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  • Bernard Reder was an artist, sculptor, etcher, engraver and architect, born in Czernowitz, Bukovina, part of Austria before World War II and a centre of Jewish and Hasidic culture. His subjects were drawn from Jewish folklore, from Greek mythology, the Bible, and also from François Rabelais. Reder is quoted as having said, "We were born already drunk with fantasy", referring to his early life in Bukovina. The son of a Jewish innkeeper, at 17 he was conscripted into the Austrian army and spend World War I in the trenches. He went on to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. While working on his sculptures in his spare time, he supported himself by carving cemetery monuments. He moved to Prague in 1930 because of anti-Semitic demonstrations. In 1935 Reder had his first solo exhibition at the gallery of Manes, an association of artists in Prague. This exhibition created a sensation and was widely published by newspapers in Prague, Paris, Wienna and Basel. Most sculptures were sold. Two years later, in 1937, he moved to Paris and became a good friend of the sculptor and painter Aristide Maillol. In 1940 he exhibited at the Wildenstein Gallery in Paris. Later that year, Reder was forced to flee Paris to escape from the Nazis, and Maillol secured a passage for him and his wife to travel to Spain, where he was imprisoned for illegal entry. On his release, they travelled to Havana, Cuba, where Reder influenced many artists. Wikipedia

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