Entries tagged with “Israeli art”.


A visit today at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem was the occasion to see the very interesting exhibition ‘Behold the Man: Jesus in Israeli Art’. I do not plan to write about the whole exhibition which could have been titled differently, as there are enough works of non-Israeli Jewish artists  (presented as background) – maybe on another occasion. One of the revelations was meeting one period of the work of Reuven Rubin which had close relation with the Biblical text including the New Testament and the story of Jesus.

 

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The period we are dealing with is the one between the years 1921 and 1923. Romania-born Rubin had studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem between 1912 and 1913, and then in France, but returned to Romania during the WWI years. In 1921 he traveled to New York together with his friend Artur Kolnik, where they met Alfred Stieglitz who organized an exhibition of their works. That was a period of self discovery which ended with the decision to emigrate to Palestine and start a new life in the Jewish Home in building.  The Biblical connection of the Jewish people with the history and Land of Israel was part of this spiritual process, which was combined with the Christian connotations, as Rubin was very familiar with the New Testament stories and symbols from the country of his birth. The self-portrait above which has as a second title ‘My first Day in New York’ represents the tormented Rubin in an almost Christ posture, taking upon him not only his personal doubts but the sufferings of all mankind.

 

 

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‘Temptation in the Desert’ takes the Jesus identification one step further, representing the fight of the artist with his own personal daemons and the desire to focus on his art as a way of transcending. It’s a daring metaphor for a Jewish artist, and Rubin is among the first to walk the path of acknowledging the Jewish fate and identity of Jesus (more followed later in the 20th century), which was kind of a taboo in the Jewish tradition.

 

 

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The dialog between the fate of the Jewish people and the Christian Messiah is almost explicit in the 1922 work ‘The Encounter (Jesus and the Jew)’ probably painted in Romania, while Rubin was preparing his departure to Palestine. A suffering Jesus sits on a bank near a religious Jew who covers his face. Maybe he is deploring his fate, maybe he does not want to acknowledge the presence of the ‘false Messiah’ (in the Jewish tradition). The landscape behind them is from Eretz Israel, one of the first works were the new Zionist landscape show up in Rubin’s works – they will become a major theme later.

 

 

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From the same period dates ‘Jesus and the Last Apostle’. It is Jesus’ face which is covered here, and he seems to ask pardon from the Last Apostle, whose figure is the one of priest and writer Gala Galaction, a pro-Jewish personality in the period in Romania, who tried to face nationalist and antisemitism and promoted reconciliation.

 

 

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The Zionist dream of returning to the sources in Eretz Israel is also present in ‘The Madonna of the Vagabonds’ using again a New Testament metaphor. The Vagabonds are wandering Jews coming back to the land of their ancestors, now resting in deep sleep around a woman (mother Mary?). The lake behind with its fishermen boats is the Lake of Galilee where Jesus walked, preached and performed some of his miracles.

 

 

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The last two works belong to the first year after Rubin arrived for good in Palestine. The self-portrait dated 1923 is already using colors from the new palette that Rubin starts using in the new country to represent the landscape and atmosphere of the Land of Israel. His attitude is much more serene and determined compared to the one of the 1921 self-portrait. Elements from the Christian iconography are however present here as well, for example the glass containing the white lily often present in Annunciation representations. Paired with the brushes he holds in his other hand they talk about the mission of the artist to build a new world (and new art) in the Land of the Bible.

 

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The last work here also dated 1923 is part of a cycle of prints ‘The God-seekers’ and represents ‘The Prophet in the Desert’. It’s one of the last works (that I am aware about) with strong and explicit Biblical connotations. Rubin will become in the coming decades one of the leading artists of Jewish Palestine and then of Israel, and a legendary presence in the Tel Aviv bohemian life. He will return to Romania in 1948 as the first diplomatic envoy of the new-born State of Israel.

 

 

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.

 

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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.

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.

 

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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

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.

 

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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.

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.

 

Liliana and me spent the Saturday morning at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, which at this time of the year is very much worth a visit gathering several very interesting exhibitions.

source http://www.tamuseum.com/exhibition-images/11762

David LaChapelle is quite well known to the Israeli audiences a documentary on Channel 8 recently presented some of his works. The fashion photographer, film director, and most than everything master provocateur comes to Israel with a very consistent collection of works from the last few years and a few works created especially for this show titled in a sober manner Postmodern Pop Photography. Some of the recurrent themes of LaChapelle are present here – the dialog with the commercial and consumerist world where he made himself a name and started his career, the relation between the famous (Michael Jackson, Courtney Love), reality and myth, the decomposition and amplification of the symbols of values of the society (in the dollars and shekels works), Jesus and his relation to the modern world, and the apocalyptic landscapes of a world after catastrophe be it the devastating storms he knew as a kid in North Carolina, or the deluge. The careful screening of his works which sometimes may be as complicated or more complex than a full feature film are presented in documentaries screened in a side room. Some of the works in the show can be seen at http://www.tamuseum.com/exhibition-images/11762

