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Moshe Castel

August 1, 2010

Jerusalem, Israel, 1909 – Tel Aviv, Israel, 1991
“Art is not symbolic, but rather material, the material is the main thing, the way the paint is placed, the way the layers are placed on the picture, this is the most essential thing.” – Moshe Castel

Decedent of Spanish Jews who immigrated to Israel in 1942, Moshe Castel is most well-known for his basalt paintings. Using a blend of ground basalt rock mixed with sand, glue and bright pigments, he created abstract works based of ancient script and mythological Hebrew signs. Castel grew up in a religious home and went to a religious boy´s school founded by his father until he was invited to study at the Bezalel School of Art and Design at age thirteen. He studied and painted in Paris at the Academie Julian, the Academy Chomier, and at the Louvre Museum from 1927 until 1940, when he returned to Israel and developed his signature style. He was one of the founders of the “Leviathan” group that worked to connect their art to both Jewish mysticism and modern aesthetics. Castel´s plaques are inscribed without the intention of creating a readable work but rather are focused on the rhythm and structure of the script.

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