2 April 2017

Menashe Kadishman ~ מנשה קדישמן

Menashe Kadishman was an Israeli sculptor and artist, 21 August 1932 - 8 May 2015.  One of his works of art is the large scale metal sculpture in the form of three distinct circles which adorns Habima Square.  Last month, during the Jewish religious festival of Purim when people dressed up in fancy dress outfits, the municipality of Tel Aviv - Yafo ran a competition with the object of incorporating Menashe Kadishman's statue into the Purim spirit.  On the day that I was walking in Habima Square the metal circles had taken the rather appetising form of three different scoops of ice-cream flavours.  

Kadishman was born in the British Mandate Palestine in 1932. His father, who was a pioneer, died when Kadishman was 15 years old. The young Menashe left school to help his mother with housework and to earn money.  From 1947 to 1950, Kadishman studied with the Israeli sculptor Moshe Sternschuss at the Avni Institute of Art and Design in Tel Aviv and in 1954 with the Israeli sculptor Rudi Lehmann in Jerusalem.  In 1959, he moved to London, where he attended Saint Martins School of Art and the Slade School of Art.  During 1959 and 1960 he also studied with Anthony Caro and Reg Butler.  He remained there until 1972; he had his first one-man show there in 1965 at the Grosvenor Gallery.  His sculptures of the 1960s were Minimalist in style, and so designed as to appear to defy gravity. This was achieved either through careful balance and construction, as in Suspense (1966), or by using glass and metal so that the metal appeared unsupported, as in Segments (1968). The glass allowed the environment to be part of the work. Kadishman lived and created in his house in the city center of Tel Aviv.  

 You can see below how the Menashe Kadishman metal sculpture usually looks without the Purim adornments.  I like its simplicity and minimalist style also the clever way it appears to defy gravity.  The physics behind constructing a large scale metal sculpture which is at an outdoor public space must be challenging indeed. 

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