Entries tagged with “art”.

Jewish artists played an important role in the development of the Romanian art, and artists from Romania played an important role in the history of Israeli art. For the Israeli Independence Day I chose to present a short selection of Israeli artists (painters and sculptors) who were born in my native Romania. Some have brought an important contribution to the development of the Israeli artistic movement and acquired fame both in Israel and world-wide. A few are still active today, and of course, I must have missed many.

I chose one work from each of the eight artists in this list. This is certainly only a specific section of the complex universe of the Israeli art, a proof of its diversity, and a testimony of the path artists born in Romania melded the education and traditions of their native country into the melting pot of the Israeli art.  This is an invitation for entering the worlds of each of these artists and for adding more names to the list.

Happy Independence Day! Hag Atzmaut Sameakh!

The list cannot begin with another name than …


source http://jancodada.co.il/pages.asp?id=175&lan=100

source http://jancodada.co.il/pages.asp?id=175&lan=100


Marcel Janco

(or Marcel Iancu) as the Romanians spell his name. By the time when he reached the shores of Palestine under British Mandate in 1941, Janco was a well-known artist who has contributed to the birth of the European avant-garde and specifically of the Dadaist movement, and a famous architect with tens of buildings designed in Romania (some of them can still be visited in specialized tours in Bucharest). He also was a Jew running for his life from the continent that had fallen under fascism which did not spare Romania, at that time under the rule of the Iron Guard and of nationalist and antisemitic dictator Ion Antonescu. He re-created himself in Palestine and then Israel, started to paint in a new palette and vision, and founded the artists community in the village of Ein Hod, which continues until today.


source http://www.israelartguide.co.il/activities/tel.shtml

source http://www.israelartguide.co.il/activities/tel.shtml


Reuven Rubin

Born in Galati in a religious family, Rubin came for the first time to Palestine (still under Ottoman rule) in 1912 and was a student at the Bezalel Academy founded by Boris Schatz. He was not very happy with the academic approach of his teachers, and continued his studies in Paris, returned to Romania during the First World War, then came for good to Israel in 1923. His portraits and landscapes are exquisite, as witnessed by the beautiful ‘Safed’ dated 1938. He became part of the Tel Aviv intellectual and art circles, and after the foundation of Israel in 1948 was the first official Israeli diplomatic envoy (minister) to Romania.


source http://www.mutualart.com/Artwork/SELF-PORTRAIT/EA86709D73DF83D7

source http://www.mutualart.com/Artwork/SELF-PORTRAIT/EA86709D73DF83D7


Avigdor Arikha

I first encountered a large selection of Arikha’s works at the British Museum to whom he had donated about 100 of his works for an exhibition. A few years later a big retrospective was organized at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art bringing back into the center of the attention an Israeli artist who was living abroad for about half a century. Born in Radauti, he was deported during the war to Transnistria, where his father died. His drawings as a teen who had seen death and horror attracted the attention of the Red Cross that saved his life and brought him to Palestine in 1944. As Rubin (but many years later) he first studied at Bezalel, and then in Paris. His career can be divided into two: a first abstract period and a second figurative in which he painted mostly portraits and especially self-portraits like the one here.



Tuvia Juster

In a few days there will be ten years since Tuvia Juster passed away. Born in 1931 in Braila, Juster studied in Bucharest and was influenced by the works of Constantin Brancusi, one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. His work is in danger to be forgotten here in Israel. Only one exhibition was organized at Ein Hod, the artists village founded by Janco, where Tuvia Juster also had his home. A larger retrospective would put his works and contributions to the Israeli art at their right place. I hope that this will happen rather sooner than later.


source https://iamachild.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/portrait-of-a-smiling-boy.jpg

source https://iamachild.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/portrait-of-a-smiling-boy.jpg


Sandu Liberman

A few decades ago the name of Sandu Liberman was quite well known. Born in Iasi in 1923, he studied in Romania and was well known especially as portraitist, until 1962 when he came to Israel. He continued his activity here, painting portraits and scenes from the traditional Jewish life. His best works as this ‘Portrait of a Smiling Boy’ show empathy and skill in rendering the feelings of his subjects, and continuity with the portraits tradition in the Romanian art he grew in as an artist.


source http://www.judaica-mall.com/shlomo-alter.htm

source http://www.judaica-mall.com/shlomo-alter.htm


Shlomo Alter 

Shlomo Alter’s parents owned a restaurant in Romania and his first drawings described the atmosphere of that place. He came in Israel in 1948 at the age of 12, and oscillated between art (student of Aaron Avni and of Janco) and engineering, to dedicate himself completely to painting after 1975. His works are beautifully colored in the tradition of the fauvism, while representing the local landscape in a pseudo-naive manner.


