Limitless Expressions of Art

For beautiful artworks by leading Israeli artists, please visit www.galleryofisrael.com  

 

We so often confine our definitions of art into certain categories; paintings, sculpture, photography, digital, among many others. I thought that this video would shed some new light on the beauty of art as expressed by an Israeli person who no longer possesses the skills that so many artists in various fields take for granted.

 

 

Please look at this link in the event that the above video does not play:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A6n-W0zS1I

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Russian artists in Israel

For beautiful artworks by leading Israeli artists, please visit www.galleryofisrael.com  

Diana Shimon - Mother

Diana Shimon – “Mother”

Russian artists who have immigrated to Israel over the past several decades, comprise a fair portion of current art in Israel. The common denominators that these Russian artists share, notwithstanding their differences in education, age, and various represented regions of origins within the Former Soviet Union, are the Russian language and culture in which they were brought up. They bring with them their individual, yet always complex experiences of life in communist Russia, a country different from Israel in almost every way imaginable, one that is totalitarian, large in size, and bearing different values and atmosphere.

Many years have passed since the Russian artist community infiltrated the Israeli, and to this day, the interesting mission to try and find out why somewhat of a “wall” continues to separate Russian artists from their Israeli colleagues, still eludes numerous people in the field. It may be significant to note that this separation exists in many forms not only between the artists, but between veteran Israeli citizens and immigrants as well.

One can easily find representatives and politicians of the Israeli art establishment constantly expressing “the immense contribution of Russian immigration to Israeli culture.” It seems that no one can pinpoint exactly what the place of Russian speaking artists in the Israeli art world is, and in what way they influence and/or affect this local body.

One thing is for certain, and that is that many an Israeli has been impressed by their Russian counterparts’ talents, diligence and courage, and many continue to enjoy their unique creations.

Israel’s Art School – Bezalel Academy of Art and Design

David Cohen - Ben Yehuda Walkway

David Cohen - Ben Yehuda Walkway

Since this is a blog about Israeli art and artists, I cannot allow another post to go by without sharing with the world (or at least with those interested) about The Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. This acclaimed and sought after art college is Israel’s national school of art. For those who may think that “Bezalel” sounds like just another strange foreign word, rest assured that this foreign word appears in the Bible. Bezalel was the son of Uri, whom Moses appointed to oversee the construction and design of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35:30). The academy was named “Bezalel” the direct Hebrew translation being “in God’s shadow” pointing to a Holy God’s creativity being channeled to men of flesh and blood.

 

The Bezalel School is located on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem and currently has a student body numbering 1,500 who are registered in programs such as ceramic design, industrial design, fine arts, architecture, photography, animation, visual communication, and film.

 

Boris Schatz founded the academy in 1903 the official opening was in 1906. In 2006, the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design celebrated its 100th anniversary.

 

Students of the Bezalel School started out by producing decorative art objects in a wide range of media: fabric, silver, wood, leather, and brass. Even though many of the designers and artists were trained in Europe, it was often members of the Yemenite community who were the craftsmen. The Yemenite Jews have a long tradition of craftsmanship in precious metals, and since small groups were immigrating to Israel at least from the beginning of the nineteenth century, a distinctive Yemenite community was formed in Jerusalem.

 

Leading artists of the school include Meir Gur Aryeh, Ze’ev Raban, Boris Schatz, Jacob Eisenberg, Jacob Steinhardt, and Hermann Struck.

 

It is no secret that Israeli art would most likely not be what it is today without the excellent training and inspiration provided at this fine academy.

 

For beautiful artworks by leading Israeli artists, please visit www.galleryofisrael.com  

David Cohen - Emek Yisrael Valley

David Cohen - Emek Yisrael Valley

 

 

 

 

Israeli art in New York City

 

Yoav Shualy - Landscape
Yoav Shualy – Landscape

For beautiful artworks by leading Israeli artists, please visit www.galleryofisrael.com  

 

 

For those of us who don’t know, or those who find it hard to believe, here are some hard core facts about Jews in New York City. The New York City metropolitan area is home to the largest Jewish community outside of Israel, boasting 3,750,000 Jews, comprising of 9.3% of New York’s city’s diverse population.

 

 

With statistics such as these, the New York art scene is awakening slowly but surely to a field that almost 10% of  the population potentially has an interest in. The city’s museums are taking in Israeli artists, and back in March of this year, the Museum of Modern Art opened a solo show for a graduate of the renowned Israeli art school, Bezalel, who incidentally still works in Israel.

 

Madalena Sawon, the director of the Postmasters Gallery in Chelsea, which represents two Israeli artists, says, “There’s a big desire for the art world to be international, and there’s no favoritism or discrimination.”

 

The New York art scene has become enticing for young Israelis artists too. One of the professors at Columbia University, Jon Kessler, created the Israel Artists Fund for Visual Arts at Columbia, in 2003. Two scholarships to its master’s program are awarded each year.

 

Another example is Rivka Saker, who created ‘Artis’ in 2004 which aims at promoting young Israeli artists in New York. Saker remarks from her offices on the Upper East Side, “It’s giving Israeli artists the right exposure that will change things for them.”

 

Creating a presence of Israeli art in the most highly populated city in the U.S.A. is a priority to many an artiste, challenging as it may be, the doors seem to opening.

Israeli artists – to move or not to move?

