Barren hills. Thorn and briar. Rocky ground strewn with clay stones of fantastic shapes as if each had come from Henry Moore’s studio—these are the Mountains of Menashe.
To these hills, and to a group of young people from Latin America, who had just established their Kibutz, Ramot Menashe, Leo Flatau Came in 1949. Leo was born in Santiago, Chile. Before immigrating to Israel, he studied painting for a while in his hometown, with Gregorio de La Fuente, and then in Israel, with Mrcel Janco and Zvi Mairovitch.
How to classify such work?” For it is, simply and exclusively, “Leo”. The artist, in every work of his, travels back and for the between two worlds that are, in the end, very homogeneous and very personal.
The “fantastic” perception comes into play into play in his ceramic sculptures. Leo’s ability to see the empty space inside and around the sculpture is highly developed and results in solutions of great strength and perceptible expression. The torn and broken rocks widespread in the Mountains of Menasha—perhaps they are echoed in these sculptures.
Leo Flatau is an artist blessed with rare, multifaceted talent. There is no public building in his kibbutz without a monumental or ornamental work of his. He experiences intensely all that within his house, his society and his kibbutz, and finds for them all a playful portrayal in many hundreds of creative works. From time to time, Leo also turns his hand to set design for the stage, with that same flight of fruitful imagination that characterizes the entire opus of his work.