The Softness of Iron: Welded Sculpture by Orna Ben-Ami

“Orna Ben-Ami makes her art with a welder’s torch, bringing a feminine touch to metalworking. She turns hot iron into what appears to be soft fabric: a ballet slipper, a child’s pinafore, a pillow still bearing the imprint of a head.”

– Dianne Whitacre, Charlotte Observer

“Such an exceptional capacity to transform metal into something else proves an apt visual metaphor for Ben-Ami’s project. Just as we use fantasy to escape the less tolerable clutches of reality, so Ben-Ami imbues her material with the power of transmutation.”

– Jessica Dawson, The Washington Post

The Softness of Iron: Welded Sculpture by Orna Ben-Ami is a stunning exhibition of 28 iron sculptures from the world-renowned Israeli artist Orna Ben-Ami. Critically acclaimed for its surprising contrasts of medium and theme, The Softness of Iron is replete with personal content that intersects with collective memories.

Ben-Ami creates highly symbolic pieces that carry universal, local, and deeply personal meanings, conveying thought-provoking contrasts of war and peace, memory and forgetting, the private and the collective. The artist’s works portray simple man-made objects from everyday life—such as clothing, books, and furniture—examined from a young girl’s point of view. Removed from their natural context, the objects undergo a material and contextual transformation. The resulting sculptures evoke an emotional and cultural history, while simultaneously hinting at the broader human experience.

Ben-Ami studied sculpture at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC, and at Tel Aviv University. She has presented numerous solo exhibitions in her native Israel, as well as in Europe and the United States. Ben-Ami is internationally recognized as a prodigiously gifted and insightful sculptress of iron.

Hillyer Art Space, Washington, DC
June 3 – September 1, 2006

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Saint Louis, MO
February 22 – November 25, 2007

City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC
December 14, 2007 – January 2008

Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory, NC
January 10 – March 5, 2009

Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum, Bay City, MI
June 13 – September 20, 2009

Worldviews in Stillness and Motion
The Washington Post, by Jessica Dawson, January 6, 2007

VISUAL ARTS REVIEW | The Softness of Iron
Charleston City Paper, by Kevin Murphy, January 16, 2008

International art exhibit comes to Hickory: Israeli sculptor brings one‐woman show to art museum
Hickory Daily Record, by Robert C. Reed, February 5, 2009

Creating softness with metal
Charlotte Observer, by Dianne Whitacre Straley, February 15, 2009

Israeli to exhibit at at SVSU
The Saginaw News, by Janet I. Martineau, May 30, 2009

‘Softness of Iron’ exhibit open June 12
Midland Daily News, June 4, 2009

The Softness of Iron: Welded Sculpture by Orna Ben-Ami
The Detrioter, June 10, 2009