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    All images, unless otherwise noted, are from
    Wilkinson, S. (1971). Reuven Rubin. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. New York
  • THE DREAM-Reuven Rubin, 1965
    Pencil and crayon, 14 ½ x 20”
    Helena Klachkin Gallery, Tel Aviv
    The topic of dreaming is once again on Rubin’s mind
    Is this Jacob dreaming of the angel
    If so, who is the woman holding the baby in the background”
  • FAMILY AT REST-Reuven Rubin, 1941
    Pen and ink and gouache, 12 ½ x 17”
    In 1939, Rubin and Esther went to New York instead of Rumania
    Their projected short stay became a six-year sojourn
    The war that began in Sept. 1939 prevented their return to Eretz Israel
    His stay in America brought him artistic and material success
    It established his reputation in the U.S.
    Yet, he always claimed that he felt a stranger everywhere except Israel
    Pen and ink and wash, 20 x 26”
    Collection Mrs, R, Davis, New York
    Rubin had an exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum in May of 1947
    The reaction was mixed
    He was criticized for not “projected the reality of Eretz Yisrael”
    He said:
    “The artist must be true to his convictions, to what he feels instinctively. What is news is not necessarily worthwhile. I must follow the dictates of my heart. If a painting of mine can add one iota to anyone’s joy in living, then I feel I have succeeded.”
  • Rubin in Bucharest as Minister Plenipotentiary to Rumania, 1948
    On November 29, the General Assembly of the U. N. partitioned Palestine
    After much fighting, the State of Israel was born on May 14, 1948
    The proposal for him to become a diplomat came as a complete surprise to him
    The Prime Minister, Ben-Gurion had confidence in his abilities
    The foreign minister, Moshe Sharett, told him that he must serve his country
    Rubin had long been a public figure
    He was an active, energetic man associated with many communal projects
    He had a forceful personality that attracted attention
    The whole period of his stay in Rumania had a mystical significance for him
  • SNAKE CHARMER-Reuven Rubin, 1950
    Mixed media, 20 x 14”
    Collection Ariella Rubin, Tel Aviv
    Rubin’s preferred subject is the human figure, regardless of what it’s doing
    The figure may frequently have a Biblical aura
    This, and the following two works, show the range of his technical expertise
    They were created within 7 years, but show a development of skill
    A splatter of ink drops became a Rubin characteristic
    Rubin began to use a combination of various materials in many of his works
  • SNAKE CHARMER-Reuven Rubin, 1956
    Pen and ink and wash, 31 x 21 ½”
    Collection of the artist, Tel Aviv
    Rubin’s line is flowing, rhythmical, graceful, strong and confident
    His most direct and forceful expression is though his graphic work
    He describes the contours of a body with sparse, nervous pen strokes
    They are charged with energy and magically convey movement
    The splatter of ink drops take on greater prominence
    They provide a visual contrast to the almost frenzied, gestural line
  • SNAKE CHARMER-Reuven Rubin, 1957
    Mixed media, 20 x 12 ½”
    Collection Ami Ginegar, Tel Aviv
    The ink spots have disappeared from this work
    Yet, the linear contours describe the figure in the briefest of ink lines
    A subtle application of tone in green and gold enhance tan and black lines
  • DIKLA-Reuven Rubin, 1950
    Oil on canvas, 12 ½ x 10 ½”
    Collection Mr. And Mrs. N. Bernstein, Dublin
    Portraits were never of great interest to Rubin
    As a painter who takes reality as his point of departure, he preferred to be less tied to his subject than portrait painting allowed.
    He never accepted portrait commission
    His sitters were always personal friends and their children or member of his family
    He had a special fondness for children
    Their portraits have particular warmth and sympathetic understanding
    He emphasized individual characteristics
  • FIRST SEDER, 1928-Reuven Rubin, 1950
    Grossman, G. (1995). Jewish Art. New York: Hugh Lauter Levin, p. 302
    The Rubin Museum Foundation
    Reuven Rubin painted a promised land
    His works have a strong architectural sense
    The Biblical and Midrashic imagination rules the canvas
    There is a Rubin House in Tel Aviv
    The “ingathering of the Jewish people” was one of his main tasks in Rumania
    In this painting, there are immigrants from various parts of the world
    The composition is reminiscent of Leonard’s LAST SUPPER
    Rubin reverted to his “naïve” manner of painting
    This is a ‘document’ of the period of mass immigration following 1948
    There is an Arab in abaya, kaffiya and agal
    This is the traditional Arab garments: cloak, headdress, and headband
    The figure on the left, with hands marked by stigmata, is mysterious
    Is he prophet or messiah?
