You Must Choose Life – That Is Art
Pinchas Litvinovsky

Pinchas (Piotr Vladimirovich) Litvinovsky was born in 1894 in the city of Novogeorgievsk (then the Russian Empire,now Ukraine) to a religious Jewish family of merchants. Having been awarded a scholarship to attend the Academy of Art in Odessa in 1912, Litvinovsky met artist Boris Schatz there, who suggested that the former enters Bezalel in Jerusalem.

Litvinovsky moved to the Land of Israel, but shortly after returned to Russia where he studied at the Academy of Art in Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg). In 1919, Litvinovsky returned to Israel. He became a successful artist, designed theatrical sets and worked in graphic design. In the early 1950s, Litvinovsky settled in the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem. From the 1930s onwards, Litvinovsky travelled for long periods to Europe and the United States, where he encountered the works of GeorgesRouault, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and the paintersof the School of Paris.

Over the years, Litvinovsky’s artistic style underwenttransformations under their influence:
from Constructivism and Russian Impressionism at the beginning, throughmodernist and expressive trends to formal and colorful abstractions in the later period of his life. For his achievements, he was awarded the Israel Prize for Painting in 1980.

Pinchas Litvinovsky died on the eve of Rosh Hashanah in 5556 (1985) in Jerusalem. Litvinovsky was not part of any artistic group, rarely participated in exhibitions,and typically did not name or date his artworks. Apart from portraiture, he usually avoided selling his art. After his death, the painter’s estate numbered over 6,000 works that were housed in his Jerusalem studio. However, the estate encountered various hardships over the years which culminated in a terrible destruction that reduced the thousands of works to approximately 600.

The exhibition You Must Choose Life—That is Art seeks to present a selection of the best works that survived, displaying the diversity of Pinchas Litvinovsky's artistic oeuvre—and his remarkable legacy.

Excutive Director: David Rozenson

Curator: Amichai Chasson
Assistant curator: Rika Grinfeld Barnea
Production: Eyal Lavit and Shahar Montlake
Exhibition Design: Lisa Blechman
Graphic Design: Sonja Olitsky

Beit Avi Chai Gallery
Exhibition Dates:
01.07.2024 – 30.05.2025
Sunday – Thursday: 10am to 6pm
Monday's: 10am to 10pm
Friday's: 9am to 1pm