Zadok Ben-David: Human Nature launched at the artist’s studio



By Zadok Ben David

With a foreword by Richard Cork

Essays by Felicity Fenner, Yael Guilat, John McDonald and Fumio Nanjo

Published worldwide 18 January 2018 

The first comprehensive monograph of Zadok Ben-David’s work, Human Nature spans twenty years and includes four major installations, plus outdoor works from one of the world’s most respected contemporary sculptors.

Zadok Ben-David’s inspiration derives from nature, science, magic and illusion. From ‘Evolution and Theory’ (1995), where he explores scientific discoveries, to the psychological installation ‘Blackfield’ (2007), with thousands of flowers, and the magical ‘The Other side of Midnight’ (2013), which incorporates hundreds of insects, one of the characteristics of Ben-David’s work is the use of multiplicity as an organizing principle. He creates an alternate amplified viewing space where the relationship between viewer (human) and artwork (nature) is both sacred and destabilizing. The new ongoing installation ‘People I Saw but Never Met’, features thousands of miniatures of people that he has photographed and drawn during his travels, suggesting ways in which we are both isolated yet always close together. Together with outdoor works, completed over a twenty-year period, this new book brings these four installations together for the first time, in all their magical detail.



Zadok Ben-David is an Israeli artist, living in London. He was born in Bayhan, Yemen, in 1949 and immigrated to Israel in the same year. He graduated in advanced sculpture from St. Martin’s School of Art in London and taught at the same institution from 1977-1982. Ben-David is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Grande Biennial Prémio at the XIV Biennale International de Arte de Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal (2007), and the Tel Aviv Museum prize for sculpture (2005). In 1988 he represented Israel at the Venice Biennale; and in 2008, he was commissioned to make a sculpture for the Beijing Olympics. His work is exhibited internationally, most recently in Singapore, Sydney and Los Angeles. Ben-David has participated in art biennales worldwide, including the Venice Biennale, Italy (1988); ‘Wonder’, Singapore Biennale, Singapore (2008); Biennale Cuvée, Austria (2009); and the Busan Biennale, South Korea (2010).  Since 1980, Ben-David has had more than sixty solo exhibitions. His works are held in public and private collections throughout the world. He lives and works in London.



Richard Cork is an art critic, historian, broadcaster and exhibition curator, based in London. He has served as the art critic of the Evening Standard and The Times, and been Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University, and Henry Moore Senior Fellow at the Courtauld Institute. His many books include a ground-breaking study of Vorticism, awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1977; his most recent, Face to Face: Interviews with Artists, was published by Tate in 2015.

Felicity Fenner is Director of UNSW Galleries, Sydney, Australia. She is a founding member of the City of Sydney’s Public Art Advisory Panel and has curated over 30 exhibitions of Australian and international art, including: Once Removed, Australia’s group exhibition at the Venice Biennale (2009); Michael Nyman: CineOpera, Sydney Park Brickworks (2011); and Making Change at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2012). Her most recent book, Running the City, was published in 2017.

Dr Yael Guilat is Head of the Program of Multidisciplinary Studies in the Humanities and the Arts, Faculty of Graduate Studies, Oranim Academic College of Education, Israel. She has a PhD from Tel Aviv University. Her field of research on Israeli art and visual culture includes gender and identities, memory and rituals in public space, and art and crafts in terms of social activism.

John McDonald is art critic for the Sydney Morning Herald. He was Head of Australian Art at the National Gallery of Australia from 1999-2000, and from 2002-04 was director of Newcontemporaries, a non-commercial gallery in Sydney.

Fumio Nanjo is Director of the Mori Art Museum, Japan. He was recently a jury member of the Golden Lion Prize, Venice Biennale (2005), and artistic director of the Singapore Biennale (2006).


    Essay – Felicity Fenner
    Blackfield and Beyond – Fumio Nanjo
    Meet the Beetles – John McDonald
    Troubles in the Urban Space – Yael Guilat

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