museum shalom kelner

Shalom Kelner


shalom kelner1


Life Events

I was born in Poland on 11.11.1937.

During WW II after the Nazi invasion of Poland my family fled to Russia. We survived the war years enduring famine and cold in the labor camps of Siberia settling finally in Dzhambul, Kazakhstan and returned to Poland in January 1946, after the war was over. At that time my father’s health was completely devastated due to the harsh working condition in the labor camps.

Our home town in Poland was obliterated; nothing remained of the Jewish homes and community. We settled in Lodz, where for three years I attended the Jewish elementary school in the mornings and took art lessons at Alexander Bogin’s studio in the afternoons.

On 1950 my family dreams materialized as we immigrated to Israel. We were placed in a Ma’abara, an immigrants’ temporary camp/lodging. After five years in a canvas hut we obtained a two room apartment. I remember fondly those years.

My father passed away at the age of 47 during my military service in the I.D.F.

On 1967 I graduated with a degree in architecture from California State Polytechnic University. While a fifth year student I was assigned by a nearby Jewish community to design and supervise the construction of their new Temple where I also created several sculptural art pieces. I returned to Israel in 1968. On 1980 I obtained a Masters degree in architecture and town planning from the Technion, Haifa.

Since 1977 I have my own architecture firm. Parallel to my architecture practice I have always had my art studio at home and during the last ten years I dedicate all my time and energy to my art.

The major idea that dictates my artistic work is twofold: it must possess considerable esthetic quality coupled with expression of meaning and content.

My primary subjects deal with Jewish history and Jewish heritage, the Diaspora and the establishing of the Jewish State.

The Hebrew alphabet is prominent in my work. The geometrical structure of the Hebrew letters provides me with infinite inspiration and challenge in its three dimensional interpretation. This challenge is compounded in more complex works when drawn from historical and Biblical themes.

I also find interest in subjects such as the parts of the human body, animals, birds and abstracts as well.

My preferred material is wood. To me it expresses friendliness, warmth and qualities that fit my aspirations and personality. Some types of wood have interesting grain structure which contributes and participates in the shaping of the sculpture. Glass, steel, led lights and stone are incorporated in some works.

Casting a part of my works in bronze or other metals allows a deeper insight.

A verbal description and background, in English and occasionally in Hebrew, is added to certain themes of my works when it is essential to convey their meaning.

I have exhibited my work in solo and group art shows in Israel and abroad.

Although my adult life was occupied by architectural practice, my longing was for sculpture. This yearning occasionally manifested itself in my architectural work by incorporating artwork in buildings I have designed. It was not until the last ten years that I was able to devote all my activities in creating sculpture. Finally, I have reached the place where I always wanted to be. I believe to have created a decent body of work in my architectural practice, but nothing like sculpture enables me to bring forth my deepest emotions, feelings, longings, childhood. My sculptures are me.

The Prophet Ezekiel
Eve and the Serpent
The Trio
The Leader
Letter Fei
Those who Kept Silent
those who keep silent
I Gave Peace Unto the Land
Hebrew letter Giml
The Three Angels
Dvorah the Prophetes
The wrestlers