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Yankel Ginzburg

Yankel Ginzburg was born Yuri Zhukov in 1945 in Alma-Ata, capital of the Kazakhstan Republic near the Chinese border. His parents were both Russian Army officers. His mother was the daughter of Marshal Georgi Zhukov, chief of the general staff of the Red Army and after Stalin's death, briefly, minister of defense. His father, a lawyer, fled from Poland and became an officer in the Russian Army. Ginzburg did not even know he was a Jew until he was nine; the family escaped to Israel in 1957.

He graduated from the Tel Aviv Academy of Art in 1964, and as his work became increasingly popular, he was invited to work in the United States and was soon shuttling between the US and Israel to keep up with a busy schedule and commissions and gallery showings.

In 1968, Ginzburg was invited to the USA as the guest of Howard J. Samuels, who was the Under Secretary of Commerce for Lyndon Johnson. Soon after his arrival he was honored with a one man show at the Washington Gallery of Art sponsored by the Ambassador of Israel and Lynda Bird Johnson.

His early works embody mystical symbolism and religious overtones, as well as an intriguing representation of the meshing of Gentile and Jew, Russian and Israeli. As Ginzburg's craft evolved, he expanded to a different spectrum of motifs, modes, and techniques. One senses stylistic elements reminiscent of Miro and Kandinsky and surrealistic components. Ginzburg is deeply attached to traditional artistic virtues such as craftmanship, refinement of surface and detail, and conceptions of structure. However, the main thrust and spirit in all his works clearly and uniquely his own.