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Gaspar Lev (Leon) (Gaspard Leon, 1882 - 1964)

Russian and American artist. Born in Vitebsk, Belarus. He got an elementary art education in the studio of Y. Pen in Vitebsk and learned painting from K. Kostandi at Odessa Drawing School. In 1900 he moved to Paris. He studied at the Academy of R. Julien, and then he learned arts from E. Toudouze and A.-V. Bouguereau (untill 1908). A friend of A. Modigliani, M. Utryllo, G. Apollinaire. In 1905 with the assistance of A.-V. Bouguereau had a solo exhibition that gained certain public reaction. In early 1910s he exhibited his works at the Salons, he participated in the group exhibitions in Luxembourg, Ghent, Brussels, Dusseldorf and Cologne. In 1908 he made a two-years journey through Siberia. During World War I he served as intelligence officer in the French Air Corps. In 1916 moved to the United States, stayed in New York, where he held several successful solo exhibitions. In 1918 he settled in Taos (New Mexico), a friend of M. Feshyn. During the years of 1921 - 1924 he traveled around Asia, visited Japan, China, Mongolia, crossed the Gobi desert, Transbaikal, Chinese Turkestan and the Altai lands. On returning he held an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. The Asian series has brought the wide recognition to the artist. In 1932 on the instructions of the French government he visited Morocco and Tunisia, where he made a huge number of sketches. Much of his art work he devoted to Russia, having created a large number of folk characters, genre scenes and landscapes. Painted pictures based on the life of the American West. In 1958 traveled to Europe and visited the USSR. In 1961 following the results of his trip he arranged the last solo exhibition. The memorial exhibitions were held in Santa Fe (1965) and San Francisco (1967). His works are presented in the art museums of New York, San Francisco, Santa Fe and others.