The first retrospective of the work of Israel Prize laureate in Architecture Alfred (Al) Mansfeld will be on display in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art next spring. It will be the first exhibition of the David Azrieli Israeli Architecture Archive, which was established in the museum about a year and a half ago.
Mansfeld (1912-2004) was one of the leading designers working in Israel. He was famous for designing the Israel Museum in Jerusalem (together with Dora Gad), but also designed hundreds of projects of various types, from Zim passenger liners to cultural halls and kibbutz dining halls, as well as residential and public buildings. As a lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology he taught generations of Israeli architects. He was also a member of the French Architecture Academy in Paris and the Academy of Arts in Berlin.
The Mansfeld exhibition will open the museum's architecture archive's first series of exhibitions. The archive's head, Dr. Eran Neuman, who will also curate the exhibition, says that the exhibition will celebrate Mansfeld's 100th birthday and will be based on his private archive, which was donated to the museum by his family.
"Mansfeld was an interesting, multifaceted man," says Neuman. "He studied in Germany and afterward worked under the famous French modernist Auguste Perret in Paris. He later worked independently and as a partner of architect Munio Gitai-Weinraub. In each chapter of his life he created an impressive body of work."
The exhibition will also include the later chapters of Mansfeld's work and his involvement in structuralist theories, a field that has been researched in recent years by Dr. Neuman.
The exhibition will feature many materials from Mansfeld's archive, including sketches, plans, documents and original models. At the same time new models will be constructed especially for the exhibition and interviews with professionals who worked alongside him will be filmed.
"Architectural exhibitions tend to be uncommunicative for the general public. Mansfeld's advantage was that he had amazing talent and he left behind a large amount of material," says Neuman.
As of now it is not clear whether the exhibition will be displayed in the special architecture gallery. In the past year the dimensions of the gallery and its suitability for architectural content have been criticized. For that reason the exhibition may be displayed in a different gallery.
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