Woodcut - © Laszlo Tar
In the early 1960's, Laszlo Tar studied with Raphael Soyer at the New School in New York City. He found a great deal to share with Soyer, specifically in his figurative drawings and etchings. Laszlo Tar's expressive mastery is refected most extraordinarily in his figurative drawings and woodcuts. A large selection of his figurative works are on continual display at his publisher website, accessible when you click here.

 

Raphael Soyer

American (1899 - 1987)

Soyer...Raphael Soyer was born on December 25, 1899 in Tombov, Russia. His father was a professor of Hebrew literature and history in southern Russia, and because of his learned and open minded nature, the Soyer home became a gathering spot for artists and intellectuals. Because the Tzarist Russians feared the liberal center the household had become and because the Soyers were Jewish, the family was deported in 1912. In search of religious and intellectual freedom, the Soyer family settled in the Lower East side of New York city where Raphael and his twin brother Moses, depicted the life they saw around them. In the following years Raphael studied drawing and painting at Cooper Union, the National Academy of Design, and with Guy Pene Du Bois at the Art Students League. He had his first one-man exhibition in 1929, and in succeeding years won an impressive array of awards. Soyer's major themes are female nudes, the poor of New York, and portraits of friends and of himself.

Much of Raphael Soyer's work concentrated on scenes from the everyday experience ofSoyer... urban living. For inspiration, Soyer turned to the streets of New York City; for models, he would sometimes hire the homeless. His work has a sad, sentimental quality that, in the words of one critic, highlighted "a series of episodes in the lives of simple, even drab human beings." In Working Girls Going Home, the viewer is drawn to the women's tired faces, which are surprisingly similar to one another. Soyer shows them close up, but their faces reveal few details, and some are in shadow. This sense of anonymity and sameness is reinforced by the artist's choice to place the women's covered heads all at the same height.


Soyer...
Although his work has been submerged by interest in other art movements, he has always enjoyed a small but loyal group of collectors. Soyer died in 1987.


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