For beautiful artworks by leading Israeli artists, please visit www.galleryofisrael.com

 

The heart of many Israeli artists eventually reaches a point where it questions whether to remain faithful to the relative atomic, but precious Homeland, or whether they should venture out into the spacious, colorful, and enticing world of art abroad, in order to both promote themselves, and market their art. Despite cultural barriers and costliness, there are those who take the step, and wait to see how far they can go, and how their art can enter the soul of those foreign to them, and often to Israel itself.

These artists find themselves at times in somewhat of a “purgatory” state. After they have spent a few months, or even years of being abroad, they can not imagine themselves leaving their new environment, one that offers an ever present hope and opportunity of being discovered and given the outlet and publicity that they dream of. On the other hand, they often feel as though they are not yet prepared to return to their beloved Israel, the land from which they may even draw their inspiration.

Even though I do not necessarily endorse this shift in location, an often unnoticed reality seems to be occurring, the profile of Israeli art is being considerably upgraded in these lands, and therefore many collectors and galleries alike are taking a new, keen interest in art depicted by our minute country’s ambassadors in this unexpected genre of beauty.

Arie Lamdan - Yemenite Couple

Arie Lamdan - Yemenite Couple

How Israeli Abstract Art came about

For beautiful artworks by leading Israeli artists, please visit www.galleryofisrael.com

 

The 1930’s brought a large number of immigrant artists from Europe, and this led to German expressionism and additional innovative European trends to the Holy Land. This international tendency came to the forefront in the 1940’s and 1950’s, and endeavored to free Israeli art, and painting in particular, from its increasingly localized character, in order to bring it into the arena of contemporary European art. Thus, much resultant Israeli art has been very abstract in nature.

 

The trends of Biblical and Diaspora influences, the effort to create a unique “Hebrew art,” and the direction towards contemporary abstraction, have been the foundation of Israel’s art attempts in becoming self defined. These elements constitute lush ground for today’s Israeli artists, and furnishing them with a range of options and living traditions that are open for them to adopt, transfigure, and combine with new ideas.

 

All this, creates the art of modern Israel, after less than a century, indeed a vibrant and rich tradition, and one that every collector and admirer can experience and enjoy!

 

Betty Rubinstein - Dancing in the Wind

Betty Rubinstein - Dancing in the Wind

 

History of Israeli Art: 1920’s

For beautiful artworks by leading Israeli artists, please visit www.galleryofisrael.com

In continuation to yesterday’s blog post in which we began to address the question of how Israeli art developed its own unique flavor, we pick up with the new immigrants attempted to solve this issue. One way that naturally evolved was the depiction of Biblical scenes and romantic, hypothesizing images drawn from Jewish communities in ancient times. These subject matters served the purpose by fusing European techniques with Middle Eastern styles.

 

What occurred, however, in the next generation of artists, was quite unpredictable. The new, young, up and coming artists rebelled against the above mentioned solution, as though it was an unwritten law in the Israeli art world.

 

They attempted to establish a Jewish or “Israeli” art style the was distinct from any other, and that addressed life in their newly found homeland, and did not resemble the inspiration rooted in the “old world.”

 

The artworks of this group, who emerged in the 1920’s, chose to emphasize the Land’s landscape using an aura of light and glowing colors, primitive techniques and symbols. In addition, they also often portrayed exotic Middle Eastern lifestyles and environments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History of Israeli Art: Early 20th century

For beautiful artworks by leading Israeli artists, please visit www.galleryofisrael.com

 

Those of us who wonder when Israel’s modern artistic life emerged, will be intrigued to learn that it began with a sudden surge in 1901. It was in this year that the Zionist Congress agreed upon a plan in which talented young Jews would be encouraged to attend an art school in Jerusalem.

 

The response by competent art instructors and students was overwhelming, however, upon their arrival an immediate challenge came to light: what exactly is Israeli art? So, the first Israeli artists were immigrants, and faced questions and dilemmas in the same way as did the majority of Israeli’s in those early days.

 

We can ascertain from this, that the artists’ inspiration had their source in traditions and imaginative ideas which originated abroad. While this proved to bring in diverse influences from a range of other countries, the danger was to leave Israeli art void of its own unique identity.

 

The solution awaits you in tomorrow’s blog. Stay tuned…

Diana Shimon, Oil on Canvas

Diana Shimon, Oil on Canvas

Influences of Israel’s art

For beautiful artworks by leading Israeli artists, please visit www.galleryofisrael.com

 

Art in modern Israel ranges an incredible and vibrant variety, and is influenced by an abundance of both local and global influences.

 

Artists receive their inspiration anywhere from Israel’s ancient history, to the beauty and differences of the country’s landscape, to its multicultural diversity. The assortment of cultures gathered together in one motherland, is evident in the mannerisms, colors, and traditions represented by the plethora of original nationalities represented in the Land, which naturally affects its creative artists.

 

Israel’s art is mainly noted for usage of both desert and bright Mediterranean colors, as well as modern interpretations of traditional Jewish subject matter.

 

It is the attraction of this thriving scene that makes viewing and acquiring art from Israel such a rewarding and pleasurable prospect.

 

Ron Gang - Valley in February

Ron Gang - Valley in February

 
 
 
 

 

Welcome to Gallery of Israel

A warm welcome to the blog of www.galleryofisrael.com

We will do our best to provide newsy and interesting posts regarding Israeli art, artists, and insights on these.

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I look forward to receiving your comments.

Tehila Gonen

Director

www.galleryofisrael.com

Yacov Gabay - Jaffa, Israel

Yacov Gabay - Jaffa, Israel