Jerusalem sculpture By Ben -zion
Jerusalem skyline ,sculpture ,stone and 925 silver.
Size : W 4 1/2 inches H 3 inches D 1 1/2 inches
Ben-Zion, in his formative years, coalesced a rapidly developed instinct on the nature of art and a singular yet communicative aesthetic sense, that allowed him an avenue in which to create visual works that were striking from an early age, and provided the soil from which he would later re-emerge into the visual arts. Parallel to this development was Ben-Zion’s involvement in the re-kindling of the Hebrew tongue. He not only tutored his contemporaries but concentrated his own creative endeavors for nearly two decades toward writing contemporary Hebrew literature. Dissatisfied with the limited audience for this literature in New York, and despairing of the apparent paucity of language in light of the overwhelming happenings facing European Jewry, Ben-Zion returned to the silence of visual art.
From his first one-man exhibition at the Artist’s Gallery in 1936 until his retrospective at the Jewish Museum in New York City in 1959- Ben-Zion was well represented by major galleries, (Curt Valentin, Duveen-Graham), and museums. He was a founding member of The “Ten”, a group of expressionist painters who positioned themselves against the conservative, academic, and provincialist painting prevalent in pre-war New York. Despite being largely eclipsed by the rise of Abstract Expressionism and formalist criticism, Ben-Zion was unwavering in following his vision, working prolifically into his 90th year.
Ben-Zion consistently threaded certain subject matter nature, still life, the human figure, the Hebrew Bible, and the Jewish people into his work throughout his life. His paintings, though ostensibly flat, have a sculptural feeling. His sculptures, conversely, suggest drawing with iron. His choice of simple subject matter indicates an affinity to Hassidism and perhaps Zen as well, where the Divine is revealed through everyday seemingly banal moments.
Ben-Zion was closely connected to some of the intense dramas that unfolded during this century, and much of his work bears a direct stamp from these events. But it also clearly speaks of the eternal connection between man and the Divine, and between man and the earth.