 source http://www.midnighteast.com/mag/?p=6347

source http://www.midnighteast.com/mag/?p=6347

Philip Rantzer

Born in 1956 (in some sources I found 1958 as his year of birth) Philip Rantzer came to Israel as a small child, so all his education and formation as an artist happened here. He had tens of exhibitions in Israel and all over the world, represented Israel at the Venice Biennale in 1999, and exposed amng many other places in Bucharest, at the Musuem of Contemporary Art in 2003. I picked to show here his ‘Big Cart’ work because he is combining in it the theme of the Wandering Jew with a landscape which is maybe Jaffo, or maybe a more generic shtetl.



source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belu-Simion_Fainaru

source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belu-Simion_Fainaru



Belu-Simion Fainaru

Born in Bucharest in 1959, Belu-Simion Fainaru came to Israel in 1973. He studied at Haifa and continued with studies in art in Italy and Belgium. He lives and works in Belgium and Israel. His earlier work ‘Sham’ (‘There’) from 1966 represents one stage in the evolution from monumental sculpture to the mixed media objects. He exposed in Israel, Romania, other countries in Europe. In 2015 he founded AMOCA – the Arab Museum Of Contemporary Art in Sakhnin (an Arab town in Israel) the first of its kind here, promoting co-existence between Arab and Jewish communities, opening gates for art that is inclusive and collaborative.

Bringing to Israel the international Word Press journalistic photography winners and joining in the same exhibition the Israeli Local Testimony collection has become a tradition, and so is my visiting the show at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. I could not miss the 2013 edition.




Selected from over 100,00 entries submitted most of them during 2012, the World Press 2013 edition choices seemed to me less impressive than in the previous years. While in each of the other editions there were a few photographs that I remember well until today, the current one did not offer too many works that I will remember visually next year. The overall mood was also quite somber. Many of photos in the events-related categories were connected to the situation in the Middle East, and with the fading of the hopes of the ‘Arab spring’ and the civil conflicts and extreme Islam offensive that took over the area, they let room to some horrific images. But even out of the area, photojournalism of the year 2013 contained little reasons of optimism.




The ‘Local Testimony’ section occupied this year almost equal area in the interior of the exhibition space. As in the previous years the quality and intensity of the works were in some cases equal to these in the international section. The Israeli section also celebrated ten years since its first occurrence, and this is a good opportunity to see in the show a few of the best photos exposed during the decade.


source http://blog.ecla.de/world-press-photo-13-the-story-behind-an-image-revie/

source http://blog.ecla.de/world-press-photo-13-the-story-behind-an-image-revie/


The big prize of World Press 13 was awarded to a dramatic shot taken in Gaza by the Swede Paul Hansen showing the funeral of two children killed in the military actions of Israel aimed to stop the bombing in the south of Israel. Politics put aside it’s a great photo showing the horrors of war and the price inflected on innocent victims in a year which has seen too many innocent civilian victims all over the Earth.


source source blog.chasejarvis.com

source source blog.chasejarvis.com

The work that impressed me most esthetically belongs actually to the sport photos section. It is taken by Wei Seng Chen and shows the finish of a bull race in Sumatra.


source http://www.eretzmuseum.org.il/e/297/

source http://www.eretzmuseum.org.il/e/297/


With the Middle East in the center of the news and of the photojournalists some of the entries in the Israeli section seem to be a direct continuation of the works in the international section. Such is the photo taken by Ammar Younis during the protest of the Bedouins against the intentions of the government to relocate them, a move they perceive like endangering their way of life.


source http://www.eretzmuseum.org.il/e/297/

source http://www.eretzmuseum.org.il/e/297/


Yohann Dobensky took a picture in the more intimate environment of an ultra-orthodox family in pilgrimage at the tombs of the great rabbis in Ukraine. The innocent game of a kid playing with a plastic gun tells a lot about the obsession of the Israeli society, even of its less militaristic circles with weapons.

Even if the awards selection falls behind the one on the previous years, World Press 13 and Local Testimony is a show to visit. More information on the Web site of the museum http://www.eretzmuseum.org.il/e/297/ and on the site of the World Press organization (including images and descriptions of the awarded works) – http://www.worldpressphoto.org/.


