Vitebsk 1890 - Paris 1967
Ossip Zadkine was born in Vitebsk, Belarus on July 14th 1890. In 1905 his parents sent him to Northern England, his mother's homeland. He called himself Joe Zadkine until 1914. After attending the polytechnic and the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London, the young artist went to Paris in 1909. There, he enrolled at the Ecole des beaux-arts which he quitted again soon after in order to work as a freelance artist.
In 1911 he took part in the Salon des Indépendants for the first time and one year later joined the Cubists. The World War I deeply marked him.
He found initial fame in Belgium and Netherlands, later in France, England and America. Since 1920's retrospective exhibitions of his work are organized.
In 1942 he fled to the United States. He worked in New York, Arizona and North Carolina. Ossip Zadkine only returned to liberated Paris in 1945 and worked as lecturer at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière from 1946 to 1958. In 1950 he was awarded the First Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale and in 1960 the Grand Prize for Sculpture of the City of Paris.
In the 1960's he reached the peak of his fame. His works travelled around the world in countless exhibitions and Ossip Zadkine worked at home on graphic series, monumental sculptures and book projects.
Ossip Zadkine died in Paris on November 25th 1967. He was married to the painter Valentine Prax (1899-1981) who, in 1978, bequeathed two of Zadkine's former studios as well as the main part of his works to the City of Paris as a basis for the foundation of a Zadkine museum.