Fri 15 Feb 2013
The beautiful Saturday last week allowed us to walk to the local art museum which in the last few years hosted several interesting exhibitions, bringing together contemporary artists from Israel and from all around the world.
The theme of the current exhibition is Theatrical Gestures and you will find the rationale of the name if you read the explanatory text on the Web pages of the museum – the relation between the artist and the work, looking at the world as a stage, incorporating images, characters and words and making sense of them in a world where our time and senses are so much put at stress from so many directions. I would not say that I got it completely, but the theme seems to me generic enough to bring together almost any work of art, and in this case it’s a collection of works from The Angel Collection of Contemporary Art which otherwise would have been impossible for me to see ever. After the great show if Israeli art at Ein Harod a few years ago it’s the second time I see in Israel that important works from private collections are brought for viewing in museums, and this is a trend to salute.
Here are a few of the works that drew my attention. There are many things to appreciate in this exhibition and I surely recommend a visit for everybody who is interested in contemporary art and happens to be in Herzlya or central Israel in the next few months.
The work of Mathew Day Jackson Ain’t dead yet… (based on Chief Bigfoot) mixes elements of American folklore and … Brancusi (yes, the head of The Sleeping Muse). Close to it we see two works by Israel star photographer Adi Ness inspired by the characters and situations of the Bible enacted by contemporary models.
Canadian artist David Altmejd builds a classically shaped bird out of human hands – the effect mixes attraction and horror.
In another room California-born Matthew Monahan‘s Scoria Pyre (a strange monster made of bronze and steel) stares at the huge Fan #6 created by Israeli artist Yehudit Sasportas - a fusion mix of industrial techniques and Oriental crafts, of European landscape represented by means of traditional Japanese painting techniques.
The Japanese influence is present also in another room, where Don Brown‘s YOKO XVIII shares space with two works by Japanese painter Chiho Aoshima who bear a magic and uneasy eroticism drawn with manga techniques.
Vik Muniz is probably one of the best know names among the artists in the Angel collection and in the exhibition at the Herzlya Museum because of his documentary film Waste Land which describes the transformation by the power of art of a community near Rio living near a huge waste deposit. To some the two works exposed now in Herzlya continue the same motive – the one pictured here is reprezentation of a mythological theme realized with waste material.
The exhibition of German artist Ulla von Brandenburg does not belong to the same collection, but aligns with the subject of the exhibition. Chorspiel is a huge spiral-shaped wall one walks inside to find a sung family drama being projected by the video installation in the center.
The current exhibitions are open until April 20.