Ya'akov Boussidan

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Ya'akov Boussidan

born 1939

b. 1939 in Port Said, Egypt. Studied at Goldsmiths College (1970). Designed sets and costumes for the Ballet "Phases" (1972).

Ya’akov Boussidan was born in Port Said, Egypt, a melting-pot of cultures and languages. When he was ten, he immigrated with his parents to Israel and was educated in Youth Aliyah, an immigrant youth framework at Kibbutz Givat-Chayim. His artistic talent was discovered by Prof. Reuven Feuerstein, the former chief psychologist of Youth Aliyah and winner of the Israel Prize for Education. Their close friendship continues to this day.

Boussidan’s artistic training in Israel began under the guidance of Prof. Joseph Schwartzmann of the Germanic school and a distinguished student of Kathe Kolwitz. Boussidan studied sculpture and ceramics with Rudi Lehmann and Hedwig Grossman and received important exposure to the modern and abstract streams from Shlomo Vitkin. With the encouragement of Prof. Willem Sandberg (former head of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and one of the founders of the Israel Museum), the twenty-seven-year-old Boussidan won the Rothschild Foundation Scholarship. This enabled him to continue his academic studies at Goldsmith College in London, where he graduated with distinction for his abstract version of Song of Songs. This print also won an award at the Biennale for Prints in Monte Carlo.

In London, Boussidan became acquainted with luminaries in the art world, including Alix De-Rothschild, Yoko Ono, artists Peter De Francia, Paul Drury and Sam Maitin, sculptor Claes Oldenberg, as well as with writer Alan Sillitoe and his wife, the poet Ruth Fainlight, a close friend of Sylvia Plath. His longstanding friendship with artists such as Agathe Sorel, a fine sculptor and a dedicated printmaker, has a clear impact on his approach to modern printmaking. In addition, the Israeli Cultural Attaché in London at the time, Benjamin Tammuz, became a close friend and used Boussidan as the inspiration for the book Bottle Parables. The noted collector Georges Bloch acted as one of Boussidan’s patrons. In addition, Boussidan’s achievements have been credited by the manuscript researcher, Dr. Leila Avrin, who has written about his work in several sources, including the Encyclopaedia Judaica. Dr. Bat Sheva Ida Goldman, Curator at the Tel Aviv Museum, is currently writing a consequential essay on Boussidans’ Haggadah, and has also interviewed Prof Reuven Feuerstein with his interpretation on this opus magnum
Boussidan has been awarded the Jesselson Prize of Judaica from the Israel Museum in 1990. His celebrated artist book “Jerusalem – Names in Praise”, has been launched at the Israel Musuem in 2006 and at the British Parliament in London in 2007, hosted by MP Louise Ellman
Ya’akov Boussidan has been a visiting lecturer at several colleges in England. In his studio, Boussidan teaches art as a métier, in order to develop his students’ potential skills, based on the school of Prof. Schwartzmann.

After many years in London he has recently moved to Tsur Hadassah, Israel.