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 Samuel Alhadef  (1895 - 1978)

About: Samuel Alhadef


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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: abstraction, figure, pattern, symbol

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Salomon Rhodes is primarily known as Samuel Alhadef

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Samuel Aalhadef-Soloman Rhodes
An example of work by Salomon Rhodes
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Belle Maison LLC:
The following is by Carol Malt, Ph.D.

Pattern and symbolism played a major role in the artistic production of Samuel Alhadef. His paintings have patterns that seem to reflect a sophisticated and orderly mind. His symbolism developed through interaction and participation with the avant-garde artists he met in Paris and the United States during the 1930's and 1940's.

He was a fortunate participant in these fertile pre-World War II years of artistic explosion in Europe. For an entire year, in 1931, his stature as a professor, his small but reliable monetary stipend, his interest in French culture and art and his quest for an understanding of a philosophical "Cult of Beauty" helped open the doors of the Academies, and the artists of Paris to him.

He was a romantic Fauve who was influenced by Henri Matisse, Albert Marquet, Henri Manguin, Gustave Moreau, Charles Camoin, Jules Flandrin, Jean Puy, Raul Dufy, Kees van Dongen, Othon Friesz, Andre Derain, Jean Cocteau, Maurice de Vlaminck, Eugene Carriere, Georges Rouault, Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris.

Alhadef's early paintings reflect characteristics of artistic naivete: An interest without technical knowledge; the careful outline of objects; a smooth paint surface; blended tones, shades and colors; fascination with detail, even when not appropriate; stiff simple forms; skewed perspective; improper proportions and honest naive directness.

Then, with time, his paintings became less structured, less formal, more colorful and patterned, with new freedom and understanding of perspective and played with it in unexpected ways, making quilts of juxtaposed images, pairing objects without regard to the laws of gravity or color spectrum.

He was born SAMUEL ALHADEF on the Island of Rhodes in 1895. When he was only four years old, his father died. After his early success in School, he studied in France and Greece, but his mother died in 1907, and he emigrated to the United States.

In 1913 he arrived in New York City aboard the La Savoie. It was at this time that his name was changed from ALHADEF to RHODES, identifying the island of his birth.

In 1916 he was accepted at Cornell University, and in 1925 he obtained the Ph.D. He taught at City College and exhibited his work at Hertzel Institute in Park Avenue, New York. He died in 1978.

Today, his works have been selected for exhibition and reproduction. They reflect the decorative colorful structure, charm and talent of this mid-century romantic, who expressed his "cult of beauty" elegantly on canvas. His concern was always the human condition. The figure became an important subject for him, and his model, when he needed one, was his wife, Lillian.

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