source http://www.tamuseum.com/exhibition-images/11639

The works in Lena Liv’s Cathedrals for the Masses exhibition use the same media – photography – and also deal with some kind of myths, of a different type however. The Leningrad-born photographer went back to the capital of her country of origin to catch in a series of big size triptychs the stations in the metro in Moscow, arguably the most beautiful in the world. Built during the Stalinist era, the Moscow metro stations can be looked at as symbols of another type of worshiping of the temporary new gods invented by the Soviet regime. I’ve never been to Moscow or Russia, and the feeling when seeing these photos is ambiguous. Hard to detach them from the story and history, yet they do have a beauty of themselves and a quality which seems to improve in time. The cathedral metaphor does not seem completely out of context. The sentiments that they inspire are strong, and I did not have to go farther then one of the museum keepers whom I asked for directions and who told me a few words about the exhibitions in a tone that I cannot describe other that piousness. Watch also http://www.tamuseum.com/exhibition-images/11639

source http://www.tamuseum.com/exhibition-images/11867

I have discovered Avigdor Arikha a few years ago when I visited the exhibition he opened at the British Museum where he had donated one hundred of his figurative works. If his life and work will ever be described in an opera it will be composed by one tragic prologue and two acts, quite different in style one from the other. Arikha was born in Bucovina, and as a child he was deported to Transnistria, as were most of the Jews in Bucovina. He watched his father die, and was saved by the Red Cross who had discovered the drawings he made in the deportation. Arrived in Israel he studied art, traveled and settled in Paris, and worked in two radically different periods and style – one abstract and one figurative. The current exhibition is composed of a series of self-portraits and illustrations he made to a book of Agnon in the 50s. While the portraits are interesting as gathered in a multifaceted comment about his self, physical evolution and decay of flesh while keeping the spirit, is the the series of illustrations that I liked more, as they spread for a period of a few years of artistic research and evolution, when Arikha was refining his abstract style and vision. Some examples from the exhibition can be seen at http://www.tamuseum.com/exhibition-images/11867

source http://www.tamuseum.com/exhibition-images/11472

source http://www.tamuseum.com/exhibition-images/11472

Two artists belonging to the same generation but coming from different backgrounds are gathered in a an interesting dialog in the exhibition Meeting Points: Ronit Agassi, Gary Goldstein. Ronit is born in a kibbutz in Israel, Gary in Tennessee. Ronit works with materials that generate a monochromatic effect asking for attention and effort to decipher shapes and messages. Gary starts from graphical techniques and pop art effects from comics. Both led the viewer to a feeling of uneasiness, as the usage of familiar cultural symbols are in the works of both artists slightly out of context, as none of them seems to be very sure or vary happy in expressing his identity, though they do use the ideograms of the worlds where they were born and raised. More examples at http://www.tamuseum.com/exhibition-images/11472

source http://www.tamuseum.com/exhibition-images/11707

Larry Abramson: Paintings 1975-2010 is a comprehensive retrospective of the Israeli artist born in South Africa in 1954. Works from different periods of his life and creation witness and exploring and investigating spirit who integrates well minimalistic techniques of abstract art and melds part of them into a strong and explicit politic message. Recurring symbols like the crescent and direct messages like in the group of works dedicated to the erased identity of a Palestinian village are some of the elements that stay in the memory of the viewer after visiting the exhibition. See some of the works at http://www.tamuseum.com/exhibition-images/11707

source http://www.tamuseum.com/exhibition-images/11659

The last exhibition we visited yesterday was Yadid Rubin: Plowed color. Here is a completely different type of artist. Born in 1938 Rubin lives and works in Kibutz Givat Haim Yichud. Starting from the landscape that surrounds him, Rubin avoids programatically any ideology in his work, being much more interested in color, texture, materials the work of art is composed from, and the effects he can create by playing and combining them. The effect is fabulous, I have seldom seen in the works of other Israeli painters such an interest and even love to work with color, from the fauvist nuances of his debuts to the maxi-pointillist effects of his latest works. The Chelouch gallery contributed to the exhibition, and a few more pieces can be admired at http://www.tamuseum.com/exhibition-images/11659

inside the Museum of Art in Ein Harod

The closing of the Brown collection exhibition at the Museum of Art in Ein Harod left me as many art lovers in Israel with a taste of more. Two new exhibitions opened a couple of weeks ago in the same space, and we were the lucky visitors in a quiet Sunday morning. Visiting the museum during the week (Sundays are workdays in Israel) has the advantage of silence and avoids the weekend crowds, with the disadvantage of missing the guided tours. The current exhibitions have no audioguides, so as visitors we were on our own.

