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Israeli Art

The Museum’s permanent display of Israeli Art, which changes every few years, seeks to present historical or thematic sequences from the 1920s to the present.

The first gallery presents paintings by Reuven Rubin, Nahum Gutman, Pinhas Litvinovsky, Moshe Castel, and others, as well as works from the 1940s that bear the hallmarks of the ideology of the Canaanist movement, and examples of the transition to abstraction in the landscape works of the New Horizons group of artists. The current show features notable artistic schools and individual artists who worked outside the mainstream, who in recent years have gained increasing recognition. The works of artists such as Ruth Schloss, Naftali Bezem, and Pery Rosenfeld offer an exploration of various issues — including the Holocaust of European Jews, and the Israeli War of Independence and Palestinian Naqba of 1948 — and exemplify the ideological aspects of Social Realism. Of particular note are two works, for their allusion to a local historical event — the signing of a petition for peace in Acre, 1953 — highlighting the artist’s social and political function: a monumental painting by Gershon Knispel and an etching by Shimon Tzabar.

Beside its chronological presentation, the current exhibition also provides leading women artists from the 1960s to the present with "a room of their own," showcasing Aviva Uri, Lea Nikel, Hagit Lalo, Michal Na’aman, Deganit Berest, Tamar Getter, Nurit David, Pamela Levy, Jenifer Bar-Lev, and Bianka Eshel Gershuni.

Installation view

Photo: Elad Sarig

A major chapter is devoted to post-minimalist art in Israel in the three decades following the 1967 War, and to the preoccupation with objects, formal reduction, and the exploration of artistic boundaries. The works of Joshua Neustein, Michael Gitlin, Ehud Pecker, Nahum Tevet, Absalon, Moshe Kupferman, Reuven Israel, Angela Klein, Jenifer Bar-Lev, and others highlight the differences between the Minimalist school and the artists who insisted on the “post-” label — namely, the shift from the formal and conceptual rigor of Minimalism, to subjective, gender-based, or historical contents.

The third gallery is devoted to contemporary works by Israeli artists. The works of Ariel Schlesinger, Daniel Silver, Michal BarOr, and Noa Yafe explore the ways by which cultural memory is forged. Architectural codes and language are used by several artists — such as Shelly Federman, Michael Halak, Yona Friedman, and Roy Menahem Markovich — to articulate their locale as a dystopian site. Echoes of the identity discourse are evident in artworks that engage with issues such as differences and multiplicity, as in the work of Vered Nissim, Lihi Turjeman, and Leor Grady.

Works by emerging artists, acquired in recent years, are interspersed throughout the three galleries of Israeli art, providing yet another connotation to the show’s title, Remotely Related, by suggesting reflexive artistic references and inter-generational associations.

The display was made possible thanks to the generosity of Tova and Sami Sagol and Naomi and David Kolitz

Other exhibitions

To Catch a Fleeting Moment: 150 Years of Impressionism
Muhammad Abo Salme: Cascade
War and Peace – 50 Years of the Jerusalem Print Workshop
Hold Everything Dear