Silver Platter; Oil on Canvas, 105×69 cm

Aharon Giladi

Aharon Giladi was born in 1907 in Gomel, Belarus. Between the years 1923-1926 he studied art in St. Petersburg and in 1929 he was arrested and deported to Siberia because of his participation in the activities of Hashomer Hatzair Youth Movement. After his release he immigrated to Palestine along with a group of pioneers; together they settled next to the Sea of Galilee. In 1932 he was one of the founders of Kibbutz Afikim. In the kibbutz, he painted solely in his spare time. According to him, on his free days he used to carry a wooden board around and paint in secret; thus appearing to be working and not “wasting his time with art”.  In 1948 he left the kibbutz and moved first to Kefar Saba and later to Tel Aviv and Holon. In 1971 his works were published in a retrospective catalogue. The introduction to the catalogue was written by Yona Fischer. He was one of the founders of “Ofakim Hadashim” art movement, and participated in their first 3 exhibitions, after which he resigned from the group’s activities.

His works, painted in the spirit of Social Realism, portray the kibbutz daily routine. The figures in his works were painted in dark tones, lacking specific features. These unidentified characters became the trademark of his style. Sometimes, these figures appear against typical Israeli landscapes. He was twice the winner of Dizengoff Award – in 1948 and 1954.