In a new exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the hand of the creator Arieh Sharon plays the leading role
... in the Israeli world of architecture and planning, it’s indisputable that the hand of Arieh Sharon (1900-1984) planned the country – without divine intervention.
Any lingering doubts on that score are definitively refuted by a photograph of the architect in the exhibition “Arieh Sharon: Architect of the State” at the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (curator: Eran Neuman). The image shows Sharon at Haifa’s Technion technology institute, against the backdrop of the university’s Forum complex, which he designed. His chest taut, his gaze direct and penetrating, Sharon’s right arm, fist clenched, is raised high triumphantly. He’s projecting determination, power and unshakable confidence in the bold new world he fashioned with his own hands.
The persona embodied in the photograph is manifestly a visual representation of the notion of “the architect of the state.” It’s also a metaphor for the vast influence Sharon exercised on the national space, and a symbol of the intoxication of power and the hubris of architects.
Sharon’s raised hand is undoubtedly a fitting image for the unimaginably huge scope of his work, even by a world standard. On display in the exhibition are hundreds of projects planned by his firm over a career spanning almost half a century. With various partners, Sharon took part in every form of construction – residences, hospitals, public and government buildings, universities, and above all, upon Israel’s establishment, he was put in charge of its master plan as head of an extensive team of planners and other experts.