Sotheby’s to offer Israeli and International Art New York, New York – On December 16, 2008 Sotheby’s will offer an important and wide-ranging selection of Israeli
and International Art, marking the occasion of Israel’s 60th anniversary. The sale wi
News-Antique.com - Dec 05,2008 - The founding of the Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem in 1906 marked the beginning of Israeli Art. European artists,
immigrating to the land of Israel in the beginning of the 20th Century, brought with them deeply rooted European
influences but quickly achieved their own unique Israeli style inspired by the strong light, bright colors and oriental spirit
of the land. Israeli Art continued to evolve and address issues inherent to a young state. With the years, the innocence
and idealism of the early generation were replaced by the more cynical outlook of younger artists referencing the harsh
realities of life in Israel. This transition has been the focus of numerous retrospective exhibitions of Israeli Art worldwide,
and is portrayed in the wide range of work presented in this sale by early European Jewish immigrants, Modern Israeli
artists and young Contemporary Israeli artists shown internationally today.
Works produced in the 1920s are particularly rare and sought-after, and among the highlights from that period is
Nachum Gutman’s Tower of David, Jerusalem (est. $200/300,000*). Gutman was born in Romania and
immigrated to Israel in 1905, where he made a name for
himself as a unique and renowned writer, artist and illustrator.
He briefly studied at the Belazel Art Academy, but quickly
rebelled against the conventional instruction at the institution.
After serving in the First World War, he travelled to Vienna,
Paris and Berlin to continue his artistic education, all the while
establishing his unique style combining his personal
experience building a new life in Israel and the modernist
trends prevalent at the time in European art. Tower of David,
Jerusalem depicts an idyllic Old City landscape with great
detail, influenced by the optimism prevalent in Israel at the
The sale will include a strong selection of leading Israeli modern artists. Reuven Rubin and Mordecai Ardon both
combined their European schooling with the new elements of Israeli life to achieve a modern art language influencing
Israeli artists throughout the 20th Century until today. Rubin is represented by his 1967 painting Peace Offering (est.
$70/90,000), which features figures delineated by white contour lines and pigment applied in a soft, feathery manner
characteristic of Rubin’s work from the 1960s. In 1933, Mordecai Ardon moved from Germany to Israel, where his
artistic focus shifted from portraiture to depicting the ever-changing landscape of his new homeland. His 1946 canvas
Yellow Landscape (est. $100/150,000) was included in his first-ever solo exhibition at The Jewish Museum in New
York and features his mature style, incorporating small cross-hatched brushstrokes. Ardon’s At the Red Sea (est.
Mordecai Ardon, Yellow Landscape, 1946 (est. $100/150,000)
$280/350,000) from 1963 demonstrates the artist’s talent for transforming the landscape into a jewel-like
masterpiece with his use of vibrant colors that intensify the glowing colors of the coral reef of the Red Sea.
Among the Contemporary highlights of the sale will be a group of paintings and photographs sold to benefit Artis –
Contemporary Israeli Art Fund, led by Barry Frydlender’s Bombamela (est. $30/40,000). Frydlender was the