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Moï Ver/Moshe Raviv: Modernism in Transition

This is the first comprehensive exhibition in Israel for the photographer, painter and graphic designer Moshe Vorobeichic-Raviv (1904-1995), aka Moï Ver. It marks 100 years since the beginning of his artistic career and focuses on his avant-garde work in photography.

Vorobeichic received an extensive education in art and photography, including studies at Bauhaus Dessau, where he studied under the school’s leading teachers. He was one of six photographers from that school who immigrated to Mandatory Palestine with the Nazis’ rise to power and delivered the tidings of the New Photography (New Objectivity) movement that was taking Europe by storm. He invented revolutionary creative possibilities inspired by these emerging trends and the Russian avant-garde.

Vorobeichic created in Europe—Vilnius, Dessau, Paris and Poland— several essential bodies of work. After six years of novel, modernist, monumental, groundbreaking work alongside photographic documentation of pre-Holocaust Jewish communities, he settled in Tel Aviv. There and in Europe, he worked regularly with Zionist institutions, harnessing his distinctive, innovative style to support the national idea.

Vorobeichic’s work is closely bound to transformations in European culture; he was deeply immersed in the modernism of his time. His work also reacted to social-national-political shifts within Jewish communities He documented the “old” Jewish community beside the “new” one that was emerging in Eretz Israel and the kibbutzim (Hachsharot) in Poland. Unlike the approach of the Zionist Movement, which aimed to replace the image of the diaspora Jew with that of the new Jew—agriculturist, potent, focused on building his body and “conquering the desert”—Vorobeichic remained rooted in both worlds. He maintained his Jewish cultural roots while embracing those of Eretz Israel.

The Vorobeichic archive has only become accessible to scholars and curators in the past decade. Apart from the various group exhibitions that presented his works, the scope and contents of the archive were unknown and unstudied. The exhibition presents the ongoing dialogue among works Vorobeichic created in various periods and places. It highlights recurring themes and motifs—creative anchors—that converge into an individual visual language. It also situates Vorobeichic’s work in relation to other photographers and artists who immigrated to Eretz Israel, ushering in modernism.

Other exhibitions

Muhammad Abo Salme: Cascade
War and Peace – 50 Years of the Jerusalem Print Workshop
Hold Everything Dear
Theatre of Animals