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Originally from Chisinau, Moldova, Semion has established himself as a major upcoming artist in contemporary sculpture.  Bronze sculpture is imbued with monumental presence through a well and cohesive style.  The expression of humanity and the human from is beautifully expressed.  Skillfully executed, the sculpture exhibits a strong sense of physical permanence and spiritual poignancy.

Relief on Academy of Science building, Chisinau, Moldova • Copper sheets • 20’ X 8’ X 3’ • 1988

Semion Rabinkov, who hails from Israel, contributes elongated, fractured tabletop bronzes of couples and families. Twisting and sawing space, he sculpts the dynamic flexibility of human dynamics. He also siphons the spirit of Modigliani’s elastic bodies and Chagall’s floating circuses.

THE MORNING CALL, February 9, 2006

“Certaines sculptures provoquent en nous une admiration tout simplement, d’autres-sourire ou encore étonnement.  Chez Semion c’est tout à fait diffèrent.  C’est une sculpture qui reflète notre vie quotidienne avec toutes ces facettes de joie et de mélancolie, de tendresse et de force, de nostalgie et d’enthousiasme.  Chacun de nous avec un peu plus de coeur et un peu plus âme se reconnaît dans son oeuvre.

Galerie Graal,  France

WWII Memorial, Moldova • Copper sheets • 10’ X 6’ X 3’ • 1980

“I have been acquainted with Semion Rabinkov’s work for many years.
I also came to know his technical abilities and creative process as well during the time we worked together as he helped me create my monumental sculptures.  In my opinion, Semion belongs to a limited group of modern sculptors who have a solid classical background.  By taking an active part in all the stages of creating a sculpture, he also has the practical experience of a craftsman. It is the combination of knowledge with skill permits him such total freedom of creativity.  The sculpture of Semion, no matter how much he deforms the human body and no matter how far he deviates from classical constructional proportions, always has a professional core.  This is what differs Semion from laymen who only know how to imitate modern plastic art.
Semion’s sculptures are full of expression and freedom.  His deformations are tense and meaningful, and not in the least chaotic.  This gives us every right to say that we deal with mature artist.”

Ernt Neizvestny

The mixed media, oil, and watercolors are imbued with a dense surface plane of color and texture fusing figurative and abstract elements. The color is woven into a complex network of structured compositions from which figuration emerges to reveal subtle and mysterious forms.

Agora Gallery

Exhibition in Jenkins Arboretum, PA 2010-2011. Photo by Andy Smith




 For many years museum “Case” in Jersey City (80 Grand Street) has been demonstrating works by artists from the former Soviet Union, who live in the contemporary Russia and outside the country. This wonderful tradition gives the opportunity to many representatives of our once common culture to show their works in America that, as known, is far from easy to do. On September 26 in the museum there opened the exhibition of works by sculptor Simeon Rabinkov and his wife – artist Irina Rabinkov. They both are representatives of “mean” generation; far from being beginners at the art they work much and fruitfully, and their gifts are in their progress.

Simeon’s aesthetic views and partialities were formed on the classic heritage perception: his genre is “round” (i.e. designed for an all-round view) easel sculpture, mainly cast in a white bronze and almost exclusively treating a human body in different states and images. Even in the cases when shapes of these figures differ much of that one can see in life (“Swing”, 1988, “Two”, wood, 1992), their build is purposed for comparison with familiar proportions that shows the author’s closeness to the classic sculpture, which prefers images based on a visual and sensible perception of the world. The sculptor himself states that he is a figurative artist, he insists on his interest in a human “own image” not excluding from this series those works, in which no anthropoid shapes can be seen (“Vertical”, 1992, “Music”, 1997).

Nevertheless his works are “formal” in the sense attached to this word in pre-perestroika Soviet art: they treat too freely a human figure and often convey an idea of a physical movement, state or volume without slightest signs of didactics (“Swing”, “Tango”, both of 1988, “Jump” and “Ballet”, 1995). It is a very free art: one feels delight the sculptor takes alternating smooth and wrinkled surfaces, rounded shapes of the body with its intentionally angular sides or thin disproportional extremities. By itself the conditional character of these figures is artistic; it refers a spectator to different points in the history of sculpture. Though the sculptor cannot or does not want to name the sources of his professional language (with exception for cubism), he undoubtedly has not avoided influences, among which the plastic arts by Berlach, Jakometti, Brankuzi and – obviously – by Ernst Neizvestny can be indicated. The reason is not that Simeon happened to work together with the latter (Rabinkov helped to Neizvestny in realization of a grandiose project “The tree of life”) but owing to a wide influence of the senior master on the standard of sculpture in his fatherland.

The fact of Rabinkov’s joint work with Neizvestny is also an evidence of the sculptor’s professionalism recognition. He is a real master in his technologically complicated art. Rabinkov also casts by himself his own works in bronze that makes the process all the more authorized. He masterly wields bronze as a material: complicated bodies and a breath taking unstable equilibrium in such his works as “Stroll” (1996) demonstrate it.

Irina Rabinkov demonstrating her water-colors in “Case” is a graduate from Tashkent college and Moscow polygraphic institute. For ten years she has been occupied with book graphics in Moscow. Her works have been exhibited in Canada, Bulgaria, Germany and France and are private ownership of some collectors in these countries. Among her water-colors I should like to mention fine sheets devoted to so ephemeral things as “Dreams” and “Butterflies”. They are exceptionally beautiful and harmonious. Landscapes of the mountains surrounding Sa-Nur give an idea of places, where such an idyllic combination of art and nature is possible.


Irene Tatarinova,

newspaper – Novoe Russkoe Slovo, 1998, New York

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