I need to thank Mark Zuckerberg for my first encounters with Dina Bova. Via his wonderful and awful (whatever meaning you chose) Facebook I met a young Israeli artist who uses this social media in order to make known to the world her vision, her works and her achievements. She also allows us to follow her on the exhibitions road. I missed her previous exhibition in Israel at the Museum of Photography in Tel Hai, her next major appearance was in her native Moscow – a place that is still an un-reached dream for me, but this week she opened what I would call a significant exhibition just in my backyard, at the Weill Culture Center in Kfar-Shmaryahu. I visited the exhibition yesterday and I was impressed. Simply said – I am following as time allows all important exhibitions in the Israeli museums and galleries, and this is one of the best I have seen in the recent years.




Dina Bova is a 21st century surrealist, who lives in Israel, and uses digital photography as her principal mean of expression. If the combination seems a little bit … surrealist, we need to trace back this artistic current to the roots in the years 20 of the last century to find that no means of expression were excluded and the toolset  of the Surrealists did comprise still photography and moving images (cinema) supplementary to the better known painting and poetry genres. Dina’s vision expands on the experience of the hiper-realists, as she uses photography (the art of catching the moment) in order to express the atemporal – allegories and dreams.  One can feel in her works the melting pot of cultural and life experiences she was exposed to (she came to Israel at the age of 13) – the light and the landscape of Israel, the shades and deepness of the emotions of Russia. These are however only background elements, the strongest impression is made by her capacity of transforming imagination and concepts into striking and memorable visual experiences, her pleasure into playing with models and elements of scenery, and combining them into something new and different.


source http://www.bsw-art.com/journal/exhibition-truthful-fiction-dina-bova-50

source http://www.bsw-art.com/journal/exhibition-truthful-fiction-dina-bova-50


The name of the exhibition is ‘Truthful Fiction’ - gathering the best of her works in the last few years. In the best surrealist tradition the borders between reality and fiction, between truth and dream are blurred. The self portrait used for the poster of the exhibition is named ‘Break Through’ with no dash between the two words. A mirror, reflection of reality, is broken and its pieces used to create a different reality, the one of the artist.


source http://www.dinabova.com/

source http://www.dinabova.com/


Dina Bova does not seem to run away from controversy, from the need to shock and ask questions, even in her portraits.’The Man Who Laughs’  is far away from happily laughing.


source http://www.dinabova.com/

source http://www.dinabova.com/


Sometimes her characters are ‘Lost’ in a landscape that offers no means of orientation, or worse – false signs and symbols of direction or logic. Did you ever dream that you cannot find your way? that the doors you open go to nowhere?



source http://www.dinabova.com


Super-chef Israel Aharoni is the model for ‘Imaginarium’ and a few more works. I liked here the winter fantasy landscape, the magician seems to descend from the world of the circus I loved during my childhood, despite the rather desolated and frozen landscape his presence is re-assuring, there may be somebody in this strange universe who can control it.


source http://www.dinabova.com/

source http://www.dinabova.com/


The pleasure of playing infiltrates also the Biblical allegory of ‘Quo Vadis’ – a work built starting from a statue, quite different from most of the other where the concept is driving the image. 


source http://www.dinabova.com/

source http://www.dinabova.com/


There is no playfulness or joy in ‘Memory of the Future’, another Biblical allegory, a somber Madonna with tears of blood, projected on another desolated landscape. And yet, there is love in her attitude.


source http://www.dinabova.com/

source http://www.dinabova.com/


‘Quaere Veritatem’ projects the Bibical theme in a satirical register. It is actually a DVD cover for the excellent rock band Orphaned Land – part of the cycle Mythology of ‘Orphaned Land’.


source http://www.dinabova.com/

source http://www.dinabova.com/


In the cycle of the allegories ‘Allegory of Cognition’ is one of the most visually striking works, and one of these that connect strongly with the ‘classical’ surrealist art style in painting.


source http://www.dinabova.com/

source http://www.dinabova.com/


I especially liked ‘Allegory of Hope’. My reading of the work is that achieving hope requires the strength and the will of fighting for it. The dark stormy skies can be vanquished by rainbow and the colored balloons, but this asks for the power of closing the eyes and living the dream.

source http://www.dinabova.com/

source http://www.dinabova.com/


‘Fears and Hopes’ connects past and future through the figure of the fragile pregnant woman. The staging of the work (not only of this one actually) reminded me Tarkovsky’s Stalker (the ultimate surrealist film in the Russian cinema?)


source http://www.dinabova.com/

source http://www.dinabova.com/


Last in my personal selection for this review is ‘Center of the Universe’. It’s a much more optimistic work, to some extend the continuation of the work above and of a few other with the pregnant woman in the center. The Child is born, and as so many of us know from our personal experiences, she or he becomes the Center of the Universe, the dance and celebration and joy around will eventually win over the stormy skies. It is the work that welcomes the visitor when entering the exhibition, and the last one he sees when departing it.




