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Mordechai Ardon (Max Bronstein)

Born: 1896, Poland - Died: 1992

Ardon was one of the giants of Israeli art who was also a major European artist. Trained at the Bauhaus, he began exhibiting with the Berlin November Group in 1928. Among his teachers had been Klee, Kandinsky and Feininger. Ardon arrived in Palestine in 1933 and became one of the later directors of the Bezalel School in Jerusalem. Beginning with pictures of the Judean hills, he progressed to tragic figurative symbolism evoked by the Holocaust then to surrealistic metaphysical symbolism based on Midrash and Kabbala. His response to the Holocaust was philosophical rather than expressionistic and his dramatic canvases are organized by meticulously rational composition. From Rembrandt he took the use of “hidden light” which he identified with the mystical light of Jerusalem. The watches (his father had been a watchmaker), torn parchments, letters, playing cards, ladders, children’s drawings, Kabbalistic symbols are fused into a microcosm of apocalypse and salvation.

Shtetl / Screenprint