Landscapes and People 1895-1975

Asher Feldman came to Israel in 1923 and a year later he followed his wife Dr. Miriam Nosinov and settled in ‘ The Valley” ( the Jezreel Valley). Feldman mixed with the pioneers, was known among the Arabs in the region and was active in Moshav Kfar Yechezkel, where he and his wife lived.
The people in the ‘valley’ called the Feldman home the “palace”, because Feldman used his handicraft to bedeck it with much beauty and imagination.
Asher Feldman was born in 1895 in the town of Kostopol (in the Volyn district, Russia-Poland) . He left Kostopol in 1923 with the second group of the local branch of “Hechalutz”.
Despite the fact that during the years immediate following his aliya he appears to have been well accepted in local art circles, his name is not imprinted in the collective memory of Israeli art. In 1924 he was invited to exhibit in the third exhibition held by the ” Hebrew Artists Society in” the Tower of David “, Jerusalem. He exhibited his work entitled
” Jerusalem, the Temple Mount ” produced in 1923 and received excellent responses. The exhibition in “the Tower of David ” was the first exhibition in which the “rebels” in the Betzalel Institute participated – Josef Zaritzky, Reuven Rubin, Menachem Shemi, Had-Gadya and Israel Paldi. Asher Feldman was not involved in the political and artistic dispute, which divided the Israeli art community.

During the period 1923-1927 Asher Feldman worked mainly in the Jezreel Valley. In his paintings of this time he blended the figures of local Arabs, imbuing them with vitality drawn from human interest without the over simplification and exotic spirit which characterized a number of local artists at that time.
In 1927 he went with his wife to Paris. Miriam engaged in postgraduate study in medicine while Asher studied art. When they returned to Israel they settled in Rehovot , where Feldman worked as a teacher . He painted landscapes in and around Rehovot and toured in the south of the country. Between 1929 and 1930 he became familiar with the Judean Desert, carrying a knapsack, a folding stool and a parasol, enraptured by the sense of open space, unable to satisfy his passion for the panorama drenched in the burning sun.
He painted in Arab villages, excelling in transposing a sense of another time, moving slowly in the oppressive heat following the crawling shadows between the corners of the houses.

Asher Feldman painted for 52 years, landscapes and people in Israel, he never joined any group or strove to make a name for himself.
Thanks to his daughter Leah Ben-Yishai , his works have been preserved and they are as fresh and speak directly to the heart, as if they were executed only a few days ago.

Asher Feldman

Landscapes and People 1895-1975

Curator: Galia Bar Or

May-June 2003

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