Zigi Ben-Haim, Hidden Traces, 2013, Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv, installation view (1)
Zigi Ben-Haim is one of the most prominent contemporary artists living in New York. He won numerous distinguished awards including the recent Pollock Krasner Foundation grant, 2013. Ben-Haim has exhibited extensively both in Israel and internationally, and his works are in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn Museum, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv Museum of Art. On 2005 NASA commissioned Ben-Haim to create a work in tribute to the space shuttle "Columbia". This year, NASA commissioned an additional monumental work by him in honor of the robotic rover "Curiosity" exploring Mars.
In "Hidden Traces" Ben-Haim will exhibit a new series of large scale mixed media paintings on mobile aluminum panels next to smaller scale oil on aluminum paintings. His work reconciles the industrial with the natural, bringing the two together in his own unique way. The integration of traditional paints and digital print with industrial materials creates multiple dimensions of negative spaces. The mobile aluminum panels hanging on hooks and their light reflecting surfaces allow his work to interact with its environment and create a painting on the verge of a three dimensional sculpture.
The works of Zigi Ben-Haim in his new exhibition exist somewhere between abstraction and symbolism. The choice of imagery and materials constructing the work accumulate to and drawn from his own visual language and iconography. Images and symbols that influenced Ben-Haim throughout his life have become part of his vocabulary, "writing" a progressive diary on aluminum panels that constantly unveiling itself. The imagery in the works creates a dialogue and harmony in a new environment. Building layer by layer, or image by image, his multi-cultural background inspires his constant search for identity. An identity Ben-Haim considers as a product of adaptation and the interconnectivity of cultures.
Zigi Ben-Haim (b. 1945 in Baghdad) Lives and works in New York City. At the age of five his family fled Baghdad, Iraq, and immigrated to Israel via Iran. Ben-Haim graduated from The Avni Institute of Fine Arts, Tel-Aviv, Israel and the Institute of Fine Arts and the California College of Art in Oakland, California.. He holds an M.A. from the J.F.K. University, Orinda, California, USA and an M.F.A from San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, USA. He has won numerous awards throughout his career, including: A Pollock Krasner Foundation grant, 2013; 1996; 1990; The Emily Harvey Foundation, Fellowship to Venice, Italy, 2007; DAAD Fellowship to Berlin, Germany, 2004; National Endowment for the Arts, 1985; America-Israel Cultural Foundation, 1966-70.
Exhibition text- Hebrew