I have selected to write only about a few of the works in the exhibition. There are many more, and each deserves being viewed at its real dimension and asks for contemplation and thinking. Dina Bova is one of the best artists I have met lately on the Israeli art scene. I have maybe one regret and this is that this beautiful exhibition is not hosted by one of the central galleries in Tel Aviv, but I am sure that this will happen sooner than later. By the way, Kfar Shmaryahu is only 15 minutes away from Tel Aviv, the space in the Weil Center and the conditions of exhibiting are generous, and there is plenty of parking around. So – do not miss this exhibition!

The artist’s Web site is http://www.dinabova.com/. Her Facebook page is www.facebook.com/DinaBovaArt.

My round through the local museums in Israel took me a few weeks ago to Bat Yam where the local museum of art opens for the young generation of artists coming the countries of the ex-Eastern block and especially from the former Soviet Union. The name of the exhibition Cargo Cult says something about commercialization and the relation of the artists with the world of technology and materials, airports and transportation machinery, but also about their own journey of the one made by their parents to the new old country. variety of means, very non-conventional means, nothing from the balance and some would say the stiffness of the traditional Russian art




The museum is by itself one of the most original structures that I have seen lately, a cylindrical building dwarfed by one of these water towers which are part of the local landscape in any Israeli city and were part of the mythology of the Jewish settlements in the first decades of their existence.




A few years ago I visited an exhibition at the Museum of Contemportary Art in Ramat Gan which was gathering works of Russian immigrants formed at the solid realistic schools of art in the former Soviet Union who had immigrated to Israel. There is almost nothing similar in ‘Cargo Cult’. This is undeniably an exhibition of young artists living in Israel. Sure, this is a specific sector of the art community in Israel, and these young folks are not denying but openly affirming their roots but they also have a clear approach to art and the materials art is made of that is post-modernist and their dialog with the culture of the area they or their parents came from is sustained from here.


Ivars Gravlejs from Riga gathers in his Shopping Poetry project objects acquired in shops and supermarkets and photographs them near their cash counter invoice in a reflection of the relationship between object and value, between the image and its numerical representation.




One of the older generation artists is Moscow-born Mikhail Grobman born in 1939 invited several young artists to make fluorescent replicas of works by Grobman. The semi-dark room raises questions and thoughts about the works and their amplification through reproduction.




Maxim Komar-Myshkin was born in Moscow in 1978 and died in Tel Aviv in 2011. I do not know how to describe his unusual creations – maybe stellar works?




New Barbizon Group is a team of five female artists – each creates a group of drawings and paintings reflecting reality and including probably the strongest social messages of the works in the exhibition abut the condition of women, artists, immigrants in a society like ours.




A separate room gathers Igor Guelman-Zak’s miniatures and a big neon-lights panel labeled Change – bringing to our attention the reality and scope of art, and the relativity of the relationship as expressed in the dimensions of the two very different groups of works.

An interesting exhibition and a refreshing view of an artistic community which showed up among us, another lesser known result of the immigration in a country that continues to be a melting from many points of view including art.

Intr-unul din locurile cel mai putin verosimile se afla una dintre cele mai neobisnuite galerii de arta pe care le-am vizitat. Kibbutzul Beeri este situat in sudul Israelului, nu departe de Netivot si Shderot, langa fasia Gaza, zona care se afla in stiri mai mult cand sunt violente, atacuri cu rachete, actiuni ale armatei israeliene in Gaza. Este si o zona de agricultura intensiva, si care la acest sfarsit de iarna israeliana arata verde si inflorit, relativ desigur la peisajul si clima aride din cea mai mare parte a anului.




Cateva indicatoare destul de modeste dar totusi vizibile te ghideaza spre casa care nu arata altfel decat multe dintre casele din jur si care se deosebeste doar prin firma – Galeria Beeri. Eu nu o cunosteam, dar acum stiu – galeria aceasta exista din 1986 si pana astazi au fost organizate aici peste 300 de expozitii – www.gallerybeeri.co.il. Acum Galeria Beeri este prima gazda israeliana a expoitiei Spiritul Sapantei rezultate din colaborarea dintre artisti israelieni si romani, expozitie realizata cu sprijinul ICR Tel Aviv.




