Jan Menses
Kaddish Series on the Holocaust - Shoah
Kaddish Series
Kaddish Prayer
Kaddish Paintings
Kaddish Drawings
Klippoth Series
Klippoth Series
Klippoth Early Works
Klippoth Later Works
Tikkun Series
Tikkun Series
Tikkun Paintings
Diabolica Series
Diabolica Series
Diabolica Etchings
Diabolica Paintings
Color Works Series
Color Works Series
Color Works Paintings
Works of Art by Series
Early Portraits
Early Drawings
Abstract Works
Lithography Series
Shvirat Hakelim Series
Surrealistic Inks Series
Doomed Children Series
The Stages of a Painting 1
The Stages of a Painting 2
Virtual Galleries
Portraits by Orly Yahalom
Holocaust Survivor Ima Nadia
Gallery Under Construction
Bibliography on Jan Menses
Avraham Jan Menses, member of the Royal Canadian Academy, was born 1933 in Rotterdam, Netherlands; he descends from a Marrano family that established a shipbuilding industry in Northern Holland in the sixteenth century.  The horrors of the Nazi occupation he witnessed as a child embedded a sensitivity in his imagination that is evidenced in the painful moral and spiritual issues explored in his art.  After studying etching and lithography at the Rotterdam Art Academy, he served as a Royal Dutch Air Force officer.  After military service, he traveled extensively through Europe and then made his way to Morocco.  There the deep, mystical spirituality of the Jewish community evoked an inner resonance that led to his conversion to Torah-observant Judaism and his marriage to Rachel Kadoch, daughter of the late kabbalist Rabbi Solomon Kadoch.  Abandoning his early colorful, expressionistic style (influenced by the postwar, Northern European Cobra group), Menses embarked on a progression of major cycles of Judaic and kabbalistic inspired work that required the stark and striking cinematographic delineation of black and white.  His years in Morocco witness the early phase of his Judaic art.  In 1960 Avraham and Rachel settled in Montreal where they established their family.  From 1961 to 1962 he executed his first thematic series Diabolica.  From 1963 to 1980 he simultaneously worked on the Kaddish and klippoth seriesIn 1978 he commenced his magnum opus Tikkun series, inspired by the theme of messianic redemption and dedicated to the Lubavitcher Rebbe from whom he received personal blessings.  Menses is exhibited in over eighty major art institutions and museums throughout the world, including the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and the Guggenheim in New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; the Stedetijk and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Boysmans-Van Beuningen Museum in his native Rotterdam.  He has received numerous awards, honorary degrees, and fellowships.  Avraham and Rachel Menses currently divide their time between Jerusalem and Tsfat where he continues working on his Tikkun series.


My works have dealt with death,
the eclipse of faith, the galut.
They are shaped by my childhood experiences,
real and imagined, in Nazi-occupied Europe,
influenced by and rooted in my principles and
standards of conduct as an Orthodox Jew
in the post-holocaust/pre-messianic era.
They are an attempt to translate these experiences
into visual contemporary forms
(imagery conflicts and reconciliations of conflict
in order to ascend from the personal/specific
to the universal/general).
They are a lament, an elegy, a denial and confirmation,
an expression of the attitude of the soul
in its debasement and dignity towards its Creator;
a striving towards serenity in anticipation of the redemption;
a form of prayer.

Avraham Jan Menses

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Bibliographies on the Artist
Publications in English
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