1941 - 1960
Jacques Grinberg was born in 1941 in Sofia, Bulgaria.When he was 13 years old the family left for Israel. He started his schooling in a kibbutz. Later, in 1957, his strong interest in painting led him to enrol at the Avni Art Institute in Tel Aviv. He spent three years there studying under Mokady, Stematzky and Streichman.
1961 - 1970
In 1961 he held his first exhibition at the Chemerinsky Art Gallery (Tel Aviv, Israel). That same year, he decided to move to Paris. He moved into a little artists' colony in rue d'Alesia and spent his time in the Montparnasse neighbourhood.In 1963, he had exhibitions in Oslo ("Four Young Israeli Painters") then in Brussels ("Jewish Graphic Art") and Madrid. Grinberg attracted the attention of Jo Verbrugghen, an art dealer who organised his first solo exhibition at the Kaleidoskoop Gallery (Ghent).
In 1964, at the age of 23, he signed up with the Galerie André Schoeller Junior (Paris), where he had several solo exhibitions. He remained under contract to this dealer until 1970. During the same period, he had a solo show at the Greer Gallery in New York and took part in several group shows in Switzerland ("Rencontres" at the Galerie Krugier, "Galeries Pilotes" at the Musée de Lausanne), in Paris ("Moralités" at the Galerie Lahumière), in Ibiza (Galeria Ivan Spence), as well as in Austria, Yugoslavia and the Netherlands. His new figurative approach, which combined a violent and political anti-bourgeois, anti-militarist language with a mastery of pictorial expression also attracted attention in the Parisian salons (Salon de la jeune peinture, Salon de Mai, Salon des Grands et jeunes d'aujourd'hui). Other artists showing at these exhibitions included Maryan, Rebeyrolle and Saura as well as Arroyo, Seguí, Tisserand, Télémaque and Monory. The critics were impressed with his work and considered him to be one of the pioneers of New Figuration.
1971 - 1983
Following the closure of the Galerie Schoeller, Jacques Grinberg experienced significant financial difficulty and went to live in Israel for a year. On his return to Paris he rented a studio in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. His scope of inspiration widened and he began to include new influences such as the Kabbalah and Tao. His wide-ranging pictorial research became increasingly exploratory. In 1973, he exhibited lithographs at the French National Library then at the Galerie de France with others, including notably Alechinsky, Erró, Jorn, Matta and Topor. The same year he worked again with Jo Verbrugghen, the Belgian dealer, on a major retrospective exhibition "10 ans après", which was held at the Sint Pietersabdij Museum in Ghent. In 1974, he returned to the Montparnasse neighbourhood, where he had studios in the rue des Plantes and then in rue Campagne Première. At that time Jacques Grinberg's life was particularly hectic and he briefly encountered the psychiatric world. Supported by his family, he continued to paint. He travelled in Mexico and Greece and brought back a lot of work made in those countries. He also lived and worked for a while in London.
1984 - 1994
New departure for Israel, where he held three solo exhibitions, initially at the Dvir Gallery (Tel Aviv) in 1984 and 1985 and then at the 27 Gallery (Tel Aviv) in 1987. Jacques Grinberg's work appealed to an enthusiastic audience and enjoyed widespread media coverage. In 1987 Grinberg returned to France. He made contact with Cérès Franco, a friend of twenty years' standing who was then director of the Galerie L'Œil-de-Bœuf in Paris. She supported him and organised four solo exhibitions for him between 1988 and 1994. In 1991 he settled in Malakoff in the Paris suburbs.
1995 - 2011
During this period, Jacques Grinberg became increasingly reclusive and devoted his time exclusively to his creative work. His pictorial production was self-assured and intense.
He started to write and published several collections. He received many young artists, some of whom who were greatly influenced by his thinking. In 1997, the Galerie Jacques in Ann Arbor (Michigan, USA) exhibited his engravings. In 2002, the Galerie Idées d'artistes organised what would be his last solo exhibition, entitled "Véhément, mélancolique". Some of his works are still regularly shown throughout France at public exhibitions of the Cérès Franco collection. In 2008, the Galerie Polad-Hardouin – wishing to pay homage to the New Figuration painters of the 1960s – organised a manifesto exhibition entitled "New Figuration: Act III". Jacques Grinberg showed works from this period in the exhibition alongside others including Maryan, Macréau, Rebeyrolle, Saura, Christoforou and Lindström. Resolutely independent and passionate about painting, he continued his creative explorations with great freedom until his death on 31 May 2011.
The family and relatives of Jacques Grinberg have decided to carry out activities to disseminate and promote his work. After the success of the Retrospective 1961-2011 in December 2012 at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, other promising projects were initiated: exhibition at the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Paris in January and February 2014 ; museum exhibition in Sofia (Bulgaria) in 2014-2015 with the French Institute ; exhibition at the Ein Harod Museum (Israël) in 2015...
Photos : Stan Wiezniack, Francis Schklowsky, Yann Charbonnier.