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Past Exhibitions

THE 1970S IN ISRAELI ART: MY OWN BODY

THE 1970S IN ISRAELI ART: MY OWN BODY

Within the framework of the six national exhibitions shown in honor of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art has chosen to present the 1970s: 1968-1978. The Six-Day War (1967) and the first Lebanon War (1982) delimit this time span, with the Yom Kippur War (1973) casting its onerous shadow in the middle. In terms of the dynamics of Israeli art, the beginning of this period was marked by the later influences of New Horizons, whereas its end—by postmodernist practices whose reverberations are still discernible today. The exhibition focuses on works of art in which the body of the artist himself served as raw material in the creative process.The exhibition consists of two main parts: one concentrates on self-portraits in which artists related primarily to the face as a means fortransmitting a message. About thirty artists represent this trend in the show, from artists who were then starting their careers (such as Ra’anan Levy and Asad Azi) through such established artists as Avigdor Arikha and Igael Tumarkin—each in his own way and style. The second, more extensive, part of the show focuses on the artist’s body, and is anchored, among others, in post-conceptual trends andbody art, as well as in various mediums—performance, installation, and video, television and cinematic photography. In these works, the artist takes upon himself several new roles: examining criteria in relationship o space (for example, Micha Ullman, Joshua Neustein, Michael Druks, Moshe Ninio); a driving force for action in landscape (like Itzhak Danziger, Avital Geva, Pinchas Cohen Gan, Benni Efrat); presence of  a shaman and mender of the world (like Motti Mizrahi, Avraham Ofek, Mikhail Grobman, Haim Maor); victim’s sensitivities and self-exposure to experiences (for example, Yocheved Weinfeld, Yudith Levin, Gideon Gechtman, David Ginton). The exhibition is presented in three of the Museum’s galleries as well as the Meshulam Riklis Foyer. The artists who served as mentors of  Israeli art in the 1970s—Itzhak Danziger, Micha Ullman, Avital Geva and Dov Or-Ner—are exhibited at the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Sculpture Gallery. Self-portraits by Pinchas Cohen Gan, Benni Efrat, Joshua Neustein, Buky Schwartz, and artists who explored their own bodies as part of a conceptual-cognitive thought process, are presented at the Sam and Ayala Zacks Pavilion. The other artists shown alongside, Motti  Mizrahi, Avraham Ofek, Mikhail Grobman, and Michael Sgan Cohen, display a more shamanistic orientation. A special section is reserved for photographs centered on the artist’s body by such artists as Barry Frydlender, Simcha Shirman, Boaz Tal, Micha Kirshner, and Avi Ganor.  At the Markus B. Mizne Gallery, Gabrielle Rich Wing, are shown artists who graduated the Midrasha State Painting Teachers’ Training Collegebut also includes Deganit Berest, a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, and Michael Druks, who studied at the Margoshinsky College of Painting. An emphasis is placed on the Bezalel art students’ revolt in the 1970s, and the students’ use of their bodies as part of the subversive tradition bequeathed by their teachers. The catalog contains essays by the Museum curators and an essay by Prof. Tamar Herman on Israeli society of the 1970s.

OPENING DATE:

Monday 21 July 2008

Saturday 03 January 2009

LOCATION:

Sam and Ayala Zacks Pavilion; Markus B. Mizne Gallery, Gabrielle Rich Wing; Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Sculpture Gallery

CURATOR:

Prof. Mordechai Omer

CREDITS:

Isracard, Beracha Foundation, 60th Anniversary of the State of Israel, Department of Science, Culture and Sport of the Ministry of Culture, Learning Center of Libraries in Israel, and the British Friends of the Art Museums in Israel (BFAMI)

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  • Aviva Uri, Self-Portrait, ca. 1979 acrylic on canvas, 81x60 cm, courtesy of Gordon Gallery, Tel Aviv
  • Moshe Gershuni, The Main (Real) Problems are with the Tongue and the Toes, 1972 color photographs, 24x31 cm each, collection of the artist
  • Dani Karavan, preparations for the Venice Biennale, 1975 Rishon Le-Zion sand dunes, documentary photograph (Ya'acov Agor, from the collection of the artist
  • Dani Karavan, Jerusalem, Environment for Peace, 1976 the Venice Biennale, documentary photograph, from the collection of the artist
  • Moshe Ninio, Sleeping Figure (Preparatory Stage), 1978 black and white photographic papers, 105x103.5 cm, private collection
  • Michael Sgan-Cohen, Self-Portrait with Alphabet, 1978 acrylic on canvas, 40x55 cm, private collection
  • Simcha Sherman, Self-Portrait Laying (detail), 1974-1976 black-and-white photograph, one of four units, 16.5x23, collection of the artist
  • Moshe Gershuni, The Main (Real) Problems are with the Tongue and the Toes, 1972 color photographs, 24x31 cm each, collection of the artist
  •  Aviva Uri, Self-Portrait, ca. 1979 Aviva Uri, Self-Portrait, ca. 1979, acrylic on canvas, 81x60 cm, courtesy of Gordon Gallery, Tel Aviv
  • Efrat Natan, Flag, 1974 black-and-white photograph, 17.5x26 cm, collection of Tel Aviv Museum of Art, purchased through a donation from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation
  • Micha Kirschner, Self-Portrait, 1972 Lambda print, 60x70 cm, collection of the artist