MORDECAI ARDON | BIRD IN SNOWSTORM
MORDECAI ARDON | BIRD IN SNOWSTORM
MORDECAI ARDON | BIRD IN SNOWSTORM
MORDECAI ARDON | BIRD IN SNOWSTORM
33

Property from a Private Swiss Collection

MORDECAI ARDON | BIRD IN SNOWSTORM

Estimate: 200,000 - 300,000 USD

Property from a Private Swiss Collection

MORDECAI ARDON | BIRD IN SNOWSTORM

Estimate: 200,000 - 300,000 USD

Lot Sold:250,000USD

Lot Details

Description

Property from a Private Swiss Collection

MORDECAI ARDON

Israeli

1896 - 1992

BIRD IN SNOWSTORM


signed Ardon (lower right)

painted circa 1951

oil on canvas

33 by 25⅝ in.

84 by 65 cm.

Condition Report

Overall this work is in very good condition. Canvas is not relined. The surface is in good condition. There are a few thin lines of craquelure on top left corner. When viewed under UV light scattered spots of retouching are apparent mainly on lower left quarter of the work and on the two upper corners.


In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Cataloguing

Provenance

Sale: Sotheby's Tel Aviv, April 26, 1997, lot 329

Purchased from the above by the present owner

Exhibited

Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Ardon - A Retrospective, 1985, no. 41, illustrated in the exhibition catalogue

Literature

Michele Vishny, Mordechai Ardon, New York, 1973, no. 94, p. 227. illustrated

Dalia Ardon Ish-Shalom, Ardon: A Comprehensive Catalogue, Jerusalem, 2019, p. 93, no. 132, illustrated in color

Catalogue Note

This remarkable early work dates from the period when Ardon had achieved full artistic maturity: most of the concerns that would dominate his works of the next three decades are already visible here. The distinctive coloration, the surface texture achieved by the sanding down of the impastoed oil paint and the virtuoso integration of figurative symbols into an essentially abstract framework.


Ardon's birds are inspired by the celebrated medieval illuminated manuscript The Birds Head Hagaddah in which human figures with birds' heads depict historical events from the Bible. In a similar manner Ardon's birds or themes relating to birds can be read on one level as characteristically euphemistic symbols for the human condition and on the other as a Jewish artist's attempt to create a distinctive form of art without attempting to render the kind of human form that the iconoclastic aspects of Judaism had eschewed since the Decalogue.


Another important motif recurrent in the artist's works is the ladder which stretches, never ending, high into the unknown. Here it is surrounded by spiritual windows, or miniature paintings, with jewel-like symbols and colors raising the viewer's gaze higher and higher as if climbing the ladder. Arturo Schwartz discusses this symbols and notes: "The ladder (sullam) is frequently mentioned in biblical and esoteric writings, where the rungs or steps stand for degrees of spiritual awareness (1 Kings 10:19; Ezekiel 40:26, 31)." (Arturo Schwarz in 'Family Portraits, Self-Portraits, and Autobiographical Recollections', Mordecai Ardon: The Colors of Time, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, 2003, p. 63).

Israeli and International Art
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