “Dror Movement” that the core of people who would later found Kibbutz Lohamei HaGetaot (the Ghetto Fighters’ Kibbutz), was formulated. These years placed Kupferman on a new track, one of fulfillment and creation together with other youthful people. In 1948 Kupferman and his friends did an Aliyah and settled in Israel. Kupferman was professionally trained in construction in Kibbutz “Ein Harod”, and this became his profession for his first years in Israel. During his time in Ein Harod, Kupferman met Mia, with whom he shared his life until his last day.
In 1949 the young couple, together with the other members of the founding core, took possession of the land and founded Kibbutz Lohamei HaGetaot.
Moshe and Mia established a family, giving birth to three daughters and a son. They had an intrinsic role in building and strengthening the Kibbutz; the work and life of the Kibbutz, together with their family, had a central part in their own lives. As the years passed by, they became grandparents to 12 grandchildren. The deportation, the wandering, the loss, the destruction and the survival on the one hand, and the building, the creation, the routine and the stability on the other hand, are all constitutive and present sources in Kupferman’s work.

His Art
Kupferman absorbed his love to the handicrafts since infantry: his father used to paint religious paintings and to create works of stained glass, and his mother used to weave dowries for brides. As a child, Kupferman used to sketch portraits. In 1947, while participating at an international seminar of the Dror Movement, which took place at the Displaced Persons Camp in Germany, he began to sketch again, especially illustrations and caricatures.
During his early years in the Kibbutz, Kupferman worked at construction and at other productive sections, and then dedicated part of his time to his paintings on Saturdays. Nearly 20 years did he divide his time between the work at the Kibbutz and painting, until 1967, when he began to devote himself solely to the painting and to work at his studio – “the atelier”. Kupferman was an autodidact. Despite his distinguished talent for painting he never formally studied art. However, at the beginning of the 50’s Kupferman joined short art courses, which were instructed by Zaritsky and Steimatzky and were attended by members of the Kibbutzim. In 1961 Kupferman spent half a year in Paris, where he painted and absorbed art. In 1975 Kupferman visited the United States in honor of a group exhibition in which he participated. He spent 4 months in New York, exhibited an individual exhibition at Bertha Urdang Gallery and met with collegue-artists and art critics. During these journeys Kupferman was exposed to the broad world of art. Throughout the years, Kupferman had both individual and group exhibitions, exhibited in important galleries and museums, in Israel and all over the world. he won many prizes and acclaims. Kupferman’s manner of creation is endowed with the working ethics of a laborer. He used to arrive to his work at the etelier every day, including Saturdays and holidays, until one month before he died. He passed away in June 2003.

Prizes
2000 Israel Prize for Painting
1998 Eugen Kolb Prize for Israeli Graphic Arts, Tel Aviv Museum of Art
1996 Zusman Prize, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
1991 Haim Gamzou Prize for the Advancement of the Arts, Tel Aviv Museum of Art
1972 Sandberg Prize, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
1971 Schiff Prize – from the Haifa Municipality

Selected Exhibitions
2005 “The New Hebrews – A Century of Art in Israel”, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
Curator: Doreet LeVitte Harten
Moshe Kupferman, Serralves Museum, Porto, Portugal Curator: Ulrich Loock
2002
Moshe Kupferman, Works from 1962 to 2000 (Retrospective)
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Curator: Yona Fischer
1998
-Moshe Kupferman, Painting, Works on Paper Scrolls
Goldie Paley Gallery, Moore College of Art and Design
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A
Curators: Yona Fischer, Elsa Longhauser,
-Cleveland Center of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A
Curator: Jill Sneider
-Les Megillot de Moshe Kupferman
Musee d’Art et d’histoire du Judaisme – Paris, France
Curators: Nathalie Hazan, Yona Fischer
1995
-Carnegie International 1995
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Curator: Richard Amstrong
-Kupferman’s Solo Exhibition is part of series exhibition “PAX”
dedicated to 50th anniversary of the Iroshema bombing –
Shigeru Yokota Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1993
-Moshe Kupferman Works on paper
The Museum Sztuki – Lodz, Poland
Curators: Yoromir Yedlikski, Nella Casuto
-Moshe Kupferman – Painting
Centre of Contemporary Art Warsaw, Zamek Ujazdowski – Warsaw, Poland
Curators: Yona Fischer, E. Slizinska
1992
Albright – Knox Art Gallery
Buffalo, New York, U.S.A
Director: Douglas Schultz
1991
-Moshe Kupferman –
Musée d’Art Contemporain de Dunkerque, Dunkerque, France
-Moshe Kupferman, Between Oblivion and Remembrance
North Carolina Museum of Art – Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A
Curator: John W Coffey
1987
Musée National of Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou,
Paris, France
Curators: Yona Fischer, Alfred Pacquement
1984-5
Moshe Kupferman, Paintings, Drawings
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
The Tel Aviv Museum, Israel
Curator: Yona Fischer
1984 Drawing 1974 – 1984, Hirschorn Museum , Washington D.C. U.S.A, Curator: Frank Getting
1981 Kupferman Work on paper – Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland, Curator: Ad Petersen
The above exhibition was shown also in:
1983 – National Museum, stockholm, sweden
1982 – Tranegarden Kunstbibliotek, Denmark
1980 Moshe Kupferman Matrix 61 – Wadsworth Atheneum Museum, Hartford, Conneticut, U.S.A
1978 Seven Artists from Israel 1948 – 1978
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A
1977 10 Kunstnere from Israel – Louisiana Museum, Denmark, Curator: Yona Fischer
1975 Three Israeli Artists – Worcester Art Museum Calender, Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.A, Director: Richard Stuart

Press
“Seven Artists From Israel” Written by: Constance M. Perkins. From: ArtWeek, January 1979
“Israeli artist Moshe Kupferman will exhibit at Albright Knox”. From: Buffalo Jewish Review , January 1992
“Moshe Kupferman” Written by: Holland Cotter. From: The New York Times, February 1992
“NC art museum opens Kupferman exhibit” Written by: John T. Pickering. From: NORTH CAROLINA BEACON, September, 1991
“Stripes into magic” Written by: Gil Goldfine, The Art Scene, Jerusalem Post
“Moshe Kupferman w Polsce” Written by: Renata Saks, 12/2/93

Publications
“Times of Collapse” Written by: Sara Breitberg – Semel
Introduction Written by: Yona Fischer
“The Drawings of Moshe Kupferman” Written by: Ad Petersen
“Moshe Kupferman: Between Oblivion and Remeberance” Written by: John W. Coffey II.
“Time in the Art of Space On the Abstract Paintings of Moshe Kupferman” Written by: Benjamin Hershav
“Kupferman’s Layers” Written by: Ulrich Loock