Born in Bieltzi, Moldavia, studied at the Kiev School of Arts and at the Odessa Art Institute.
Immigrated to Israel in 1990 and settled in Jerusalem.
Balaklav was known as a promising artist in Moldavia. in his early work in Russia, he sought to conduct a dialogue with the works of the great masters such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Repin.
The acme of Balaklav's paintings is the self portraits; in these paintings, he puts himself into states of environmental pressure, one can feel the absent presence of the artist, it seems like he is fading in the nothingness around him.
"Leonid Balaklav acquired his reputation mainly in the 1990s, due to his tormented self-portraits. Later, came the portraits of family and friends, that revealed the painter’s enchantment with the local natural light, and there were still lives, and occasionally landscapes. But it seems that only now, once the ‘fence’ has been dismantled, the artist has the ability to confirm the world as achieving a balance between synthesis of inner and external worlds, that radiates physical and spiritual light, while projecting a feeling of goodness and blessing"
-Gideon Ofrat, Behind the Fence, 2010
Selected exhibitions of Leonid Balaklav: 1978 Scientist's House, Kiev
1988 One person exhibition, The Jewish Center, Moscow
1989 One person exhibition, Central Artist's House, Kishinev 1990 Immigrants 90, group exhibition, Z.O.A house, Tel Aviv
1991 Immigrant Artists', Gordon Gallery,Tel Aviv
1992 Russian Artists in New York, group exhibition, Michael Endo Gallery,
1993 Cypresses, One person exhibition, Artists' House, Jerusalem
1994 From their to here, One person exhibition, Museum of Art, Ein Harod
1995 Mirror, Mirror, group exhibition at the Youth Wing, The Israel Museum,
1997 Drawings 93-97, Herzliya Museum of Art, Herzliya;
1997 At Eye Height, group exhibition, Artists House, Jerusalem 1997 New Works, Artists' House, Jerusalem
1998 Landscape and Still-Life, Artspace, Jerusalem
2000 Portrait, Artspace, Jerusalem
2001 Drawings in Israel, group exhibition, Artists' House, Jerusalem
2002 Face of the Light, One person exhibition, Museum of Art, Ein Harod,
(curator: Gideon Ofrat)
2002 Portrait, group exhibition, Tel Aviv Museum of Art
2003 Drawing+, one person exhibition, Engel Gallery, Tel Aviv.
2005 Dou exhibition, Museum of Art, Ein Harod.
2006 Painting- religious painters,Art Shelter, Jerusalem.
2006 Self portrait x10,Ella Gallery, Jerusalem
2007 TheMountains are round about Jerusalem, group exhibition, Engel Gallery, Tel Aviv.
2008 One person exhibition, Museum of Art, Ein Harod
2008 The invisible Self Portrait, Engel Gallery, Tel Aviv
2010 Togetherness, One person exhibition, Engel Gallery, Tel Aviv
1987 Gold Medal at the International Film Festival, Tokyo.
1995 Jerusalem Prize for painting and sculpture, Jerusalem
2002 Israel Discount Bank Israel Museum Prize for an Israeli Artist
Original art works by Leonid Balaklav can be found at the Engel Galleries Israeli art collection.
Engel Gallery - 100 Ben Yehuda St., Tel-Aviv
Tel. 03-5225637, Fax. 03-5226145
Engel Gallery - 13 Shlomzion Hamalka St., Jerusalem