Leon Bronstein


(b. 1951, Russian)


 


Leon Bronstein’s work is intimate, elegant and graceful. A sculptor of remarkable talent, he explores the power and beauty of relationships, magically transforming the human figure into fluid shapes. Bronstein’s passion for art will never lose its vigor. 1980 was for him a new beginning: finding a new path in life – transforming from technician to talented sculptor. Expanding his artistry from carving wood to casting bronze, his determination to express freedom fuels his creative power. The whole of his development as a sculptor is an attempt to understand and realize more completely what form and shape are about, and to react to form in life.


As with the work of Henry Moore (the most prominent British sculptor of the 20th century) the most important and lasting influence on Bronstein’s work is the world of nature.


Inspired by his love of nature Bronstein developed a unique style characterized by a mix of fantasy and reality. From the undulating curves of a wave to the triumphant reach of growing trees, the elegance of nature gave birth to his creative ideas. “I do not want to copy nature. I do not want to reproduce. I want to produce.” For Bronstein sculpture presupposes invention, not imitation; sculpture begins where material touches space. “Anything that is done now immediately belongs to the past.”


Rising early every day, he works in his studio for ten to twelve hours. He is involved in every step of the process from the creative beginnings to the technical completion, believing that human touches are essential to each piece, giving them the breath of life.


Bronstein has led a life of adventure and transformation that has taken him from the country of his birth in Moldavia to the land of Israel. An engineer and watchmaker by training, Bronstein’s active imagination ripened and evolved as he sought freedom with his family away from the constraint of the familiar culture of his birth.


As a child Bronstein had molded clay and worked with wood. In 1980, having emigrated to freedom with his family, he found himself out of work and unable to get a job as an engineer or watchmaker. At a woodshop near the city of Caesarea, he was attracted to the beautiful grain of olive wood and there picked up a piece and fashioned a small figure. The little sculpture had such immediate appeal to the shopkeeper that Bronstein's future course was clear. In the early part of his artistic career, Bronstein made about one thousand sculptures in olive wood. Through devoting himself to these sculptures he gained an intimate sensitivity to natural forms, but after some years he felt he had come to an endpoint both intellectually and spiritually. In time he turned primarily to bronze.


He turned to bronze to broaden his artistic skills and challenge his way of thinking, as the medium calls for the artist to conceptualize a composition from scratch and set in motion a plan to realize it. To this day, however, Bronstein's sculptures exhibit the graceful flow of line and mass that one finds in nature, and it is this that gives his works such immediate and enduring appeal.


Though Bronstein's semi-abstract sculptures are notably "modern" in style, they have warmth that modernist works often lack. Part of this comes from his choice and treatment of subject. But it also comes from his approach to form. He frequently utilizes the idea of piercing matter to reveal the surrounding space, and the resulting interaction between volumes and voids in attenuated, curvilinear shapes creates a marvelous, all-embracing dance of energies. Even where his forms have monumentality, there is a sense of constant movement and inner livingness. Bronstein's art speaks of the eternal as it expresses itself in the cyclic, ever-regenerative forces of love, companionship, and harmony. Bronstein's works are in corporate and private collections all around the world, from Argentina to South Africa, Italy, and Japan.