Banuiesc ca majoritatea cititorilor stiu multe despre Maramures si despre Sapanta, acest loc special celbru prin al sau Cimitir Vesel. Ceea ce probabil mai putini stiu si eu in orice caz nu cunosteam aceasta istorie este ca pana la al doilea razboi mondial peste un sfert din populatia satului era evreiasca (sursa - http://02varvara.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/sapanta-in-the-carpathians-a-merry-cemetery-and-a-peri-monastery/). O comunitate ca mii de alte comunitati din estul Europei distrusa de Holocaust. Majoritatea evreilor Sapantei au fost deportati in 1944 de jandarmii unguri colaboratori ai ocupantilor germani, putini s-au intors de la Auschwitz si cei intorsi nu au mai ramas in sat. Recomand oricui vine sa viziteze expozitia sa asculte video-ul cu Poemul lui Vasile - o lucrare impresionanta a unui poet popular local, care in stilul specific poeziei populare romanesti descrie istoria evreilor din Sapanta.




Spiritul Sapantei este rezultatul muncii comune a doi artisti israelieni si a unui artist local roman, care au lucrat impreuna in sat in vara lui 2012. Expozitia a fost prima data deschisa in cladirea sinagogii din Bistrita. Mai sus ii puteti vedea pe cei doi artisti israelieni (Nora Stanciu si Haim Maor) reprezentati in stilul portretelor de Sapanta de catre artistul roman Dumitru Pop Tincu.




Ce diferit si ce special arata scrisul in ebraica tesut pe stergarele specifice Maramuresului! Oare evreii Sapantei de acum un secol vor fi avut si folosit stergare asemanatoare?






Portretele lui Dumitru Pop Tincu creaza intr-un fel modelul de referinta al expozitiei. Artistul continua traditia portretisticii din faimosul Cimitir vesel cu subiecte inspirate printre altele din ciclurile vietii si din momentele esentiale care marcheaza viata oamenilor din sat.






Haim Manor da replica artistului roman prin picturi pe lemn, care redau in acelasi stil pseudo-naiv persoane si personaje din lumea satului.






Lucrarile Norei Stanciu sunt mai mari in dimensiuni si mai elaborate. Una dintre ele suprapune motivul pictural cu cel al broderiilor, alta arta-mestesug specifica zonei. A doua preia motivele ale culturii ‘elevate’ intr-o inramare specifica artei populare.

Expozitia este deschisa la Beeri pana la mijlocul lui martie, dupa cate am inteles in continuuare va fi prezentata si in alte locuri in Israel si o recomand celor interesati – si ca valoare documentara, si emotionala, dar si pentru o intalnire mai putin obisnuita intre spatii culturale indepartate geografic, dar cu multe apropieri culturale.




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.


The annual exhibition of the best professional photo-journalism pictures of the year, as selected by the World Press jury combined with the selection of the best Israeli press photographs is open as each of the last few years at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. I visited it today, it is open for another couple of weeks and I recommend to all folks interested in art, in reality and in the combination of the two not to miss it.



The World Press Photo competition for 2012 dealt in two rounds of jury selection with photographs reflecting a large number of events that took place in the previous year (2011). It was the year of the Arab Spring, of the social protests all over the world, of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, of the continuous confrontation of man with nature and of nature with man.


source http://www.photolight.co.il/photonews/worldpressphoto_edut.html


Photo of the year was Samuel Aranda’s picture of a mother holding in her arms her son wounded in the protests in Yemen. With it’s Pieta quality this photo may remain one of the iconic images of what is called the Arab Spring, beyond the political approach or opinions one may have about the events.



The photographs in the exhibition belong to professional photographers, people who travel all over, putting their talents to the service of audiences interested in reality but also in sensation, in truth and also in esthetics. Taking some of the these pictures meant also personal risks and a few photo-journalists lost their lives in this eventful year. The questions of the relation between journalism and art, between the documentary value and the beauty of the photographs as art object are still open, such events will not provide necessary responses but material for thought.

