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The Strangled Tree

From the time of his first solo exhibition in New York City in the mid-1930s to the end of his life, Ben-Zion produced a body of work, including paintings, prints, and sculpture, that relied on metaphorical and biblical representations executed in a highly expressionistic style. Utilizing rich color, painterly surfaces, and exaggeration or distortion to delineate and describe his subjects, Ben-Zion garnered much critical mention in his early career, when he exhibited as a member of the group of Expressionist painters known as The Ten.

The Strangled Tree features no human figures and instead focuses on the landscape as altered by mechanisms or systems gone awry. The telephone poles at right seem to have unleashed their serpentine cables and wires in a direct attack on what was once a living tree and now seems fated to join the ranks of dead wood constructs.

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