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Sasson Soffer. Midmien. Europos Parkas
A gigantic sculpture by Sasson Soffer in Europos Parkas
On July 30th this year a gigantic sculpture Midmien by famous artist Sasson Soffer (1925–2009) will be introduced in Europos Parkas, the museum of the centre of Europe located near Vilnius.
The gifted painter and sculptor was born in Baghdad (Iraq), yet received recognition in the USA. His first drawing lessons were given by his father at his studio, and later on, as the conflict between the Arabs and Israel intensified, he retreated to Iran, and later moved to the USA. In 1950–1954, Soffer studied arts in New York, Brooklyn College under Ad Reinhardt, Burgoine Diller and Mark Rothko. The latter became his lifelong friend and mentor, who supported Soffer throughout his career.
Soffer’s creative works were inspired by the works of Paul Klee and Joan Miro. In 1958 he held his first personal exhibition in New York, and in 1962 he was introduced in the magazine Art in America as a new talent. In 1963 Soffer began creating three-dimensional works of art and became widely known as an artist of public spaces, creating conceptual and abstract sculptures. A little later the artist started using pipes of stainless steel and glass for his three-dimensional projects.
The artist held many exhibitions in the USA, while at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Albright–Knox Art Gallery, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and other public spaces his works became a part of permanent expositions. The last five exhibitions during his lifetime were held at the Grandstreet gallery in New York.
In 1998 the Sasson Soffer Foundation was established. In 2006 the foundation provided the city of East Hampton (New York) with 5 acres of land for the park of Soffer’s sculptures.
The Sasson Soffer Foundation gave the museum of Europos Parkas the sculpture Midmien, created at the beginning of the 1970s, as a gift. The sight-worthy sculpture of stainless steel incorporates music and visual arts, it is also a very typical work of the artist, the “visit card” of his works. The museum of Europos Parkas is especially grateful to the Sasson Soffer Foundation in the person of his wife Stella Sands, and the initiator of the idea and organiser artist Brigita Krasauskaitė, who worked at the foundation, for an enormous contribution to the permanent exposition of Europos Parkas.
Gintaras Karosas, the founder and creator of Europos Parkas, says: "The work of Sasson Soffer in Europos Parkas is a sculpture of real modern art, which is rarely met nowadays. We are glad that from now on the visitors of Europos Parkas will have a chance to admire a magnificent expressionistic, virtuously implemented work of a talented artist, gigantic, yet not disturbing the natural environment".
Europos Parkas is the first museum of non-governmental organisation in Lithuania. The artistic landscape, covering 55 hectares, has over 100 sculptures created by the artists from all over the world, including the works by the most prominent authors of modern and contemporary art. The activity of Public Institution Europos Parkas has been recognised as an important cultural project on national level.
For more information about the artist www.soffer.org
Europos Parkas, phone +370 5 2377077,