Mordecai Ardon

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Mordecai Ardon ( Hebrew מרדכי ארדון, also: Mordechai Ardon , * July 13, 1896 as Max Bronstein in Tuchów , Galicia , Austria-Hungary ; † June 18, 1992 in Jerusalem , Israel ) was a Israeli artist .

Mordecai Ardon, 1977


Ardon was born in Tuchow in Galicia as a member of the large Jewish community there . From 1921 to 1925 he studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau with Paul Klee , Wassily Kandinsky , Lyonel Feininger and Johannes Itten . The influence of the Bauhaus and especially that of Paul Klee on his development was formative for his entire artistic life's work. From 1926 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich under Max Doerner the painting techniques of the old masters, from which he was particularly inspired by Rembrandt van Rijn and El Greco .

In 1933 he emigrated to the British Mandate Palestine under the impression of the emerging persecution of the Jews by the National Socialists . There he taught at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design , an art and design college in Jerusalem that was founded in 1903 and offers courses in all arts (fine arts, architecture, design, photography, film). One of his master students was Yaacov Agam , one of the co-founders of artistic kinetics . In 1959 Mordecai Ardon was a participant in documenta II in Kassel . In 1963 he was awarded the Israel Prize . In 1976/77 Ardon spent in West Berlin on a scholarship as part of the DAAD's Berlin artist program .

Mordecai Ardon was one of the numerous artists who belonged to the circle of the art collector and patron Theodor Ahrenberg .


Ardon's artistic position was based on the apparent incompatibility of abstract art with the painting style of the old masters. His works owe their depth and richness to the pronounced quality of his "old" painting technique.

Ardon believed in the power of "pure" art, devoid of all political or social messages. He was convinced that a painting should be judged solely on its inherent artistic elements such as color, composition and interactive appearance. He rejected literary, symbolic or other additional elements in his works.

Nevertheless, the artist had strong internal relationships with his political and social environment. In particular, the horrors of war and the large and small injustices of life preoccupied him - also in his artistic work - with increasing age. This can be seen in a special way in eight large-format triptychs that he created between 1955 and 1988. In a letter to the then director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and later first director of the Israel Museum , Willem Sandberg , Ardon confirmed his internal conflict in this regard, which he compared with the historical conflict between ancient Athens and Jerusalem .

Works (selection)
Glass window design 1982-1984: The vision of Isaiah (Isaiah's vision of Eternal Peace),
Jewish National and University Library , Jerusalem
  • A Karem (1944)
  • For the Fallen (Triptych) (1955-1956)
  • For the Fallen - Center panel: The House of Cards (1956)
  • For the Fallen - Left-hand panel: The Traps (1955)
  • For the Fallen - Right-hand panel: The Unborn (1956)
  • Testament of a Dead Leaf (1959)
  • Tammuz (1962)
  • To the Morning Star (1968)
  • Last Curtain Call of the Palettes (1978)
  • La Grand Poupee (1984–1985)
  • La Rosette pour Rikuda (1986-1987)
  • Hiroshima (1988)
  • Khibit Khize
  • Fatal Eclipse


  • Mordecai Ardo n. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 1961.
  • Michele Visney: Mordecai Ardon . Harry Abrams, New York 1973. ISBN 0-8109-0171-4 . 240 p., 208 ills
  • Mordecai Ardon. Pictures from the years 1953–1978 . An exhibition. Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin 1978. 76 p., With 3 fold-out panels u. numerous Fig.
  • Mordecai Ardon - Recent Paintings . Marlbborough Fine Art, London 1987. 52 p., Color ill.
  • Mordecai Ardon 1896–1992 in memoriam . Marlborough Fine Art, London 1995, ISBN 0-900955-55-4 . 39 p .; 25 color plates u. 1 color photo portrait
  • Arturo Schwarz (Ed.): Mordecai Ardon: The Colors of Time . Israel Museum, Jerusalem 2003, ISBN 965278270-X . 239 pp.

Web links

Commons : Mordecai Ardon  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ List of scholarship holders on the website of the DAAD's Berlin Artists Program (accessed on January 23, 2010).