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ALEX LEVI (1933-1966)
Born Aleksandar Levi, on March 14, 1933 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
Nicknamed “Bata”, Alex Levi was born into a family of great wealth. His grandfather was the first Balkan to importer of American cars and farm vehicles etc…and his father, Rajko Levi studied art in Paris during the late 1930s.
An extremely quiet child, Batas talent/affinity for art was evident at a very early. His talent was encouraged by his entire family and at age 6 he was already using drawings and watercolor paintings as a means of communication. By age 7 he began illustrating everything that was happening around him, often in comic book style strips with captions.
In 1941, at the age of 8, the Germans began bombing his hometown of Belgrade. He fled the city with his grandmother & brother and lived in the Italian Alps until they were captured and sent to a concentration camp in Calabria, Italy. Levi remained in the camp until American forces advanced on area and camp was abandoned. At this time, he was separated from his brother & moved to a communal farm in Israel in 1944 with his grandmother. Around age 20, Alex obtained a scholarship from the Italian government to study the art of fresco. After completing his studies, he returned to Israel and combined his newly learned skill of fresco with his own style of modern abstract art. He quickly gained attention from the local art community and was given a job by the Haifa municipality as the official decorator and mural painter of public municipal buildings. As a result of this work he was able to make a living on his own and became prominent in the art colony throughout Israel.
As a resident of Israel, Alex was also required to serve as a soldier and was called to duty for several short wars during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1965, war was declared in the South Border and Alex reported to his unit. The war lasted only 6 days, however, Alex did not return home. He was first declared missing in action, but later the military reported that he had been paid and discharged after the war. His whereabouts remained unknown until a year later when an American Archeologist discovered his remains in a deep cave near the Red Sea. To this day, his death remains a mystery. Alex Levi was 33 years old.
STUDIED: 1955-1956 Scuola delle Arti Ornamentali & Academia Belle Arti. Rome, Italy. Also with Italian Fresco Master, Professor Ciotti.
1945-1959: Community Decorator for Theatrical & Festival Performers. 1951-1954: Art Section—Instructor, Israeli Army, Education Dept. 1956-1958: Art Instructor, Kibbutz Highschools. Commissioned mural painter of public municipal buildings. 1958-1961: Full-Time Artist in Israel. 1960, One-Man Show in Tel Aviv.
EXHIBITS: One-Man Show, Katz Gallery, 1960; One-Man Show, Tel Aviv, 1962; General Annual Exhibition Israeli Painters and Sculptors Association, 1966; Haifi Museum of Modern Art, 1972.
WORKS HELD: Haifa Museum of Modern Art, Israel.