From Shepherd to Sculptor

The Fellowship  |  May 15, 2020

Menashe Kadishman at Tel Hai 80 art fair
THE "TEL HAI 80" ART FAIR. IN THE PHOTO, MENASHEH KADISHMAN PRESENTING HIS "LIVING SHEEP" PROJECT.

Menashe Kadishman was born in 1932 in the Holy Land, when it was still British-Mandate Palestine. Menashe’s father, an early Jewish pioneer, died when the boy was young, forcing his son to drop out of school in order to work and support his widowed mother.

Young Menashe became a shepherd before his career as a painter and sculptor, tending sheep on a kibbutz. This occupation would become a central theme to his art. In his twenties, the aspiring and talented artist studied with some of Israel’s best artists, as well as in London.

Many of Kadishman’s work can still be seen in Israel, his sculptures in public places and his paintings in galleries. But perhaps his most famous work is sheep-themed. His sheep “portraits” became his trademark. And he even incorporated live sheep into exhibits, as seen in the above photo from an art fair. Kadishman passed away in 2015, and is survived by his son, a painter, and his daughter, an actress.

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