Although recognised primarily as a sculptor, Menashe Kadishman is an artist whose creative expressions are not restricted to a sole medium. Born in Tel Aviv, Kadishman studied with the Israeli sculptor Moshe Sternschuss at the Avni Institute in Tel Aviv and with the Israeli sculptor Rudi Lehmann in Jerusalem. In 1959 Kadishman moved to London, studying there until 1962. He held his first one-man show in the Grosvenor Gallery in 1965 and remained in London until 1972.
In his youth between 1950 and 1953, Kadishman worked as a shepherd. This experience with nature, sheep and shepherding had a significant impact on his later artistic work and career. Indeed, it set the path for his future concentration on sheep as a major subject in his work.
The first major appearance of sheep in Kadishman’s art was at the Venice Biennale in 1978, where he presented an actual flock of sheep and himself as shepherd, in the form of a living sculpture. Following this, in 1995 Kadishman began painting portraits of sheep heads. Driven by a passion for nature and with admirable energy, he created more than one thousand different sheep portraits over the following two years.
Menashe Kadishman has always questioned established ideals and materials. Following his own whimsical impulses his art expresses both his attachment to nature and his love of life. He died in Israel in May 2015.
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