Spotlight: How Israeli Artist Gadi Fraiman, Once a Farmer, Found Expressive Freedom in Sculpting

For many years, Fraiman sculpted in the evenings after long days working in a vineyard.

Courtesy of Gadi Fraiman.
Courtesy of Gadi Fraiman.

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About the Artist: The artist Gadi Fraiman spent much of his life as a farmer working in the foothills of Jerusalem. Born in Poland to Holocaust survivors, he came to Israel with his family at eight years old. As a child, Fraiman has said, he turned to art as a form of daydreaming, drawing scenes from his imagination, to escape the inherited trauma of his family’s experience. Of meager financial means, in his early 20s, Fraiman began working as a farmer at Kibbutz Mishmar David, a collective commune, learning patience and reverence for nature. Despite his knack for farming, Fraiman desired a more expressive outlet and after finding rusty tools in a warehouse on the Kibbutz, Fraiman began to sculpt stones in the evenings and in his free time. This continued for years, with the artist developing his knowledge and expanding his skills to lost wax casting, until, at the age of 40, Fraiman committed himself entirely to his art. Now in his 60s, Fraiman is still busy making his lyrical artworks, and recently began a “Masks” series that hints and the history of the stage. 

Courtesy of Gadi Fraiman.

Courtesy of Gadi Fraiman.

Why We Like It: Fraiman’s works are lyrical and often dance-like compositions. The artist has described his process as a kind of intuitive choreography between himself and his materials. Some of the physical awareness he says he learned in his years laboring on the farm, with his body developing strength, stamina, and awareness. Fraiman’s sculptures are energetic and elegant; sprite-like men and women embrace and dance with a fluidness of form. Shapes shift into a continuous and flowing harmony that reflects the artist’s unity with his materials. 

Courtesy of Gadi Fraiman.

Courtesy of Gadi Fraiman.

According to the Artist:  “The good ideas are born in sporadic bursts when you have a burning desire to let something out. It’s something internal you have no control over. It’s not something that I can just give up tomorrow, it can’t happen.”

 

Gadi Fraiman
Dating Battle
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Gadi Fraiman, Dating Battle. Courtesy of Gadi Fraiman Art, Tel Aviv.

Gadi Fraiman, Dating Battle. Courtesy of Gadi Fraiman Art, Tel Aviv.

 

 

Gadi Fraiman
Angel
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Gadi Fraiman, Games of Masks. Courtesy of Gadi Fraiman Art, Tel Aviv.

Gadi Fraiman, Games of Masks. Courtesy of Gadi Fraiman Art, Tel Aviv.

 

Gadi Fraiman
Games of Masks
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Gadi Fraiman, Games of Masks. Courtesy of Gadi Fraiman Art, Tel Aviv.

Gadi Fraiman, Games of Masks. Courtesy of Gadi Fraiman Art, Tel Aviv.

 

Gadi Fraiman
The Butterfly Effect
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Gadi Fraiman, The Butterfly Effect. Courtesy of Gadi Fraiman Art, Tel Aviv.

Gadi Fraiman, The Butterfly Effect. Courtesy of Gadi Fraiman Art, Tel Aviv.


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