Spanish Cultural Awards Honor Israeli Artist Baruch Elron
The Third Edition of the Niram Art Awards honored the work of Israeli Painter Baruch Elron, during a ceremony held in Madrid and organised by the Publishing House and Magazine Niram Art.
This year, the Niram Art Painting Award consisted of a tribute to the life and work of the Israeli painter Baruch Elron (1934-2006). During the ceremony, the book “Baruch Elron” by the Spanish writer Hector Martinez Sanz was launched, in the presence of the artist’s wife, Lydia Elron. The book is a thorough study on the complex artistic world of Baruch Elron. Born in Romania, in 1934, into a family of Sephardic heritage, Elron immigrated to Israel in 1963. His works are present in numerous museums around the world (Boston, New York, Toronto, Solingen, etc). In 1998, he as awarded the Israel Jubilee Prize for Artistic and Cultural Achievements. Although Baruch Elron’s art is well known in European countries like Germany and Austria, where he had many solo exhibitions, this was the first presentation of Elron’s work in Spain.
“Elron was well entrenched in Israeli culture, teaching art to many generations of students, some of whom even followed in his footsteps. Moreover, he served as the chairman of the Israeli Artists and Sculptors Association for almost 10 years. His own artwork, however, was exclusive in its choice of subjects and, as opposed to local art trends, it conformed to the classical techniques of the European academies of painting. He could be compared with several other important Israeli artists such as Samuel Bak, Avraham Ofek, Naftali Bezem, some of whom were defined as painters of symbolism and fantastic realism, or sometimes surrealism. (…) Elron can justly be termed not only a Tel Aviv artist but also an Israeli one to the core. His artwork comprises dozens of landscape paintings depicting the Sea of Galilee, Tiberias and the Galilee, as well as other northern and southern parts of the country. An additional special painting is a self portrait of the artist wearing a gas mask, which hides, protects, and symbolizes the Gulf War of 1991 when Israelis had to wear gas masks as protection against possible Iraqi chemical missiles. Elron gave the painting the title of Artist for All Times to symbolize solidarity and patriotism. He wears the mask as though in mockery of fear and instead of going down to the shelter into hiding he continues painting in his studio. Elron represents the Israeli who does not fear, who does not compromise and who struggles to maintain his place and his profession in spite of all life’s difficulties.” (Daniel Cahana Levenshon, art curator in the article “The Israeliness Code in Baruch Elron’s Art).
During the awards giving ceremony, another Israeli, Eran Eisen, received the Niram Art Poetry Award. His book of poems “Between us” was presented to the public in the same evening, in a special, bilingual, Hebrew-Spanish edition.
The French writer Michel Houellebecq received the Grand Niram Art Prize for literary achievements, the Mihail Sebastian Trophy. “The first award I received in my life bore the name of the Jewish poet Tristan Tzara and it is a great joy for me to receive tonight an award named after another great Jewish writer”, said Michel Houllebecq.
The Spanish poet and former Minister of Culture, Cesar Antonio Molina was awarded the Niram Art – Tristan Tzara Award for poetry, for his book “The End of Finisterre”. The Ambroise Vollard Award for cultural promotion recognised the activity of the European Generation Foundation and its founder, the ex-President of Romania, Emil Constantinescu. The Trophy was handed to him by Antonio Calderón de Jesús, art adviser.
In the literature section, the Manuscript Award was granted to Spanish writer Diego Vadillo Lopez, for his upcoming novel “Shopping at Tzara,” whose main character is the Jewish poet Tristan Tzara. The novel will be published in 2012 by the Niram Art Publishing House.
The event was opened by José Antonio Jiménez de las Heras, the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Journalism, by the general Javier Baredo de Valenzuela and the director of the Publishing House, Miguel Angel Galan Segovia. The ceremony was presented by Fabianni Belemuski, the director of the Niram Art Magazine.
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