Here are a few more pictures from the exhibition.


source http://www.photolight.co.il/photonews/worldpressphoto_edut.html


The earthquake and tsunami in Japan and their aftermath occasioned many spectacular pictures, among which the striking work of Paolo Pellegrin.


source http://www.photolight.co.il/photonews/worldpressphoto_edut.html


Brent Stirton’s photo of armed guards keeping 24 hours shifts around one of the six animals left of their kind surviving in the world tell a lot about

More information about Word Press 12 and more works can be seen at http://www.worldpressphoto.org/gallery/2012-world-press-photo.


source http://www.eretzmuseum.org.il/e/275/


What did the Israeli photographers catch on their camera during this year? Some of the answers in the Local Testimony section which this year equals in dimensions the international one.

They have photographed the social protest – in this case it’s an episode from one of the demonstrations of the members of the Ethiopian community against discrimination as caught on Uri Sadeh’s camera.


source http://www.eretzmuseum.org.il/e/275/


Many photographs and even photography exhibitions (I visited one at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem a few weeks ago) dealt with the ultra-religious community which is ‘re-discovered’ by Israeli secular audiences. This picture with a a classical touch is taken at a wedding by Abir Sultan.


source http://www.eretzmuseum.org.il/e/


Nature confronting urban reality is the subject of this photo taken in an Israeli city after a strong storm at the end of February last year.


Did I already say that I love exploring small art museums? Of course, I also love even more visiting the great museums of the world, but the experience of finding a small museum in a not-so-important city, in a remote and sometimes unexpected place in the world is also a source of satisfaction and sometimes of wonderful surprises. This is the case with the Glass Art Museum in Arad (the Israeli city of Arad, not the Romanian one) which I wanted to see for quite a while and I eventually got to last week.



Located in the outskirts of the city of Arad, in an industrial area turned into artists’ district, the museum is easy to find when traveling to or from the Dead Sea. Established by the Fridman family, it aims to be an open house for all artists and fans of glass art. The experience of the visit is quite pleasant as visitors are guided by one of the four permanent guides, one of them being the house artist Gideon Fridman, whose works occupy most of the space (but the museum also hosts works of other artists working in the media).


source http://www.warmglassil.com/english/site.php?page=artist02.html


Fridman started to work in glass about 17 years ago, and he does not blow glass, but rather uses recycled glass of all sorts which he processes using techniques of his own. One of the effects he discovered and masters allows for the work to change shape depending on the angle you are looking at it. The guides will help you walk in between the works and observe the unique effects, as well as the special way of lighting used in the museum, where light does not fall directly on the works, but on the walls and cellar, and the passing of the light though the material creates the shapes.

Here are a few of the many remarkable works, but I should warn from start that a full understanding of the art in the Arad Glass Art Museum is complete only if you get there, move in between the works, and get the dynamics of the interaction between glass, movement, viewers.



‘A Female Heritage’



‘All My Sons’ - an impressive memorial work



‘The Wall of Spirit’ - the interpretation is left free to the viewer, I was impressed by the missing places, as well as by the occupied ones.



‘Violence 99′ is quite different in style from the majority of the other works, but the message is striking.



The name of this work ‘Genesis 2:23′ alludes to the creation of Eve in the Bible. Nine statues as the nine months of human pregnancy, nine steps in the evolution of Woman, from the slim curve of Adam’s Rib, through growth, youth, maturity to the eventual decay.



‘Yirimiahu 2:2′ sends us to another quote from the Bible, telling the story of Abraham, the son he embraces, and the other son – Ishmael. A dot of blood reminds the conflict between the descendents of Abraham, painfully open until the modern times.



A separate room in the museum hosts in darkness a huge candle, lit from inside, a symbol of remembrance for the Holocaust. It could as well be hosted at Yad Vashem.


Erica Hoffer mi-a permis preluarea pe blog a notelor ei de calatorie din vizita facuta recent la New York. De aceasta data va fi vorba despre cateva expozitii si muzee mai mici, din acelea pe care placerea de a le descoperi si vizita ti-o poti permite numai dupa ce ai epuizat obiectivele ‘importante’.


Am descoperit ca americanii au maestria de a face din orice subiect o expozitie cel putin, daca nu un muzeu.  Ma gandesc de unde vine aptitudinea asta pe care nu am vazut-o si in alte aspecte ale vietii americane. Poate  din necesitatea de a explica oamenilor cu capacitati reduse sau cu un attention span limitat anumite fapte. Este aptitudinea de a face orice explicatie pe intelesul tuturor, de a inventa metode audio vizuale inedited.

Pe scurt, in vizita  din saptamana trecuta m-am ferit de muzeele mari cu sali infinite cu sute de picturi atarnate. Pentru a ilustra compunerea de jos am pus fotografii care ilustreaza expozitiile respective.

