Modern and Contemporary Art


  • Menashe Kadishman
  • Scream
  • 1998
  • Corrugated steel
  • Gift of Dov and Rachel Gottesman, 1999 - Tel Aviv Museum of Art Collection

In sharp, painful iron Kadishman closes the circle of terror and fear and brings the idea of the scream to catharsis.

Kadishman continues his development of the sacrifice of Isaac myth, a motif that he worked at great length in his Binding of Isaac series in the 1980s, turning it into a minimalist allegory that takes the shape of an open mouth reflecting the skull of the innocent victim. The motif of the mouth open in a scream long used as a symbol (from the time of ancient Greece) to describe extreme agitation and the loss of rational restraints.

This sculpture follows the “Birth” series of the 1990s, a series centering around the motif of the Great Mother, the archetypal mother, symbol of all mothers and all births. In this series Kadishman portrays the body of the woman, usually without limbs, and focuses on two orifices of the body, the mouth open in a scream, and the womb giving birth.

The tear in the iron wall of the sculpture “Scream” on exhibition in the museum garden, the round shape and the hollow created within intensify the sense of pain, and the distortion of the screaming mouth evoke a sense of strong violence mingled with emotion that echoes both the birth motif as well as the motif of the sacrifice of the son.


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