Itzhak Danziger

 

 

1916 - 1977

 

The outstanding artist Itzhak Danziger was born in Berlin and immigrated with his family to Palestine in 1923. He began to study sculpture with Zeev Ben-Zvi and in 1934 went to London, to study at the Slade School. He proceeded to study landscape design at the London University and soon after graduating returned to Palestine and began to teach at the Technion in Haifa.

 

In the late 1930s, Danziger became involved with the “Canaanite’ movement. The Canaanites were a group of intellectual and poets, inspired by the primordial nature of Palestine at the time, who endeavored to fashion a local culture by drawing upon the ancient Canaanite period that predated the advents of the tribes of Israel. Danziger soon became one of the leading artists of the movement, and his sculpture Nimrod (1938-39), depicting the figure of a heroic hunter of antiquity, fashioned in earthen hues and freed from the burden of tradition or religion., is considered a striking ‘illustration’, almost a symbol of the group’s ideology.

Later, he took to examining the significance of the elements constituting the earth as geographical and historical place, involving various forms of landscape, myths and extinct animals. He depicted animals as sacrificial beasts, making sheep into creatures untouched by the laws of time. His work can be described as possessing a trace of idolatry; he went even further in his final years, claiming that, where worship is held at their feet, ruins or ancient trees are the true monuments of art, and that it is the artist’s obligation to discover them and make them the object of public sensitivity.

In 1968 he was awarded the Israel Prize for sculpture.

 

Itzhak Danziger was killed in traffic accident in 1977.

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