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Shalom Sebba: As a Matter of Fact

This extensive retrospective is dedicated to the multidisciplinary oeuvre of the Israeli-German artist Shalom (Siegfried) Sebba. Sebba’s biography echoes the national history: He was an active artist, portraitist, and stage designer in 1920s Berlin, who had to escape Germany in 1933 after the Nazi rise to power, worked for a brief period in Switzerland and Sweden, and in 1936 came to Pre-State Israel.

The exhibition follows the timeline and unfolds the paths of Sebba’s life and unique art practice. Each work of art tells a story, from interwar Germany, through his early years in Pre-State Israel, to his return to Germany later in life. Sebba was one of those rare artists who find their passion and fulfillment in the creative process, rather than in basking in the warmth of public accolades.

While he is known in Israel predominantly as a painter, Sebba’s art was multifaceted and informed by his comprehensive knowledge and insightful familiarity with art and theater theory. His uncompromising body of work embraces many disciplines and diverse techniques: Among other things, he created prints and decorative copperware, collaborated with architects on monumental public wall art, and had an international reputation as an innovative stage designer.

After years of versatile work and three solo exhibitions at the Tel Aviv Museum (1945, 1955, 1961), Sebba, who never belonged to any local artistic movement or group, found himself overshadowed by the lyrical abstraction trend that was prevalent in Israeli art at that time. In 1967, three decades after his arrival in Israel, at the age of seventy Sebba returned to Germany, where he continued making art until his death in 1975.

The catalogue was made possible thanks to the generous support of Daniela and Yossi Lipschitz. Additional support was received from the Nata Dushnitsky-Kaplan Foundation, Ann and Dr. Ari Rosenblatt, Itamar Pikielny, Amon Yariv and Yaacov Kestenbaum
Special Thanks to Dr. Galia Bar Or, catalogue editor.
David Pikielny, Itamar Pikielny, Yossi Lipschitz and Dr. Doron Luria

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