Iosif Iser was a Romanian-Jewish artist, and in fact one of the greatest in the Expressionist movement. Iser was an artist that wanted to provoke its viewers and even the society around him. I dare say, he wanted to even offend some people in his work. This is why we admire him. His work is the very quintessential expression of Jewish-European art in the 20′ and 30’s. He was undoubtedly a true expressionist,
Perhaps the most interesting thing about his work is that it is so versatile. it is mostly made up of oil paintings, caricatures and some things in the middle. The same goes for the subject matter which covers a wide range of ideas, people and places.
Ioser Iser was born in the Jewish quarter of Bucharest in 1881 where he spent his childhood infatuated with art and its beauty. Between 1899 and 1904 Iser studied at the Royal Academy of Munich where he learned the traditional motifs, styles and conventions of art. He later returned to work as a caricaturist in Romania for a number of national newspapers.
Iser’s first personal exhibition is opened in 1906 at Bucharest form where he gained fame for his unique and beautiful style. He began to travel around Romania painting beautiful landscapes of the country and its people. However, not once did he forget his Jewish heritage as can be seen in his work. He continued to enjoy fame as an artist as he exhibited in Berlin, Brussels, Holland, Paris and other leading European cities. In fact, he continued to work through his old age until he died in Bucharest in 1958.
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Published in The Art of Polemics, Issue 2, on Sept 9th, 2014.