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5 Popular Israeli Artists

5 Popular Israeli Artists

Israeli Art and the Art of Land of Israel

Art in Israel in the area of the visual arts is ancient, while Israeli art was that created after the creation of Israel or by Jewish artists working in Mandatory Palestine and Turkish Palestine until the end of the First World War. In May 1948, the state of Israel came into being, and the development and trajectory of Israeli art have experienced a flowering and reconnection with ancient themes since. The history of art in this region is, after all, an ancient and religiously-infused history.  Paintings and visual art, including portraits, still-lives, abstract art, sculpture and illuminated manuscripts prior to the Turkish period are known as the art of the “Land of Israel”. The art before this period was done mostly on gold, wood, parchment, stone, and incorporated ancient religious motifs. The artwork done during this period was by the Jewish and non-Jewish including both Muslim and Christian artisans who used to live in the region.

The School of Bezalel

Apart from these, there is also the art which is related to Israel as the art of the “Holy land”. These paintings were done during the past nearly 4 thousand years, including the period of the Kings of Judah and Israel. All were steeped in the Torah art tradition and the ancient motifs that originated in the Hebrew scriptures.  By contrast, the Bezalel School of Art was founded in 1906, and it was founded by the Heads of Jewish and Zionist association with a less traditional outlook. The school was the beginning, but only the beginning, of modern Israeli art, and its work in defining the limits of modern art for the artists in the state of Israel is no longer representative.  While the art of the Betzalel School initially riffed on ancient Torah art themes of Jewish art, it quickly morphed to the socialist realism of the early State period showing the “New Zionist Man” as opposed to the ancient Jewish people – muscles rippling, happy workers and peasants building the socialist revolution.  That vision has, of course, receded into the almost forgotten past, and today the Betzalel School of Art struggles to maintain a post-modern identity with art that shocks and furthers a leftist agenda more than an emphasis on aesthetic beauty.  By contrast, the vast majority of Israeli artists are today rediscovering the ancient themes of Torah art and Jewish art.  One such artist is the internationally renowned Menucha Page, whose Jerusalem art gallery is located in the history Nachlaot neighbourhood of Jerusalem, Israel.

Notable Israeli Artists

The work of Schatz was inspired by the European style of the Renaissance period. The work of Samuel Hirszenberg combines the Jewish aspect in the European style. He was responsible for the study of European art in the school. A few other notable artists included Avraham Melnikov, AriehLubin and Sionah Tagger. Five famous Israeli artists include:

  • Yaacov Agam: The man is credited with the invention of “the Kinetic form of art”. He is considered as the greatest among modern artists. His works are the evidence of the connection the Jewish society has with the divine. An alumnus of the Bezalel School of Arts, Yaacov was born in 1928 and moved to France in 1951. Here he came in contact with the French modern art. His interaction with Salvador Dali made him famous at the international stage. His father was a rabbi, and that gave him the inspiration of the subjects of his work. He became a pioneer in kinetic art.
  • Menashe Kadishman: He was an Israeli artist and sculptor who was born in 1932. He was a shepherd, and that became the major part of his work. His exposure to sheep and nature became the subject of his art, and his sheep portraits became very famous internationally.
  • Ariela Wertheimer: Ariela was mentioned in Forbes 2018 list of “World’s Richest People”. She has been a professional painter since 1997. Her artworks are displayed across the globe, and she opened her own Studio in Jaffa in November 2018.
  • Pierre Kleinhouse: PiereKleinhouse is an award-winning illustrator. He works in his Tel Aviv studio. He has a strong presence around the world, and his works are placed in galleries around the globe. He is known for his workshops and talks as well.
  • Menucha Page: Menucha Page is a contemporary, cutting-edge artist incorporating ancient themes of Torah art and Jewish art in her historic Jerusalem art gallery.

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