1902, Tarnow, Galicia – 1975, Ein Hod, Israel
Moshe Mokady (Brandstatter) was born in 1902 in Tarnow, one of the ancient cities of Galicia, South of Poland. When he was 12 he and his family moved to Vienna where he studied painting with the renowned painter Lazar Krestin. Later he studied music and piano in Zurich and in 1920 came on Aliyah with his family to Haifa. Mokady continued his art studies in Vienna (1922-23), lived in Paris from 1927-1933 and returned to Israel living in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Moshe Mokady co-directed a school for drawing and painting in Jerusalem between 1933-35 and in 1949 became the Director of the Art Department of the Ministry of Education and Culture. He was the first Director of the Avni Institute of Painting and Sculpture in Tel Aviv (1952-1965) and was active in the founding of the artists village of Ein Hod where he moved to in 1965 and lived there until his death in 1975.
From 1934-1958 Mokady worked as a stage designer for the Habimah theatre, HaOhel and the Cameri. He received the Dizengoff Prize for painting in 1937, 1942, and in 1951. Mokady had 38 One-Artist Exhibitions and participated in numerous group shows in Israel and abroad. In 1952 he was one of the three Israeli painters that represented Israel in the Venice Biennale and then again in 1958. His works are found in numerous collections all over the world. In 1999 a retrospective of his works was held in the Museum of Art, Tel Aviv curated by Yonah Fisher accompanied by a two volume monograph.
The art critic and Director of the Tel Aviv Museum, Eugen Kolb wrote of Moshe Mokady “he has achieved a standing of his own without belonging to a certain group, building his coded world of dreams ruled only by laws of emotion and fantasy. The physical reality becomes more distant as the years pass.”