Kadishman Lies in State, Near Painting of Giraffe

'Sometimes in life you have to bend to smell a flower,' read caption under painting of giraffe with a blue flower, in Tel Aviv Museum ceremony.

Dudu Bachar

The coffin of artist Menashe Kadishman, who died Friday at 82, lay in state Sunday at the Tel Aviv Museum, next to one of his paintings – a yellow giraffe bending to smell a blue flower – with the caption, “Sometimes in life you have to bend to smell a flower.”

Alongside his monumental works, this simple message was typical of Kadishman, those close to him say; he was a man of endless generosity. Those coming to pay their respects included artists, public figures, and longtime residents of Tel Aviv, including Mayor Ron Huldai, Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni, sculptors Micha Ullman and Danny Karavan, actors Chaim Topol and Yankele Ben-Sira, and poet Natan Zach.

President Reuven Rivlin came to lay a wreath, saying, “He was a man with the biggest heart, who loved people and loved life. He will not be forgotten because he was a great artist, but in the hearts of those who loved him the loss is too great to bear.”

Marc Scheps, the former director of the Tel Aviv Museum who curated Kadishman’s first large exhibition at the museum in the 1980s, said Kadishman knew how to be local and international at the same time. “He was a unique figure on our landscape. He was a man of this place, but not provincial. And he was a friend. He was more than a friend, he was like a brother.”

Added Prof. Dan Miron, a close friend: “You made even the saltiest among us a little bit sweeter.”

Kadishman was buried in the Kiryat Shaul cemetery. The funeral was attended by former President Shimon Peres.