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The Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s Israeli Art Collection is one of the largest and most up-to-date collections of Israeli art over the decades. Its historical scope paints a broad picture of Israeli art, while offering an in-depth selection of works by key artists, that highlight seminal artistic trends and key influential figures in the local art scene.

The collection includes a significant representation of twentieth-century art, since Tel Aviv became Israel’s art center rather than Jerusalem, shortly after the inauguration of the Museum. Notable works are paintings by Reuven Rubin, Nahum Gutman, Arieh Lubin, Sionah Tagger, Moshe Castel, Pinhas Litvinovsky, Israel Paldi, and others. The influence of the Expressionist Jewish artists of the Paris School on Israeli art is evident in the works of the 1930s, and in the 1940s the influence of Canaanite ideology is also apparent. The New Horizons group, which was founded in 1948 and led Israeli art in the 1950s to landscape abstraction, is represented in the collection by Yosef Zaritsky, Yehezkel Streichman, Yehiel Krize, Itzhak Danziger, Yehiel Shemi, Avshalom Okashi, and others. Also represented are artists of other artistic movements at the time, which have received increasing recognition in recent years, such as Socialist Realism, and how they contended with issues such as the Holocaust of European Jewry or events of the Nakba. These are represented, among others, in the figurative paintings of Aharon Avni, Moshe Tamir, Ruth Schloss, Eliyahu Gat, Naftali Bezem, Gershon Knispel, but also in works by other New Horizons artists, such as Marcel Janco, Yohanan Simon, and Aharon Kahana. Mordecai Ardon represents the symbolic and mystical abstract of a Jewish-Kabbalistic bent.

The prominent artists of the 1960s are mostly men: Arie Aroch, Moshe Kupferman, Ori Reisman, Michael Gross, Raffi Lavie, Moshe Gershuni, Igael Tumarkin, Menashe Kadishman, and others. The paucity of women artists — which include Aviva Uri and Lea Nikel — is very evident, and signals a need for change. And change did come: in the 1970s, the art map began to shift, and the political preoccupation with a variety of issues, including identity politics and theoretical exploration of the artistic medium itself, came to the fore. From this period on, women artists – including Michal Na’aman, Deganit Berest, Tamar Getter, Nurit David, Pamela Levy, Jenifer Bar-Lev, Yudith Levin, Michal Rovner and Yehudit Sasportas — begin to play a central role in the local field, alongside male artists such as Nahum Tevet, Zvi Goldstein, Joshua Neustein, Pinchas Cohen Gan, David Reeb, Gabriel Klasmer, Asim Abu-Shakra, Larry Abramson, Tsibi Geva, and others. Despite the blurring of the demarcations between mediums during these years, painting and sculpture continue to be central in the twenty-first century, as evident in the collection in works by Avner Ben-Gal, Khen Shish, Gil Marco Shani, Zamir Shatz, Michael Halak, Alma Itzhaky, Eli Petel, Reuven Israel, Yael Efrati, and others. Alongside them, video and installation art occupy a growing central place in the collection, in the work of artists such as Guy Ben-Ner, Tamir Zadok, Ruti Sela, Ohad Meromi, Michal Helfman, Sigalit Landau, Yael Bartana, Mika Rottenberg, Nira Pereg, Jan Tichy, Maya Zack, Gil Yefman, Ben Hagari, Tamar Harpaz, Nevet Yitzhak, and others.

The Museum’s collection of Israeli art reflects, in real time, what is happening in the local art scene. At the same time, it outlines a picture of the Zeitgeist over a period of over a century. The construction of the collection over the years reflects and informs the Museum’s constant pursuit of its mission to exhibit Israeli art and to produce research and documentary catalogues about it.