    Jerusalem’s walled city and a range of mountains are seen through arches
    This composition is reminiscent of Leonardo’s LAST SUPPER
    But this is not a Last Supper, it is a FIRST SEDER
    It is a document of immigration after the declaration of the State of Israel
  • QUARTET IN REHOVOT-Rubin, R., 1951
    Oil on canvas. 23 ½ x 32”
    Collection Mr. And Mrs. Seniel Ostrow, Beverly Hills, CA
    1950-Jascha Heifetz stimulated Rubin to paint musical instruments
    Jascha Heifetz was a personal friend who came to Israel to perform
    In this painting, the dark shapes of the instruments form a pattern
    They are shown in an empty room against a landscape filled with light
    Light permeates the room and the whole paintings breathes brightness
    It is certainly a summer day and the sound of music lingers on
    Rubin returned to this theme many times in the future
  • MUSICAL INTERLUDE-Reuven Rubin, 1969
    Oil on canvas, 25 ½ x 36”
    Collection Mr. And Mrs. Edward E Ginsberg, Cleveland and Caesarea
  • GOLDFISH VENDOR-Rubin, R., 1926
    Oil on canvas, 29 x 24”
    Collection Mr. And Mrs. Harold Ruttenberg, Pittsburgh
    ARAB FISHERMAN, 1928 (previously titled GOLDFISH VENDOR)
    Rubin, Reuven.
    [Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harold J. Ruttenberg to the Jewish Museum, NY]
    This primitive work is typical of Rubin’s joyous vision of the land of Israel
    It also shows the physical vitality of the Arabs.
    Rubin pursued a wide variety of subject matter
    He expressed some of the local folklore and imbued it with mysticism
    His work attempts to capture the spirit of the Orient
    His paintings show the influence of Persian miniature figures
    Naive painting frequently shows the frontality of the figures
    It often has equal apportionment of light across the painting.
    1920s his work was viewed as the Eretz Israel painter PAR EXCELLENCE
    Haym Nachman Bialik wrote
    “Rubin’s Eretz Israel seems to us like a Talmudic legend, the legend of the Land of Israel.”
    His work displayed the confluence of different cultures and people
    Spring 1952: He left Tel Aviv for New York to prepare for exhibitions
    He said he had been a “dollar-a-year” man as a diplomat and wanted to repay debts incurred by this luxury
    In November 1952, his daughter Ariella was born
  • GOLDFISH VENDOR-Reuven Rubin, 1955
    Oil on canvas, 42 x 28”
    Musee National d’Art Moderne, Paris
    Rubin did an earlier version of the same subject in 1926-28
    It is interesting to compare this painting with that of 30 years before
    The 30-year interval wrought great changes in approach and execution
    The position of the subject is almost identical, though reversed
    The initial drawing and application of paint is quite different
    This one is much more stylized and less realistic
    The drawing is much more energetic and the paint more impasto
    Imagination is stronger than naturalism
    Naivete is replaced by a sophisticated differentiated handling
    This ease and grace is the result of concentrated effort and lots of work
    1955: Rubin was back preparing for a retrospect at the Tel Aviv Museum
    This painting was included
    It was later acquired by the Musee National d’Art Moderne in Paris
  • SHEEP SHEARER-Reuven Rubin, 1955
    Oil on canvas, 46 x 35”
    Detroit Institute of Arts
    1953: Two one-man shows in New York at Grace Borgenicht Gallery: Paintings in May; drawings in December
    Acquisition of SHEEP SHEARER by the Museum of Art, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • GALILEAN FISHERMAN-Reuven Rubin, 1961
    Pen and ink, 26 x 20” Drawing for Visages d’Israel, album of twelve lithographs published by Daniel Jacomet
    Paris, 1961
    This image is part of the series Rubin did
    He used the same technical approach
    That is, a fluid linear contour outline with light washes of ink
    Once again we see the haphazard spots which add spontaneity to the image
  • DREAMER-Reuven Rubin, 1960
    Oil on canvas, 63 x 38”
    Collection Einstein Institute, New York
    Gift of Mr. M. L. Friedman
    This dreamer may have a landscape in his mind’s eye
    Or he may be dreaming of the music, which his drum accompanied
    Alfred Werner said:
    “A striking synthesis of architectural strength and luxuriant color”
    He was referred to as “Israel’s greatest living artist”
  • FLUTE PLAYER-Reuven Rubin, 1959
    Oil on canvas 32 x 26”
    Collection Mrs. Heinz Kern, Caracas
    An earlier painting by the same title was acquired by MoMA, NYC
