born in Jerusalem, 1909, a descendant of a 500 year- old Sepharadic Israeli family, Castel spent his early life in Italy and France, learning from the old masters like Giotto, Tician and the Expressionists.
From 1922 to 1925 Castel studies in the Bezalel Academy and in 1927 he arrived in Paris to attend the Academie Julien and Louvre Museum school. in Paris, Castel joined an intimate circle of great artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Soutine and Chagall and he participated in individual and group exhibitions in well known Parisian galleries and Salons. In 1936 he visited Israel with works of Soutine and Kisling, Chagall and others. He initiated the first Ecole de Paris exhibition in the Tel Aviv Museum. In 1940 Castel returned from Paris and settled in Safad, in 1952 he returned to Paris and after few months later continues to New York.
Castel found the elements of his artistic message in a very long and rich past. he is the son of a rabbi, a Torah calligrapher, whose family had to flee the inquisition in Castile and return to Palestine.
Castel belongs to that group of Israeli artists, who contributed greatly to the infusion of contemporary art to Israeli painting, both as a member of the New Horizons group and in his own individual right, through his innovative creations.
The essential elements along all of his artistic periods are described as the “Metaphysics of matter”. At the same time that he composes with symbols going back to a calligraphic tradition that gives to the letter a kind of magical existence, this letter becomes an element in an artistic whole.
Castel often uses letters, but without any meaning, in an abstract manner, mingled with invented symbols for the sole aim of creating structure and rhythms that are artistic and nothing else.
1921-1925 Bezalel, Jerusalem,(at age 12), with Boris Schatz
1927 Academie Julien, Paris, France,
1927 Ecole du Musee du Louvre, Paris, France
Awards And Prizes
1941 Dizengoff Prize for Painting and Sculpture
1938 Dizengoff Prize for Painting and Sculpture
1958 Malach Israeli Independence Day Prize
1959 Prize Premio do Estado, Sao Paolo Biennale, Brazil
1940’s Accadia Hotel, Herzliyah, Wall Mural in lobby
1966 The Knesset, Jerusalem, “Praise to Jerusalem”
1970-71 President’s Residence, Reception Room, Jerusalem, “Wall of Fame”, and “Golden Scrolls”