lives and works
Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, Israel, 1973
Reading University, Reading, UK, 1975
St. Martin’s School of Art, London, UK, 1976
about the artist
The most recent large-scale survey of Zadok Ben-David’s work, Human Nature at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel, resulted in an exhibition attendance that broke all records of the museum’s entire thirty-year history. The popularity of his graphic work no doubt stems from Ben-David’s sculptural hypothesis that considers man’s place in the world. Nature, the forms of its flora or foliage derived and adopted from botanical diagrams and scientific illustrations, is alternately at odds or in harmony with the humans who live within it. Ben-David conflates the two-dimensional with the three-dimensional in his sculptures, as if he were drawing them in midair. Precisely rendered silhouettes throw compelling shadows onto the ground; just like an unexpected afterthought happening upon the initial proposal, these residual shapes seem to tell a fantasy of their own. Born in Bayhan, Yemen, Ben-David now divides his time between the United Kingdom and Israel. Recipient of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art Sculpture Prize in 2005 and the Grande Biennial Prémio at the 14th Biennale Internacional de Arte de Vila Nova de Cerveira in Portugal in 2007, the artist had previously represented Israel at the 43rd Venice Biennale in 1988. Major retrospectives of his work have been held at the Guangdong Art Museum in Guangzhou, China, as well as the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, as mentioned above. He has also participated in group exhibitions staged at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy; the Haifa Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel; the Ewha Art Centre in Seoul, South Korea; the Singapore Museum of Art in Singapore; the Leopold Hoesch Museums in Düren, Germany; the Institute of Contemporary Art in San Jose, USA; the Musée Bourdelle in Paris, France; the Museum of Modern Art in Dubrovnik, Croatia; and many more.