Ismak Kogan grew up in a family of nine. His father, who was a cabinetmaker, did not oppose his son’s early departure for the School of Fine Arts in Odessa. In 1919, he had to stop studying because of the civil war. He left for Moscow, where he joined the School of Fine Arts. He lived in the Chisinau region for two years before leaving for Berlin, where he attended a painting academy. Ismak Kogan took an interest in anatomy and mostly painted nudes. He got in touch with the avant-garde in Berlin and decided to continue to study in Paris in 1924. As he suffered from tuberculosis, Kogan left Paris and moved to a sanatorium, where he met Frieda Mandelstamm. They got married in 1926 and moved to Le Vaudoué, where Frieda opened the family hotel Les Bruyeres. Many artists and emigrants from Eastern Europe stayed in the hotel. Their son Jankel was born there in 1934. Kogan worked as a painter in Le Vaudoué and often returned to his studio in Paris at rue Jules-Chaplain, in the 6th arrondissement.
He was arrested and interned in 1941 in Pithiviers and was then released for health reasons. He was arrested again in Paris, at rue Blanche, where he was hiding. He was interned in Drancy in November 1942. Kogan, Frieda, and her family were deported to Auschwitz on convoy number 46 on February 9, 1943. They were murdered by the Nazis.
Nieszawer & Princ
"Artistes juifs de l’Ecole de Paris 1905-1939"
Editons Somogy 2015