Jacob Gildor (born in 1948) is an Israeli artist, representative of the Surrealist movement in Israeli art and of the group of "Second Generation" of Holocaust survivors artists. He is a professional art advisor and consultant at Montefiore Auction House, Tel Aviv and MacDougall's Fine Art Auctions, London. Gildor resides, works, and creates in Tel Aviv.
Jacob-Yosef Gildengorin was born in the German town of Feuchtwangen. His parents were Holocaust survivors who met after the war. Both were the sole survivors of their families. In 1948 the Gildengorin family immigrated to Israel after the birth of their first son, Jacob. They initially settled in Tel Aviv and later on moved to Holon. A year later, his brother, Michael, was born. The children were given a secular education and were raised in a house where work and education were of the highest priorities. The parents' horrific past no longer existed, and it was never discussed in the presence of the children. Nevertheless, in the daily routine there were many references to their being second generation Holocaust survivors.
The family moved to the center of Holon and later bought a café in Tel Aviv, "Café Atara". A few years later they invested in a café and bakery on Yefet Street in Jaffa which was considered at that time an area of crime, drugs, and prostitution. It was in this café that Jacob started his drawing and painting career.
In 1962, at the age of 14, Jaffa's colorful characters sitting in his father's café were his inspiration. Jacob completed his high school education at the age of 17 and had one year left before military enrollment. He applied to the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem and was accepted and placed in the second year. However, deciding to take a different route, Jacob chose to start law studies in Tel Aviv University. He continued his studies while serving as a combat paramedic in 669, the IDF's Airborne Rescue and Evacuation Unit. He finished his law studies at 1971 and worked as a lawyer for 14 years in "Ha'Sneh" company.
The turning point arrived at the age of 40 when he retired from his work and decided to devote his time to art. His first solo exhibition of paper work, drawings, and monotypes was held in 1968 in Bet Hachayal in Tel Aviv under the patronage of the IDF's Chief Education Officer.
In 1971 Gildor was invited by the Surrealist artist and teacher Prof. Ernst Fuchs, to Riechenau, a quiet Austrian town in the foothills of the Alps, to learn the master's unique technique in tempera. A close friendship was made between the teacher and student which opened the young artist to the Surrealist movement.
In 1987 Gildor spent a year in Cite des Arts in Paris under an Israeli scholarship.
In 2009, a major comprehensive retrospective exhibition, "Segments of Creation", with Gildor's works throughout four decades, was held in the Museum of Israeli Art in Ramat-Gan, curated by the Museum Director, Meir Aharonson. The exhibition was displayed for six months and accompanied by a three part complete monography.
Gildor is married to Hava Zeilingold. The couple has three sons: Guy (C.E.O. of Persway, a high tech company from Herzliya), Ofer (Gilden's Art Gallery in London) and Boaz (Ph.D in Biology, from Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot).
The "Meshushe" Group
In 1980, Gildor was one of the founders of Meshushe (Hexagon) group. The group's goal was to introduce Surrealist art to the Israel art space that was dominated by the abstract and conceptual art movements at the time. The founding group consisted of Gildor and five other surrealists: Baruch Elron, Yoav Shuali, Arie Lamdan, Asher Rodnitzky, and Rachel Timor. The group held 10 exhibitions all around Israel and although they were warmly accepted and admired by the Israeli audience, they never managed to enter the Israeli Canon of Art critiques.
By being the son of two Holocaust survivors, Gildor belonged to a group frequently called "The Second Generation". The term was coined in the 1980s when children of Holocaust survivors reached the stage of self-awareness and began to shape their identity. Although the "second generation" did not experience the events, the impact can be seen in their work. Gildor began addressing the issue directly in the 1990s, although hints about the subject can also be found in his earlier work. This topic influenced his art work from 1993 and during the subsequent twenty years.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
- 1968 – Drawings, Bet Ha'Chayal, Tel Aviv
- 1968 – Drawing and Monotypes, Central Library, Tel Aviv University.
- 1973 – The Surrealist Portrait, Israel's Gallery, Tel Aviv
- 1975 – Oil paintings, Graphic 3 Art Gallery, Haifa
- 1976 – 31 Oil paintings, Rene Darom Gallery, Tel Aviv
- 1977 – Paintings, Galleri Viktoria, Gotborg, Sweden
- 1978 – Paintings, Shamir Gallery, Tel Aviv
- 1979 – Drawings and Woodcuts, Graphic 3 Art Gallery, Haifa
- 1983 – Woodcuts in Black and White, Artist's House, Jerusalem
- 1983 - Woodcuts – New Album, Tova Osman Gallery, Tel Aviv
- 1984 – Window Exhibition, Kunsthaus Welker, Heidelberg
- 1987 – Oil Works and Works on Paper, Cite International des Arts, Paris.
- 1991 – New Works, RIG Art, Tel Aviv
- 1997 – Paintings from There, Israeli Art Museum, Ramat Gan
- 2004 – Backwords and Forwards, Sara Kishon Art Gallery, Tel Aviv
- 2007 – Etchings and works on paper, Gilden's Art, London
- 2009 – Segments of Creation – Retrospective exhibition, Israeli Art Museum, Ramat Gan
- 2013 – Targets, Montefiore Auction House and Gallery, Tel Aviv
- 2014 – Collages, Gilden's Art, London
Selected Group Shows
- 1968 – Art Week, Tel Aviv
- 1972 – Autom Show, Mabat Gallery, Tel Aviv
- 1980-1986 – 10 group exhibition of the Meshushe Group
- 1982 – The 6th Bianalle, Modern Art Museum, Haifa
- 1985 – The Bianalle of young artists, New Art Museum, Haifa
- 1986 – 5 Artists, City Gallery, Ramat Gan
- 1986 – Woodcut in Israel, Jerusalem
- 1992 – Hommage at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Artist's House, Jerusalem
- 1997 – 50 Blue and White, Art Hall, Holon
- 2003 – Fruits in Israeli Art, Bar David Museum, Baram
- 2004 – Meshushe Group, Sara Kishn Gallery, Tel Aviv
- 2008 - Layers of Memory, Artist's House, Tel Aviv
- 2009 – 30 years to the Tova Osman Gallery
- Gazit, 385-390, L"G, pp. 47–48, 1976
- Rachel Angel, Meshushe against Tel Chai, Maariv, 20.9.1981
- Gideon Ofrat, Between Woe and Womb, Museum Catalog, Ramat Gan, 1995
- Gideon Ofrat, Jacob Gildor – Exhibition II, Studio Magazin, 1.9.1996
- Jacob Gildor – A monography in three parts, Israeli Art Museum, Ramat Gan with contributuin of Gilden's Art, London, 2009
- Eli Armon Azulay, Jacob Gildor's Studio Visit, Achbar Ha'ir, 25 December 2009