Perahim belonged to the Romanian avant-garde circles in which Victor Brauner and Jacques Hérold moved, collaboration with them on UNU.  When they settled in Paris, Perahim became the leading representative of pictorial surrealism in Romania.  He illustrated the short-lived review Alge, the mouthpiece for a group to which Gherasim Luca also belonged.  Perahim’s first exhibition was held in Bucharest in 1932.  At that time, he was making paintings based on anatomical contrasts- including L’Antiprophète (1930), the bust of a man whose head is a hand; and La Mitrailleuse (1932), a cruel dialogue between a man and his shadow- though he gradually abandoned this subject matter.  In 1933 he created the sets for Brecht’s Arturo Ui, Mayakovsky’s Les Bains and Anski’s Dibbuk.  From 1948 to 1956 he was a professor at the Institute of Plastic Arts in Bucharest.  He executed a series of engravings, Proverbes (1957), and his talent as an illustrator won him a gold medal at the International Book Show in Leipzig, in 1959. Between 1961 and 1969 he exhibited in various cities in the USSR, as well as in Belgrade, Milan and Tel Aviv, and began making objects in ceramic.  Perahim moved to Paris in 1969 and had an important show in 1971 at Galerie François Petit, spontaneously rediscovering the surrealist inspiration of his youth to create such disturbing figures as his “erotic boomerang”- a woman with a fish head dancing with an anthropomorphic white bird- or silhouettes made up of spots, and geometric volumes whose attitudes convey aggressive fleeing and defensiveness.   

Jules Perahim

Born 1914 in Bucharest, Romania; died 2008 in Paris. 

La Guerre Africaine, 1976