Zigi Ben-Haim

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Zigi Ben-Haim
Zigi Portrait 2.jpg
Zigi Ben-Haim (1980)
Born 1945 (1945)
Baghdad, Iraq
Nationality American
Known for sculptor painter

Zigi Ben-Haim (born 1945 in Baghdad, Iraq) is an American-Israeli sculptor and painter who lives and works in New York City and Israel. [1]

Early life[edit]

Zigi Ben-Haim was born in Bagdad, Iraq. At the age of five his family fled the country to Israel via Iran. Zigi spent most of his adolescence in Tel-Aviv and studied at The Avni Institute of Fine Arts from 1966 to 1970. After he moved to the United States, he enrolled in the California College of Arts & Crafts in 1971 and received M.A. from J.F.K. University in 1973 and M.F.A from the San Francisco State University in 1974. In 1975 he became a U.S. citizen, and has been living and working in lower Manhattan, SoHo, ever since.


In the early 1970s, Zigi used discarded newsprints and industrial paper, which he found on the streets of SoHo to construct his formations in paper, 3-dimensional paintings, collages and sculptures. Many of these works are in collections of museums around the world. In the early 1990s, the industrial aluminum material replaced the found paper. He has been creating paintings, 3 dimensional installations, indoor and outdoor sculptures until today. From time to time, he finds himself experimenting with other materials like concrete, film, ropes, burlap to make his conceptual point- creating footprints of culture and nature as they collide and coincide to form a new experience.

Awards and grants[edit]

Zigi received many awards and grants from institutions including Pollock-Krasner Foundation, National Endowments for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, The German Academic Exchange Service(DAAD), Emily Harvy Foundation Venice, Muestra Int. de Obra Grafica (Spain), and the Ministry of Culture in Insrael. His works are included and exhibited in numerous public and private collections around the world, including the Guggenheim Museum in N.Y.C., the Jewish Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Israel Museum, and the Tel-Aviv Museum.

Current projects[edit]

PoeTree Tel-Aviv, Israel
PoeTree - Sample Stone Bench
PoeTree – Brown (left) and PoeTree – Longfellow (right)

PoeTree is a series of individually commissioned sculptures intended to be ‘planted’ in various locations around the globe. Each PoeTree is fabricated in painted aluminum shaped as a tree, attached to a stone bench with metal stationary wheels. Four PoeTrees are already in place; two in Valbonne, France on a private estate, the third at the Heart Center of Sheba Medical Center in Israel, and the fourth in the Neeman Gardens in Tel-Aviv, Israel. A poem is carved into each bench. Each installed in its own unique environment, these trees take root in the changing culture and nature of their surroundings. The owner or the commissioner of the sculpture chooses the poem, decides on the color of the upper part of the ‘tree,’ as well as the type of stone from which the bench will be created. In most cases, the stone is native to the country where it is planted.

Treasure the Green, New York

On August 9th, 2017, Ben-Haim unveiled his sculpture, Treasure the Green, in SoHo on Broadway. The project was sponsored by the SoHo Broadway Initiative and the New York Department of Transportation's Art Program. The sculpture is considered to be the first sculpture to receive permission to be installed on a bus bulb on Broadway. The sculpture was made to "emphasize the importance of nature in our lives," and stands as a reminder of "the importance of reconnecting with the pure nature of the green." The sculpture uses the symbol of the leaf, which has been a major icon of Ben-Haim's work for the past 30 years. It symbolizes nature and it is a metaphoric way of emphasizing nature and the surrounding environment.

Selected public collections[edit]

Splendid Step (2003) next to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 5, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2011. 

External links[edit]