1. In Lower East Side “The Tenement Museum” care poveste (printre altele, nu numai) etosul emigrarii evreilor din Europa de est de la inceputul secolului trecut. Muzeul se afla intr-o casa in care stateau un numar de familii in conditii teribile de inghesuiala si saracie. Spre deosebire de muzeele clasice in care se viziteaza camera cu mobilele si ustensilele din acea perioada, in acest muzeu s-au ales un numar de subiecte si fiecare este prezentat de o ghida. Eu am ales subiectul castigarii existentei (in idish parnuse). Expozitia se numeste Sweatshop Workers. Cu ajutorul ghidei am urmarit viata a doua familii, una, familia Levine,  care avea o manufactura chiar in incinta locuintei, cu muncitori angajati care lucrau in living room si bucatarie. Am cunoscut aceasta familie din momentul in care ajunge la NY,  am urmarit educatia copiilor si am luat parte la succesul commercial al parintilor care dupa multi ani in care atelierul se afla in apartamentul lor , reusesc sa se elibereze finalmente de aceasta viata incomoda si ajung sa mute atelierul in alt loc inafara casei.  O alta familie mai instarita, familia  Rogarshevsky, reprezentata prin masa ei festiva de Vineri seara, reuseste de la inceput sa se puna pe picioare fara sa aibe atelier in casa. Copiii lor sunt trimisi la scoli mai bune iar stranepoatele in rochii elegante dupa gustul American sunt fotografiate la nunta in familie. Fotografia reda toata satisfactia acestei familii care a reusit sa “ajunga”. Nu numai emigratia evreilor din Europa de Est este reprezentata la acest muzeu. Si emigratia irlandeza, la fel de saraca, a fost povestita intr-o alta vizita ghidata in aceasta cladire.


2. Expozitia Beatrix Potter, la biblioteca Morgan. B. Potter, autoare a unor carti de copii deosebit de reusite care il au ca protagonist pe iepurasul Peter Rabbit. Aceste carti s-au nascut din scrisorile illustrate ale autoarei catre copiii prietenilor ei. Este vorba de scrisorile adresate lui Noel Moore, un copil des bolnav, fiul guvernantei lui Beatrix Potter. Autoarea isi ilustreaza scrisorile cu mici desene in creion. Cu timpul, aceste scrisori au devenit povestiri, publicate pentru prima data in 1983, iar eroul, Peter Rabbit, iepurasul imbracat in hainita albastra a devenit iubitul copiilor din toata lumea.  Expozitia e la biblioteca bogatasului Pierpoint Morgan. o cladire superba, largita in 2006 de arhitectul Renzo Piano pentru care a primit premiul Pritzker si renovata in 1910 de firma McKim, Mead & White.



Beatrix Potter - letter to Noel Moore


3. Expozitia “Eruv” la Yeshiva University, 15 W 16th Str. Pentru cine nu stie, si nici eu nu am stiut asta mult timp, eruv este fizic o sfoara sau sarma intinsa intre stalpi de telefon sau iluminatia orasului. Conceptual eruvul are o mare importanta in viata evreilor religiosi. In lipsa acestui fir care delimiteaza spatiul in jurul casei sau al asezarii, evreii religiosi nu au voie sa care lucruri, sa impinga carucioare in timpul Shabatului.  Existenta acestui fir subtire le mareste spatiul in jurul casei incat in chii lor, ceea ce fac in spatiul delimitat de eruv e ca si ar face in interiorul casei. In Statele Unite, eruvul este pe de o parte o delimitare a spatiului in care stau destui evrei , dar si o integrare in viata urbana americana.



4. “Parfumuri (Scents)” la Museum of Arts and Design la Columbus Circle. Aceasta este prima expozitie a unui muzeu in care crearea unui parfum este considerat un act de creatie artistica. Expozitia se concentreaza asupra a 12 parfumuri create intre 1889 si 2012 care reprezinta metode sau curente diferite in aceasta arta, de exemplu  Chanel 5 creat in 1921.



Cel mai neobisnuit aspect al acestei expozitii este aspectul spatiului ei: o incapere minimalista toata in alb pe al carei pereti sunt montate urne care emit valuri ale parfumului respectiv. Textul alaturat fiecarei urne descrie creatorii, anul creatiei si genul de parfum (modern, abstract sau brutalist).  O incapere alaturata permite vizitatorilor o noua examinare a acestor parfumuri, interactiva de data asta,  vizitatorii avand posibilitatea de a caracteriza parfumuri alese.

