Aharon Kahana Biography

Aharon Kahana





Painter, printmaker, and ceramicist Aharon Kahana was born on March 1, 1905 in Stuttgart, Germany. His art education took place from 1922 - 1925 at the Academy of Art in Stuttgart, where he focused on ceramics in addition to traditional art studies, and later studied at the Academy in Berlin. Following graduation he travelel to Paris to study old masters as well as the work of his contemporaries at leading galleries. He emigrated to Ramat Ga Israel in 1935, and would become one of the founders of the important Israeli art movement, New Horizons, which focused on Abstraction, which he had returned to in 1943.

Kahana was known for the unique art style he developed in the beginning of the 1950s. It was a mixture of Modernist forms, usually geometric, presenting very remarkable defining lines together with an archaic conceptual and biblical content. This style was suitable for wall decoration in public spaces in the young country, and using ceramic technique Kahana indeed decorated such walls (Sacrifice of Isaac, Hebrew University, Givat Ram). During his last years he worked in a completely opposite style. The lines became soft and liquid, the figures were brimming with intensity, and the rhythm expressed vitality. The content of these drawings was more personal, featuring abstracted figurative works.

Kahana participated in many exhibitions, among them the Venice Biennale in 1948 and 1954, and the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1959. He won several honorary prizes, including Israel's Dizengoff Prize (1938, 1953). His residence in Ramat-Gan later became a museum. He died on July 3, 1967 in Paris of a heart attack suffered after the 6 Day War in Israel.