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PERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF GITTA SHEROVER, SOLD TO BENEFIT THE GABRIEL SHEROVER FOUNDATION, JERUSALEM
In 1989 the late Mrs Gitta Sherover established the Gabriel Sherover Foundation in memory of her beloved son, Gabi.
It is appropriate, I think, to remember here the wonderful achievements of the Foundation. The Gabriel Sherover Promenade in East Talpiot, Jerusalem, dedicated in 1990, was the first project completed under the aegis of the Foundation. Overlooking ancient and modern Jerusalem, the promenade became a heaven for tourists and residents of the City.
Mrs Sherover founded the Gabriel Sherover Information Centre for Israeli Art at the Israel Museum and embarked on a project particularly close to her heart, the building of Beit Gabriel (Gabriel's House) on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The official opening of the International Centre was co-sponsored by the Aspen Institute. What heady days those were with Mikhail Gorbachev, the architect of Glasnost, flying to Israel on her invitation to inaugurate the project and the lovely room she set aside for the eventual (and she contended 'inevitable') signing of the peace agreement between Israel and Syria. In 1994, at the request of the Prime Minister's Office, Mrs. Sherover hosted at Beit Gabriel, King Hussein of Jordan on his first official visit to Israel.
The last project in which she was involved was the building of a welcoming home at Metsudat Ze'ev in the Negev desert for soldiers serving in the IDF with no family support in Israel. Other generous donations were made over the years to Israeli universities, hospitals and schools as well as to individuals in need.
Now that she is gone, the Foundation remains to interpret and to realize her vision in the management of her legacy and to steer its course in the future. The proceeds of this sale are designated to the building of a cultural centre in Jerusalem in proximity to the Gabriel Sherover Promenade.
Mary Gilben, Chairman, Christie's Israel
Mordecai Ardon was born in Poland and was the eldest of twelve children of the master watchmaker, Alexander Bronstein. Rebelling against his father's plans for him to continue in this trade, Ardon decided early on to become an artist and enrolled as a student at the Weimar Bauhaus school under the tutelage of Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger and Wassily Kandinsky.
With the rise of National Socialism in Germany, Ardon was forced to flee Germany as early as 1933 due to his left wing political affiliations. His close friend and patron, industrialist Hans Moller was able to arrange immediate passage to Palestine. While Ardon longed for the civility of Paris, he found himself instead uprooted and stranded in Jerusalem.
Although he was initially disappointed with the provinciality and barrenness that surrounded him, he underwent a gradual artistic metamorphosis. "As he walked through Jerusalem's hills, he felt a mystical attachment to the earth. 'There is something here that is thousands of years old, something that has roots. Here I could feel those roots...Suddenly I had ground for my painting...I could paint.' " (M. Vishny, Mordecai Ardon, New York, 1973, pp. 24-5)
"Once a dark mirror of Ardon's feelings, the landscape now shiningly reflects the newly awakened joie de vivre he experienced in his surroundings." (Ibid., p. 32). In Israel his landscapes, a major part of his oeuvre, would evolve into a shimmering puzzle of shapes and forms of colour that would convey the very essence of what he saw.
Lot 49 Outlook, painted in 1971, is a luminous fully worked landscape through an open window framed in classical tradition, on the right by a blue louvered shutter. The objects on the windowsill spill out onto the undulating scene of multi-coloured shapes and in the distance the moon illuminates the sky. The distinctive brushstrokes give an underlying movement to the composition. "Since the time of their first appearance - in a few of the paintings of 1948-49 - these brushstrokes have become a hallmark of Ardon's style. They grew out of his desire to give movement to the canvas, 'to bring it to life'. The new brushstrokes led in his later paintings toward a lava-like eruption of color." (Ibid., pp.43-44)
In Lot 51 On the Way to Abdad, the artist captures the mysterious twilight hours of the Negev desert en route to Avdat, the site of the ancient Nabbatean city. A caravan of red shapes dot the desert floor while two strange and wonderful spheres of coloured shapes swirl in the darkening sky.
Lot 50 Untitled is a lush and vibrant landscape of purple, green and lavender shapes highlighted dramatically by intense yellow and red brushstrokes. The sky is a delicate, coordinated juxtaposition of blues and lavenders with a dramatic cloud formation of brilliant white. "Whether he paints leaf, stone, sun, moon, wind, rain, dawn or twilight, the image is never really a depiction of outer reality but a revelation of its essence." (Ibid., p. 49)