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Frenkel (Frenel), Itẓḥak


FRENKEL (Frenel), ITẒḤAK (1898–1981), Israeli painter. Frenkel was born in Ukraine, where he studied at the National Academy. He immigrated to Ereẓ Israel in 1919 but from 1920 to 1925 studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1926 he became director of the Histadrut studio of painting in Tel Aviv. From 1929 to 1934 he was again in Paris, but returned to Ereẓ Israel and settled in Tel Aviv, where he devoted himself to painting stage settings. Frenkel was one of the formative forces of expressionism in painting in Israel. Hepainted the world surrounding him, especially Safed, but also Acre and Jerusalem – their landscapes and their synagogues, Jews at prayer, and typical people of the land. Rejecting unnecessary details and working with paint strokes, he created simple shapes bounded by heavy lines, and there is a spirit of mysticism in his canvases. A museum containing 100 of his works is located in Safed.

[Judith Spitzer]

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