5. Imbracamintea studentilor de la Ivy League in decursul anilor (la Fashion Institute) 7th Av cu 27th str.

Expozitia se numeste Ivy Style, adica stilul vestimentar care caracterizeaza studentii de la universitatile renumite in care deobicei studentii nu numai ei mai brilianti dar a caror parinti aveau posibilitatile materiale de a trimite copii la aceste institutii prestigioase. Stilul Ivy league origineaza de la inceputul anilor 1900, in ultimul secol s-a raspandit mult inafara de universitatile de elita. Expozitia este aranjata in mod tematic si nu chronologic, in sectii care acopera difersele activitati studentesti, clase, camine studentesti, sporturi, evenimente festive.


Expozitia este interesanta fiindca e evident ca look-ul Ivy care a dat dovada de capacitatea de a supravietui  testul timpului este de fapt look-ul pur american.



6. Garage sale al artistei Martha Rossler la MOMA. Cati dintre noi nu avem pasiunea sa cotrobaim prin bibelouri, bijuterii, vase de servit si alte obiecte care se aduna prin case. Artista Martha Rossler  a umplut un spatiu enorm la muzeul de arta moderna MOMA cu obiecte de zi de zi din casa ei, din casele salariatilor MOMA si donate de public. Artista, prezenta in tot timpul expozitiei si luand parte activ la targuitul in sine,  examineaza de fapt reactia publicului la acest happening popular si arata fotografii si filme video facute in timpul expozitiei.  Prin aceasta expozitie, muzeul isi demonstreaza apropierea de strada, de viata de toate zilele, de posesiunile care ne inconjoara si ne caracterizeaza.


The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art and the Haifa Museum of Art organized in Haifa what is probably the most important exhibition of contemporary art from Japan ever hold in Israel with the occasion of the 60 years since Japan and Israel established diplomatic relations. Designed in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami by two art collectors from England and Japan the exhibition provides a wide perspective of the modern art in Japan, bringing here artists from several generations who express themselves in different genres, styles, and materials. The result is a fascinating window open to a world of art which combines tradition with innovation, revolt and respect to the predecessors, all in a permanent dialog between the Eastern and Western cultural values. Here are my impressions about a few works by some of the artists exposed at Tikotin which I visited today. These are only some of the artists exposed and unfortunately I did not have time to get to the Haifa Museum of Art where the rest of the exhibition and artists are being shown. Maybe in the coming weeks, as the exhibition is open until December 15.


source http://www.tmja.org.il/


Makoto Aida mixes in Aichan-BONSAI the traditional Bonsai trees in an octopus structure with human female heads, the result is disconcerting.


source http://www.azito-art.com/homma-takashi/tokyo-suburbia-boy.html


Takashi Homma photographs the suburbs of Tokyo, combining industrial structures, depersonalized lodgments and highways with portraits of humans, most of them young people who seem to be lost in the landscape deprived of any cultural identity.


source http://www.anninaroescheisen.com/art/contemporary-art/motohiko-odani/


The fate and extreme manifestations of the young is also the theme of two of the three works of Motohiko Odani exposed in the exhibition. One is a video criticizing the sub-human teenage TV shows in the 90s, the other two are in porcelain and the material that must respect gravity to protect its fragility is dealt with in an original manner. Crushed to the ground in the work above, suspended but tense in the other work in the exhibition.



(video source mouffettefatale)


Yoko Ono (yes, the wife of …) is present with two of the provocative video works filming happenings that made her known even in the pre-Lennon fame years. Cut Piece filmed in 1964 shows the audiences cutting in pieces her dress, she repeated the happening about 40 years later.



source http://japan-photo.info/blog/2010/05/09/rink-kawauchi-lieko-shiga-exhibitions-lectures-at-photobook-festival-kassel-germany/


Lieko Shiga asked friends from different places in the world to find the darkest and most lightened places in their neighborhoods. Then he came and made pictures in these places, he then printed the photos, brought modifications to the prints and photographed them again. This is the technique used to give birth to the Canary cycle.


source http://www.asianartnewspaper.com/article/yuken-teruya


The last work I will write about is Yuken Teruya’s  You-I, You-I. The painting of a kimono, one of the most specific Japanese art genre combines fauna and floral motives from his native island of Okinawa with models inspired by the recent history of the island. This beautiful work can be used to describe the essence of the exhibition.