The Surrealism Website
Boris Margo (1902 - 1995)




Boris Margo was born in Wolotschick, Ukraine in 1902, and grew up in a middle class family with four other siblings. He became interested in painting at an early age, but the revolutionary movements in Russia made access to art materials difficult.
In 1918, he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Polytechnik Art School in Odessa, where he encountered formal training and figure drawing for the first time. Margo then moved to Leningrad in 1927 to study under Pavel Filinov (1888-1943). Filonov taught a curriculum based on creative expression and surrealist tendencies, which engaged Margo in applying more automatic thinking to his work.
After he graduated from the Polytechnik in 1928 he moved to Montreal Canada after receiving a government permit to study abroad. Previous experience as a mural painter in Montreal eventually led to his employment as an assistant to Arshile Gorky (1904-1944) in New York City. During this period, Margo began to study at the Roerich Museum of Art, where he later became an instructor.
Margo’s art of the mid to late 1930s incorporated organic biomorphic forms and figures within dreamlike environments and his work during this period reflects the Surrealist movement. Beginning in the early 1940s, Margo’s work began to lean more towards abstraction. Margo worked primarily in printmaking, but he also created a considerable body of paintings.
He has been involved nearly 100 exhibitions primarily in the USA.