Zair Isaakovich Azgur (b. 15.01.1908, v. Molchany, Senno district, Vitebsk region - 18.02.1995), a sculptor. Academician (1995), full member of the USSR Academy of Arts (1958 - 1991). Honored Artist of the BSSR (1939). People's Artist of the BSSR (1944). People's Artist of the USSR (1973). Hero of Socialist Labor (1978).
He worked in the field of easel and monumental sculpture. The most famous are his works of the portrait genre, which are distinguished by their strict realistic form, great vitality, plastic expressiveness and completeness. In the pre-war years portraits of artists V. Golubka (1930), L. Alexandrovskaya (1939), writer Z. Byadulya (1940) were created. The works of the period of the Great Patriotic War are notable for their severe restraint and inner concentration: portraits of Heroes of the Soviet Union V. Talalikhin (1942), A. Rodimtsev, A. Molodchy, M. Silnitsky (all 1943). After the war, he continued the cycle of portraits of the Heroes of the Soviet Union (K. Zaslonov, 1947), began a new series of portraits of figures of Belarusian culture of the past (F. Skaryna and A. Pashkevich, both 1947). He actively turned to the images of contemporaries (portraits of writers Y. Kolas, K. Krapiva, sculptor S. Selikhanov, artist V. Dedyushko, all 1949). The author of monuments to V.I. Lenin in the cities of Ordzhonikidze (1957), Astrakhan (1958), Molodechno (1959), busts: twice Hero of the Soviet Union S. Gritsevts (1951), J. Kupala, F. Dzerzhinsky (1953) in Minsk, V. Talash in Petrikov (1951), a series of portraits of Belarusian scientists (N. Erugina, 1963; B. Stepanova, 1964), artists (V. Krylovich, 1967; I. Bolotina, 1966). The image of Y. Kolas is embodied in the monument to the poet on Y. Kolas Square in Minsk (1972). His sculptural works, paintings and drawings are in the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, the Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War, the Memorial Museum-Workshop of Z.I. Azgur in Minsk, the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, the Astrakhan Regional Art Gallery (Russia) Moldavian Art Museum in Chisinau, etc.
Author of over 500 articles on art and 5 books of memories.
State Prizes of the USSR for sculptural portraits of twice Heroes of the Soviet Union A.I. Rodimtsev, A.I. Molodchy and Hero of the Soviet Union M.F. Silnitsky (1946), for a sculptural portrait of F.E. Dzerzhinsky (1948). Silver medal at the World Exhibition in Brussels (1958) for the portrait of R. Tagore (1956).
Awarded with the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1940, 1949), Red Star (1943), Lenin (1955, 1978), October Revolution (1971), Friendship of Peoples (1987), Francisk Skaryna Medal (1992), and other medals.