NEW YORK (Dec. 20)
Two one-man exhibitions of the paintings by Avraham Ofek and Fima opened today at the Jewish Museum and will continue to March 18,1973. Fima, born in China in 1916 of Russian Jewish parents, grew up in Harbin where his father worked as a Russian government engineer on the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. He studied Chinese painting and calligraphy, and at the age of 32 went to teach at the Shanghai Academy. It was in Shanghai in 1947 that he had his first one-man show. In the late 1940’s Fima emigrated to Israel and after 12 years there he moved to Paris where he now lives.
Art critics have stated that Fima’s paintings originate from both Oriental and European concepts and themes, reflecting the link between his formative years in the East and his later experiences in the West. The Jewish Museum exhibition brings together from museum and private collections in the U.S. and Europe 60 of the artist’s works in oil, acrylic and water color, executed between 1945 and 1972.
Avraham Ofek, 37-years-old, was born in Bourgas, Bulgaria. He emigrated from his native Bulgaria to Israel after the war of 1948. During his youth in Israel, he became a member of the Kibbutz Ein Hamifratz where his ideas of the social nature of art and the responsibility of the artist ripened. He studied with Naphtali Besem and later went to The Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. In 1972 Ofek represented Israel at the 36th Blannale in Venice. Ofek has exhibited in the Municipal Museum, Acre; the Bezalel National Museum, Jerusalem; the Paris Art Center and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Israeli art has rarely touched the Israeli scene with the directness, vigor and piercing observation until the paintings of Ofek appeared, according to art critics. His art is rooted in the landscape and people: images the ordinary visitor to Israel rarely stop to observe, and the people of the refugee camps of 1948 he knows so well and who now live in development towns.
With Washington’s formal approval of the appointment of Simha Dinitz as Israel’s next ambassador to the United States, observers in Jerusalem believe that Dinitz’s post as director general of the Prime Minister’s office will go to Michael Arnon who is presently secretary to the Cabinet. Dinitz is expected to take up his new post next March.