More about Suspense


Psychological studies show that when we look at the color yellow, our brains release seratonin, or happy juice. Maybe that's why Suspense gets me so jazzed.

Kadishman made a series of these sculptures, though not all of them are this awesome vibrant yellow. The original was sculpted out of stone and wood in 1964. Since, reproductions of the sculpture have ranged in color and material, and (surprisingly) are not that expensive! Sotheby’s auction house recently sold one of these babies for a shocking $22,500, unfortunately quite a bit below the price they expected it would fetch. Unlike most of art that passes through Sotheby’s, that’s actually affordable. Not sure what that says about Kadishman though. 

Suspense was originally commissioned by the Israel Museum for their sculpture garden, but when they gave the garden a face-lift in 2010, this piece was moved to the reflecting pool at the entrance. Personally, I prefer to see this piece towering above the tranquil pool of water, calmly reflecting a mirror image of it to greet museum goers upon arrival. 

Religious iconography is common in Kadishman’s work, and it is believed that this sculpture is a reference to the biblical story of Abraham, who God told to kill his child. Luckily God has an odd sense of humor in the ol’ Bible. He was just testing Abraham and saved his son from death right in the nick of time. LOL. God, you so funny. But I digress; essentially this sculpture is about the dichotomies of life and death or the earth and the heavens. Kadishman decided to paint this piece yellow so, as he put it, it “would stick out like a tractor in nature”. I would say he definitely achieved his goal. Because of its garishness, some people say that this piece is also a commentary on how humans are interfering with nature. Thanks for dishing out the guilt Kadishman.