Prize painter

The Israeli artist Amnon Ben Ami won the inaugural Ilana Elovic Bezalel Prize for Painting. The $20,000 award pays tribute to Ilana Elovic, a self-taught Israeli-American artist who died in 2006 of ovarian cancer after exploring her disease through her art.

Amnon Ben-Ami "From Here to There" 

About 160 Israeli artists entered the contest, which was announced internationally in December and presented April 16 at the Bezalel Gallery in Tel Aviv. In addition to the money, Ben Ami will get a catalogued solo exhibition in November at the Bezalel Gallery in Jerusalem. The Jerusalemresident, a 1986 graduate of Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, already garnered several other awards over his 30-year career.

Among the judges were President Arnon Zuckerman and Sotheby Israel Chairwoman Rivka Saker. The panel said that Ben-Ami’s paintings and sculptures “are ostensibly absurd and nihilistic in their reductive simplicity but at the same time express a provocative and poetic richness, and show a tremendous love of painting, wisdom and creativity alongside theoretical depth.”

Ben-Ami was honored by the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport in 2008 for encouraging creativity.

Elovic, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, was a cartographer in the intelligence corps of the Israel Defense Forces. She then worked in one ofIsrael’s leading architectural firms and later applied her talents to jewelry design, sculpture, ceramics and painting. Her husband Eugene endowed the award.

Related Articles

About Abigail Klein Leichman

Abigail Klein Leichman is a writer and associate editor at ISRAEL21c. Prior to moving to Israel in 2007, she was a specialty writer and copy editor at a daily newspaper in New Jersey and has freelanced for a variety of newspapers and periodicals since 1984.