Dalia’s Art Works

Zeev Kun


Litography signed, not framed, size 23×28 cm.

Zeev Kun was born 16 April 1930 in the city of Nyíregyháza in northwestern Hungary. As a teenager, he worked in an art supply store owned by his parents, Blanka and Sandor. In March–April 1944, when the deportation of Hungarian Jews began , 14-year-old Zeev was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and later to the Jaworzno concentration camp, located 23 kilometers away from Auschwitz and used as its outer branch. Between January to April 1945 he was imprisoned in the camps of Gross-Rosen, Buchenwald and Flossenbürg. On April 23, 1945, the prisoners of the Flossenbürg camp were freed by American troops. In late August 1945, Zeev Kun came back to Hungary, where he resumed school with the Auschwitz tattoo still visible on his arm. In the fall of 1947 he entered the “Magyar Képzőművészeti Főiskola” in Budapest (nowadays called “The Hungarian University of Fine Arts”), where he studied for over a year and a half. In 1949, as the new pro-communist regime was growing more and more repressive, Zeev Kun joined a group of thirty Jews from the leftist Zionist organization “Hashomer Hatzair” , which secretly crossed the Czech border, and later he arrived to Italy via Austria. In the city of Bari, the group boarded a ship that brought them to Israel. Once in Israel, Zeev Kun first settled at the kibbutz Givat-Haim near Hadera. He did not stay there for long, though, as in 1951 he became a student at the “Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien” (“Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna”), where the city had just witnessed the birth of the so-called Vienna School of Fantastic Realism. Students and young professors of the Academy sought to reflect the tragedy of World War II, yet maintaining a dialog with the masters of German Renaissance (such as Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder), as well as the pioneers of surrealism of 1920s and 1930s, first of all Max Ernst (1891–1976). At the Academy, Zeev Kun was close to Anton Lehmden (born in 1929) and Ernst Fuchs (1930–2015). In his art, the latter focused on the images of Apocalypse, creating paintings shot through with dread and fear of death. It is no wonder that Zeev Kun, who himself survived the nightmare of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, was so impressed by the works of Fuchs, who happened to be his peer. Upon his return to Israel, Zeev Kun joined the Israeli Painters and Sculptors Association. In 1973 he was awarded the prestigious Max Nordau Prize for Arts. His paintings have won acclaim also from art lovers in the Israeli non-Jewish sector, as well; they have been sold by their Alkara Art Gallery in Daliyat al-Karmel, Israel’s largest Druze town.

Exhibitions and works

His perfectly mastered technique allowed him to accomplish a wide range of artistic goals, as he came up with philosophic and allegoric interpretations of the Holocaust and its ever-present memory, never to be overshadowed by the Jewish national revival in Israel and in a number of countries hosting Jewish diasporas.He exhibited in many Israeli cities (e.g. Jerusalem, 1954, Tel Aviv, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1968,[5] 2014), and Nahariya (1988), as well as in Brussels (1960), Paris (1962, 1972, 1994), London (1965), Sydney (1967), New York City (1968),[8] Los Angeles (1968), Detroit (1970), Amsterdam (1972), Stockholm (1975), Antwerp (1976) and Berlin (1987). For many years, the painter worked in Safed, where he held his own gallery, but later he returned to Tel Aviv, where he has lived ever since.


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