Nahum Gutman, Resting at Noon, 1926
Oil on canvas, 93.5×107.5 cm

Acquisition
© Estate of the artist

Reuven Rubin, The Artist's Family, 1926
Oil on canvas, 163×129 cm

Gift of the Government of Israel
© Estate of the artist

Yohanan Simon, Sabbath in the Kibbutz, 1947
Oil on canvas, 65×55 cm

Gift of the artist
© Estate of the artist

Yosef Zaritsky, Yehiam (Life in the Kibbutz), 1951
Oil on burlap mounted on canvas, 208×228 cm

Purchased through a donation from Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff, Baltimore, Maryland, 1975
© Estate of the artist

Arieh Aroch, Agrippas Street, 1964
Oil pencil and incision on wood panel, and street sign, 116×53.5 cm

Gift of Walter and Marianna Griessmann, London, to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and to the Israel Museum, Jerusalem
© Estate of the artist

Moshe Kupferman, Untitled, 1966
Oil on canvas, 131×164 cm

Purchased through a contribution from the Recanati Fund for the Acquisition of Israeli Art, 1993
© Kupferman Collection

Raffi Lavie, Untitled, 2002
Acrylic and pencil on plywood, 125×122.3 cm

Purchased with the contribution of the Uzi Zucker Fund for Acquisition of Contemporary Israeli Art, through the American Friends of Tel Aviv Museum of Art
© Estate of the artist

Aviva Uri, Requiem to a Bird, 1976
Oil-pastel on paper, 70×81 cm

Gift of the artist
© Estate of the artist

Tamar Getter, Tel Hai Courtyard and the Ideal City, 1977
Blackboard paint and chalk on vinyl and canvas, 122×140 cm

© Tamar Getter

Micha Ullman, Midnight, from the "Containers" series, 1988
Iron and red sand, 253×240×232 cm

Gift of Rivka Sacker and Uzi Zucker to The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv Museum of Art, in memory of Dov Gottesman
© Micha Ullman

Nurit David, Milk or Wine (In the Pasture), 1995
Oil on canvas, 190×150 cm

Purchased through a donation from the Recanati Fund for the Acquisition of Israeli Art, 1996
© Nurit David

Deganit Berest, M II, 1992
Acrylic on canvas, 175×175 cm

Purchased through a donation from the Israel Phoenix Assurance Company Ltd., 1992
© Deganit Berest

Michal Naaman, Lord of Colors (in White), 1998
Oil and masking-tape on canvas, 170×200 cm

Gift of the artist
© Michal Naaman

Absalon, Cell No. 6, 1991
Wood, cardboard, white paint, neon tube, and Perspex, 125×360 cm

Purchased through a donation from Shula and Jehuda Prihar, Tel Aviv
© Estate of the artist

Sharon Ya'ari, Iris Hill, 1999
Color print, 127×158 cm

Purchased through the Jacques and Eugenie O'Hana Foundation
© Sharon Ya’ari

Sigalit Landau, Ambulance / Chéri Chéri the Blue Eyed Fantasy / Asla, 1999
Painted bronze, dyed wool rug, printed paper folded on cardboard sign, dimensions variable

Purchased by the American Friends of Tel Aviv Museum of Art with funds contributed by the Rivka Saker and Uzi Zucker Fund for Contemporary Israeli Art, on loan to Tel Aviv Museum of Art
© Sigalit Landau
Photo: Yigal Pardo

Guy Ben-Ner, Treehouse Kit, 2005
Wood, mattress, synthetic carpet, and DVD, h 290 cm, 10 min

Purchased with the contribution of Rivka Saker and Uzi Zucker Fund for Acquisition of Israeli Contemporary Art through the American Friends of Tel Aviv Museum of Art, on loan to Tel Aviv Museum of Art
© Guy Ben-Ner

Yael Bartana, And Europe Will Be Stunned, 2007–11
Video (trilogy): 1. Mary Kooszmary (Nightmares), 2007, 16mm transferred to DVD, 11 min.; 2. Mur I Wieza (Wall and Tower), 2009, RED transferred to Blue-Ray, 15 min; 3. Zamach (Assassination), 2011, RED transferred to Blue-Ray, 35 min

Jointly acquired by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, with the assistance of BFAMI's Acquisition Fund
© Yael Bartana

Michal Helfman, While Dictators Rage, 2013
MDF plates, framed picture, metal music stands, wooden cornice, MDF stools, wooden stairs, kites (wood and paper), wall (wood, plaster and MDF), kite tails, music sheets, 2 drawings

