Figures in the Kibbutz,
Gouache on cardboard, 26X37 cm.
Signed and dated.
Literature and Exhibition: Yochanan Simon, ”Double Portrait”, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tali Tamir, 2001, (Illustrated).
Estimated price: $1,500 - $2,000
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About: Yochanan Simon
1976 - 1905
Yochanan Simon is a German-born painter who became particularly identified with the kibbutz movement and with socialist realism. Simon was born in 1905 and in 1936 immigrated to Israel and settled in Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, where he found himself engaged in various works, but hardly painted. At the same time, his great talent did not go unnoticed by the captains of the "National Kibbutz" and they recruited him in favor of glorifying the kibbutz movement through art. He painted posters full of pathos for the "Shomer Hatzair", paintings that present the kibbutz life as successful and in particular family scenes that combine happiness and intimacy, as well as works that glorify the value of work and the beauty of the land (in a time period defined as the "brown period"). Thus Simon was chosen to paint the official poster of the first Israeli Independence Day as well as a poster for May 1, 1950. In 1953 Simon made another significant turning point, both in terms of lifestyle and artistic style - he separated from his first wife, moved to Tel Aviv, and began painting in his studio (located in Sderot Rothschild 125, a very short distance from the house of another famous painter, Yosl Bergner) in a completely different style from the one that characterized him in the kibbutz. His works during this period became modern, abstract, very colorful and full of optimism - mainly influenced by his journey to South America. Towards the end of his life he even moved to surrealist paintings, in the style of Juan Miró. Simon is also known for his oversized murals to which he was exposed during his travels to New York and Italy. In 1950, he created a number of murals in universities, factories and public buildings, and even on ships of the Zim company. On his travels to South America he also created well-known murals in Brazil and Argentina.
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