    This strong and vibrant red background repeats the skin color of the flutist
    The use of viridian green increases the power of the red hue
    With no eyeballs, one may imagine the sound of music as if with eyes closed
  • STILL LIFE WITH FRUIT-Reuven Rubin, 1941
    Oil on canvas, 29 x 36”
    Collection Mr. And Mrs. Abraham Feinberg, New York
    This painting was done in New York
    Cherries replaced the pomegranates in which he took such delight
  • STILL LIFE ON A PINK TABLE-Reuven Rubin, 1943
    Oil on canvas. 22 x 34” Collection Ariella Rubin, Tel Aviv
    Between 1940 and 1945, Rubin had six one-man shows in New York
    He also participated in the exhibition “Twentieth-Century Portraits” at MoMA
    Rubin and Esther’s son David was born in 1945
    They returned to Eretz Israel in 1946
  • POMEGRANATES ON MY WINDOW-Reuven Rubin, 1961
    Oil on canvas, 24 x 32”
    Collection Mollie Parnis, New York
    This painting captures one of the oldest Jewish symbols in their new land
    The pomegranate is one of the seven species with which Israel is blessed
    This is from Deuteronomy 8: 7-8
    They are: Wheat, Barley, Vines, Figs, Pomegranates, olive trees, honey
  • THIS IS THE LAND-Reuven Rubin, 1962-64
    Oil on canvas, 571/2 x 38 ½”
    Petit Palais, Geneva
    Once again, we see Rubin’s window sill opening to the trees in the distance
    On the table top are two pomegranates, one cut in half and one intact
    They are the ancient symbol of this land and its abundance
    The pomegranate as symbol comes from a number of Biblical citations
    Exodus 39: 24 cites pomegranates on the hem of the Priests’ robe
    It had bells of pure gold and in between the bells were pomegranates
    These were all around the hem of the robe of the High Priest
  • POMEGRANATES-Reuven Rubin, 1969
  • POPPIES IN THE FIELD-Reuven Rubin, 1965
    Oil on canvas, 29 x 36”
    Collection Mrs. J. Myer Schine, New York
  • BOUQUET WITH MIMOSA-Reuven Rubin, 1958
    Oil on canvas, 40 ½ x 30”
    Collection Mr. And Mrs. Raphael Recanati, New York
    Some of Rubin’s gayest flower paintings were done during the period
    He moved from naturalism to a more symbolic and stylized composition
     This particular one has an ephemeral lightness and fluidity
    The dark and heavy blocks on the bottom contrast with the color at the top
    The repeated shapes of leaves grow lighter as they move higher up
    Mimosa is a unique and diaphanous plant, which seems to disappear in air
  • MIMOSA-Reuven Rubin, 1961
    Oil on canvas. 46 x 35”
    Collection Israel Museum. Jerusalem
    This painting is a fascinating study in the design elements of modernism
    the strong rectangular wooden windows and their panes contrast with
    The airy effusiveness of the mimosa flowerings
    The rigid angular forms play off the curving chair, pitcher and flowers
    The dark colors emphasize solidity
    The light color contrasts and highlights the ethereal quality of the mimosa
  • MIMOSA AND BLACK IRIS-Reuven Ruben, 1961
    Oil on canvas, 40 x 30”
    Collection of Sir Isaac and Lady Wolfson, London and Rehovot
    Rubin also painted a different interpretation of a similar subject
    Here the black iris take prominence against the fluffy mimosa
    The dark curving shapes of the iris repeat the curves of the pitcher
    They contrast with the rectangular shapes on both sides and at the bottom
    These repetitions and contrasts create an atmosphere
  • SUNFLOWERS-Reuven Rubin, 1942
    Oil on canvas, 39 x 29”
    Collection Mr. And Mrs. Leon Gildesgame Mt. Kisco, NY
    A California friend recalled visiting his studio in Los Angeles
    He said that he saw many “glowing flower works”
  • SPRING BOUQUET-Reuven Rubin, 1957
    Oil on canvas. 29 x 24”
    Collection of Sir Isaac and Lady Wolfson, London and Rehovot
    Rubin’s flower paintings are the most immediately enjoyable of his works
    Flowers are often used as a decorative element of varying importance
    Late 1920s: Flowers became a theme in themselves
    Rubin said he always reveled in the color, shape, and perfume of flowers
    He used them as a main subject only after Esther arrived in the country
    He said they would return from outings with bunches of wild flowers
    She arranged them in bowls and vases throughout his home
    Thus, he was always conscious of their beauty
    He delighted in painting poppies, anemones in naturalistic detail
    He also painted the mauve-blues of the iris, the blur of gold of the mimosa, the gamut of yellows and reds of the gerbera daisy and the contrast of the white roses to their deep green leaves.
