Item nameStudy for the print "Two Trees in Memory of Hametzayer", early 1970's
ExhibitionsArie Aroch, curator Mordechai Omer, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, 2003.
SignedSigned with the initials.
Estimate$300 - 400
About The Artistpainter, born 1908, Kharkov, Russia.He participated in the Meyerowitz Artists Group in Zichron Yakov. From 1949-1953 he served in the Israeli diplomatic Office in Moscow; from 1956-1959 he was the Israeli Ambassador to Brazil; from 1959-1962 he was the Israeli Ambasador to Sweden; in 1963 he returned to Israel, retired, and devoted himself to art in Jerusalem where he died in 1974. Arie Aroch, though a member of the "New Horizons" from 1947,(see "New Horizons"), suggested an alternative to lyric abstraction, proposing a greater concentration on form; personal statement instead of objectivity; unconventional techniques instead of methodical professionalism, and a more eclectic approach instead of French abstractionism. Aroch's sources for his art works include children's drawings, found objects, folk and traditional characters, and persons remembered from childhood. His thought and techniques (erasing, scratching, scribbling) influenced Israeli young painters such as Aviva Uri and Raffi Lavie.
1924-26 Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem
1926-28 Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium, Tel Aviv
1934-35 Colarossi, Paris, with Leger
Awards and Prizes
1942 The Dizengoff Prize for Painting and Sculpture, Municipality of Tel Aviv Jaffa, Tel Aviv
1955 Tel Aviv Museum's Dizengoff Prize
1968 The Sandberg Prize for Israeli Art, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
1971 Israel Prize for Painting
ProvenanceRosita Simon Collection, Jerusalem.
RemarksIn his last years Aroch dedicated a print to the memory of Mordechai Tzvi Mané, who was known as Hametzayer ("The toung man Mordechai Tzvi born in Radoskowicz): Two Trees in Memory of Hametzayer. Aroch "planted" two trees in memory of Mané, one of the fascinating figures of the "Love of Zion" [Chibat Zion] movement. The Zionist tradition of planting trees, especially in memory of Diaspora Jewry, had been a part of Aroch's world and activities since the late 1940s, when he was an emissary for the J.N.F (Jewish National Fund) in Buenos Aires. This, for example, was how he reported to the J.N.F head bureau in Jerusalem, 0n 17 April 1949, about his success in "distributing" 100,000 tree plantings for the Defenders' Forest: "At a special meeting of all the youth organizations, a resolution on principle was passed about this, and I was also responsible for the passing of a resolution that each youth organization takes it upon itself to plant groves in the names of the members of their movement who fell in the struggle [the War of Liberation]." Aroch's estate reveals that the process that concluded with the making of the print began with Christian Ludolph Reinhold's textbook for artists from 1784, with which – as we know – Aroch conducted a prolonged dialogue. In lesson twelve, in the row of trees at the top of the page, Reinhold presents the three classical forms of drawing: line drawing, rhythmic drawing, and tonal drawing. In the early 1970s Aroch selected two out of Reinhold's three trees – the rhythmic and the tonal ones – and copied them. He drew the tonal tree in pencil and also incorporated a scribble, and he painted the trunk of the rhythmic tree red and its branched and leaved in blue. The drawing was done on the transparent tracing paper that Aroch used to use for preliminary studies for prints he made in the late 1960s and early 1970s with David Ben-Shaoul. It thus appears that from the outset Aroch was planning to make a print, and this study is the firat of many for this print. Aroch also worked on sheets of paper that had piled up from the various stages of the printmaking. To each of these he added colors, lines and details, thus giving them the character of an original, but he always left evidence that these were states on the way to the final print. The trees in two of the states of the print, especially the lower tree, are still closer to their form in the preparatory drawing, and Aroch is undecided whether to paint the rounded tree blue-green and to add red and orange stains in the upper left part. Mordechai Omer, Arie Aroch, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 2003, pp. 517-518.
LiteratureMordechai Omer, Arieh Aroch, Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Phoenix, 2003, p. 512, no. 6, illustrated.