Purchased with the contribution of the Voting for Art Acquisition Group
© Michal Helfman

Nevet Yitzhak, The Concert, 2013
Video installation, gilded wooden frames, table, carpets, 12 min 37 sec

Purchased with the contribution of the Voting for Art Acquisition Group
© Nevet Yitzhak

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s Israeli Art Collection is one of the largest and most up-to-date collections of Israeli art over the decades. Its historical scope paints a broad picture of Israeli art, while offering an in-depth selection of works by key artists, that highlight seminal artistic trends and key influential figures in the local art scene.

The collection includes a significant representation of twentieth-century art, since Tel Aviv became Israel’s art center rather than Jerusalem, shortly after the inauguration of the Museum. Notable works are paintings by Reuven Rubin, Nahum Gutman, Arieh Lubin, Sionah Tagger, Moshe Castel, Pinhas Litvinovsky, Israel Paldi, and others. The influence of the Expressionist Jewish artists of the Paris School on Israeli art is evident in the works of the 1930s, and in the 1940s the influence of Canaanite ideology is also apparent. The New Horizons group, which was founded in 1948 and led Israeli art in the 1950s to landscape abstraction, is represented in the collection by Yosef Zaritsky, Yehezkel Streichman, Yehiel Krize, Itzhak Danziger, Yehiel Shemi, Avshalom Okashi, and others. Also represented are artists of other artistic movements at the time, which have received increasing recognition in recent years, such as Socialist Realism, and how they contended with issues such as the Holocaust of European Jewry or events of the Nakba. These are represented, among others, in the figurative paintings of Aharon Avni, Moshe Tamir, Ruth Schloss, Eliyahu Gat, Naftali Bezem, Gershon Knispel, but also in works by other New Horizons artists, such as Marcel Janco, Yohanan Simon, and Aharon Kahana. Mordecai Ardon represents the symbolic and mystical abstract of a Jewish-Kabbalistic bent.

The prominent artists of the 1960s are mostly men: Arie Aroch, Moshe Kupferman, Ori Reisman, Michael Gross, Raffi Lavie, Moshe Gershuni, Igael Tumarkin, Menashe Kadishman, and others. The paucity of women artists — which include Aviva Uri and Lea Nikel — is very evident, and signals a need for change. And change did come: in the 1970s, the art map began to shift, and the political preoccupation with a variety of issues, including identity politics and theoretical exploration of the artistic medium itself, came to the fore. From this period on, women artists – including Michal Na’aman, Deganit Berest, Tamar Getter, Nurit David, Pamela Levy, Jenifer Bar-Lev, Yudith Levin, Michal Rovner and Yehudit Sasportas — begin to play a central role in the local field, alongside male artists such as Nahum Tevet, Zvi Goldstein, Joshua Neustein, Pinchas Cohen Gan, David Reeb, Gabriel Klasmer, Asim Abu-Shakra, Larry Abramson, Tsibi Geva, and others. Despite the blurring of the demarcations between mediums during these years, painting and sculpture continue to be central in the twenty-first century, as evident in the collection in works by Avner Ben-Gal, Khen Shish, Gil Marco Shani, Zamir Shatz, Michael Halak, Alma Itzhaky, Eli Petel, Reuven Israel, Yael Efrati, and others. Alongside them, video and installation art occupy a growing central place in the collection, in the work of artists such as Guy Ben-Ner, Tamir Zadok, Ruti Sela, Ohad Meromi, Michal Helfman, Sigalit Landau, Yael Bartana, Mika Rottenberg, Nira Pereg, Jan Tichy, Maya Zack, Gil Yefman, Ben Hagari, Tamar Harpaz, Nevet Yitzhak, and others.

The Museum’s collection of Israeli art reflects, in real time, what is happening in the local art scene. At the same time, it outlines a picture of the Zeitgeist over a period of over a century. The construction of the collection over the years reflects and informs the Museum’s constant pursuit of its mission to exhibit Israeli art and to produce research and documentary catalogues about it.

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