    Over the years his handling of flower paintings grew freer, with more emphasis on the vibrance of color than on the shape of individual flower
    His flower paintings are a hymn to nature
  • BIRTHDAY BOUQUET-Reuven Rubin, 1963
    Oil on canvas. 40 x 30”
    Collection Mr. And Mrs. Harvey Gilston, Luasanne
    What a gorgeous and everlasting birthday bouquet of flowers to receive!
    Who wouldn’t appreciate such astounding beauty!
    The combination of various flowers in a cut crystal vase is breathtaking
    And to know that it will last forever makes is unique and very special
    Visually, there is a mystery as to the wide and fuzzy black vertical line
    Are we voyeurs looking through a window?
    One could write a wonderful interpretive story based on this image
  • WHITE ROSES-Reuven Rubin, 1964
    Oil on canvas, 44 x 37”
    Collection Claude Geismar, Paris
    This is a quieter painting of flowers
    The roses are dense with heavy foliage
    They do not overpower the composition
    Their curving shapes repeat that of the handle of the pitcher
    Both components contrast with the vertical rectangle on the left
    Is that a window? Or a shutter? Or a cabinet? You decide.
    Rubin’s application of paint is rough and painterly
    There is no question that this image is made of paint
    It is not a photograph!
  • WHITE LILACS-Reuven Rubin, 1962
    Oil on canva. 40 x 29 ½”
    Collection Mr. And Mrs. Louis Regenstein,
    Atlanta, GA
  • AFTER THE STORM-Reuven Rubin, 1965
    Oil on canvas, 36 x 29”
    The Rubin Museum Foundation
  • Rubin painting THE GLORY OF GALILEE, 1965-66
    Oil on Canvas. 75 x 120”
    The Knesset, Jerusalem.
  • THE GLORY OF GALILEE-Reuven Rubin, 1965-66
    Oil on Canvas. 75 x 120”
    The Knesset, Jerusalem.
  • Rubin and his wife, Esther in the garden of their Caesarea home, 1966
  • BOY WITH BOUQUET-Reuven Rubin, 1966
    Oil on canvas, 36 x 25”
    Collection Mr. And Mrs. Jack Resnick, New York
    This painting was shown in his exhibition in Switzerland
  • SIMHAT TORAH-Reuven Rubin, 1967
    Oil on canvas, 32 x 26”
    Collection Mr, and Mrs. Leslie Jackson, London
    From the mid-1960s: Jewish subjects became a preoccupation
    This canvas conveys an ethereal spirituality
    The figures are lightly delineated by white contour lines
    Pigment is applied in a soft, feathery manner
  • CROWNING THE TORAH-Reuven Rubin, 1969
  • PRAYER FOR PEACE-Reuven Rubin, 1967
    Pen and ink, crayon, and gouache, 25 x 20” Collection H. Krongold, Toorak, Victoria, Australia
    This is a sketch, but it captures the hope and prayer for the future
    1964: Tel Aviv, awarded him a prize for a “lifetime’s artistic achievement”
    He had been a leading citizen of the city of Tel Aviv for 40 years
  • PEACE OFFERING-Reuven Rubin, 1967
    Oil on canvas, 36 x 29”
    Collection Mr. And Mrs. Walter Artzt, New York
    This expressive painting came at the end of the Six Day War in 1967
    The father carries a white lamb on his shoulder
    The mother and child are symbolically grouped together
    Rubin made several versions of this, but rarely with such assured serenity.
  • Rubin feeding doves in Caesarea, 1967
  • Rubin working in the Garden in Caesarea, 1967
  • Rubin and his Family in his studio on his 70th Birthday, 1963
    This photograph is of Rubin, his daughter Ariella, Son David and wife Esther
    They are seated beside a Self-Portrait and other works in his studio
  • Reuven rubin2 hc110210

    1. 1. THE ART OF REUVEN RUBIN Part Two Myrna Teck, Ph.D. Independent Scholar 1
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    45. 45. 45 It is said that… the love of art cannot be TAUGHT It can only be CAUGHT !
    46. 46. 46 THE ART OF REUVEN RUBIN (Part two) Contagious to you today! So, I hope I’ve made