Albert Rubin - Temple Mount

The room near the entrance hosts early works by Albert Rubin. It is part of a series of exhibition in which the museum helps recovering lesser-known Jewish and Israeli painters which left their mark on the history of Israeli art. Born in Bulgaria in 1887, Rupin’s career was marked by the three years that he spent in Palestine as a student of the Bezalel Art School in Jerusalem (to become later the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design). Discovered by Boris Schatz, the founder of the school and admitted among its first 30 students, Rubin painted in this period of formation mostly portraits, landscapes and paintings of Biblical inspiration.

Shlomo Nerisky - Spanish Jew in Jerusalem

Albert Rubin - Portrait of a Yemenite

Although it is not great art, Rubin’s paintings catch an interesting moment in the beginnings of the renewal of Jewish art in Palestine before Israel was founded. It also allows an interesting glimpse to the landscape and people of the area in the last decade of the Ottoman rule. For example, here are placed one near another a portrait of Rubin and a photograph from the exhibition ‘Orientalists’ at the Tel Hai Photography museum which I visited a few months ago.

Alleyways in the Old City

The Jerusalem landscapes have also a primary atmosphere and a charm of rediscovery. See for example the group of paintings in the alleys of the Old City, a few years before history, armies and tourists came along together and made these places some of the most crowded and most emotional locations on Earth.

More information and the full catalog of the exhibition is available at http://www.museumeinharod.org.il/english/exhibitions/2010/albert_rubin/

Yechiel Krize - Safed, 1940

The second and most import exhibition of the moment includes again works from the Brown collection, this time focusing on the Abstract period of Yechiel Krize (1909 – 1968). Among the few early paintings of the artists I remarked the landscape of Safed, painted at the time when many other Jewish painters of the time (Menachem Shemi especially) dealt with the same subject. The quest for a new language and the road that led the painter to abstract art is already visible.

Gouache, 1955-1958

By the 1950s the artist had already taken the definite turn to abstraction, melting and recomposing the elements of landscape or light or other sources of inspiration into a new form of expression which had little similarities with works of other Israeli painters of the time, but was in dialog and synchronicity with the modern art of the time, especially American abstract artists.

Closeness, 1958-59

Gouache and oil painting on wood were the two preferred techniques of the period.

the 'white period' room in the exhibition

painting from the 'white period' - early 60s

The ‘white period’ in the early 60s is maybe the most coherent and expressive period of his creation. The Browns seem to have also appreciated Krize’s work of that time, as the period is well represented in the exhibition, with a full dedicated room.

Late Gouaches, 1963-1966

Late Abstract, 1964

The last years of his life brought to Yechiel Krize a better recognition in Israel, with two major exhibitions of his works being organized in the 1960s, and a major retrospective in 1970, following his death. His searches seem to have never stopped, leading him to permanent experiments in form and colors, as well as the crystallization of a powerful and recognizable style.

Painting, 1960-62

An extensive article about Krize and the exhibition in Ein Harod can be read at http://www.haaretz.com/magazine/friday-supplement/he-didn-t-paint-flowers-1.300972.

The Web site of the Museum of Art in Ein Harod is accessible at http://www.museumeinharod.org.il/english/. The museum is open all days of the week.

expozitia Brown la muzeul de arta din Ein Harod

Pentru un iubitor de arta sosit nu de foarte multa vreme (doar doua decenii si jumatate!) in Israel, istoria artelor plastice din noua tara ascunde inca multe secrete si putine sunt ocaziile in care pot recupera decalajul de decenii. Una dintre aceste rare ocazii este prilejuita in aceste luni de expozitia deschisa la muzeul din Ein Harod si care prezinta o parte din colectia de arta israeliana a lui Gaby si Ami Brown.

Despre colectie se poate citi cate ceva la http://www.museumeinharod.org.il/english/exhibitions/2009/brown_collection/

Reuven Rubin - Shabat in moshav, 1923-1925

Ea cuprinde aproape 90 de ani de arta plastica israeliana, de la picturile idealizante si aproape naive in conceptie, dar sofisticate in expresie artistica ale inceputurilor Zionei Tagger si ale lui Reuven Rubin din anii 1920 pana la expresia politizata si post-politizata contemporana a lui Gershuni si Ozeri.

Menachem Shemi - Femei yemenite in shuk, 1949

Intre ele lucrari care acopera decenii de evolutie ale artei israeliene incluzand lucrari ale unor artisti ca Menachem Shemi din scurta perioada de furie artistica ditre tragedia pierderii fiului in razboiul de independenta si moartea artistului in 1951, o singura (doar una) exceptionala pictura fara titlu a lui Marcel Iancu din perioada Orizonturilor Noi, sau compozitii ale lui Tomarkin din anii 60.

Marcel Iancu - Fara titlu, 1955

Expozitia este deschisa pana la sfarsitul lui martie 2010. Merita de urmarit vizitele ghidate de vineri si sambata, noi am prins-o pe cea cu Galia Bar Or – curatoarea expozitiei, si am fost recompensati de o lectie comprimata dar intensa de istorie a artei.

colectia Brown - sala de arta contemporana