Arieh Aroch (1908-1974) was born in Kharkov, Russia in 1908, and immigrated to Israel with his parents and sister in 1924. The family settled in Tel Aviv and Aroch began to study at the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem. Between the years 1930 to 1935 he studied architecture at the Technion in Haifa, spent a short period at Joseph Zaritsky’s Studio and a year in Paris, where he studied at the Colarossi Academy under the instruction of Fernand Leger. Further to his very successful artistic career, Aroch joined the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1950 and served as an ambassador in Brazil and in Sweden.
Although numbered among the ‘New Horizons’ artists, Aroch did not practice abstraction, neither in its lyrical nor formal version. From Ecole de Paris expressionism, Aroch moved on to a complex modernistic way of painting while at the same time fostering his own personal technique. He was influenced by Dubuffet and post-Surrealism, and he refined a range of simple images, creating a confluence between them. His compositions were startling, contributing to a fresh view and understanding of culture and reality, and their reflection in art. He brought together images from Jewish tradition, and folklore, and was influenced both by Malevich and American Pop Art. Aroch also emphasized the painter’s role as artist and craftsman. In the pictures Aroch created, he sought after the fortuitous that springs from personal and collective memory. He attempted to take on the role of the innocent child, evolving as it were handwriting without being aware of its elegance. . His prizes include the 1968 Sandberg Prize for an Israeli Artist, Dizengoff Prize, and 1971 Israel Prize. He also exhibited at the 1954 and 1964 Venice Biennale. His works are displayed at the Israel Museum and Tel Aviv Museum.