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Walls and Voices /

. Shalom Silvia, I have looked over the photographs of the paintings that you sent me. These are amazingly beautiful paintings, masterpieces of composition, harmony and spirituality. Inspired by them, I began to compose in my head an article that I would write for the catalogue, and I pondered the version ? stone + light ? that Anna Ticho had bequeathed to the paintings of Jerusalem since the 1930s. Later, I reviewed in my mind the paintings of the sparkling walls drawn by Yehoshua Grossbard of Haifa; the series of Jerusalem walls in their transcendental silence, drawn by Michael Gross; and even the walls of the houses in Gaza drawn by Michael Kovner. And specifically in comparison to all these, I felt the power and uniqueness of your paintings. I am well aware of the covenant between simplicity, superficiality and a wall. Your current paintings derive from an empirical look at reality, but they confirm simplicity, and it is better this way ? they cancel out the seeming contrast between superficiality and realism. The experience of viewing them shakes the eye and the soul between the closed (half a dark window, a locked blue gate, a shaded door) and the open (such as blurring / welding / melting the concrete ? the balcony railing, for example, in airy abstractness). The soul and the eye dart back and forth between the geometrical (flat, and sometimes even cubic, walls and architectural units) and the organic ? the free vegetation. It seems that the series of paintings at hand is placing metaphysical dualism, not to mention religious, between the rational regulation of the world and the chaotic; between the superior recognition and nature. On this level of transcendentalism, I found myself fascinated by the blocked entrance, which I identify in many paintings: stairs that invite us to climb to the ? doors that seem to disclose what is behind them ? balconies that seem to promise an exit to the inside of the house. But, no: your paintings confirm a great level of yearning for the secret, but the blocking of the way to the unknown. Unlike the banal chronicles of beautiful corners in Jerusalem (entrances, gates, windows, yards) ? such as those that invite us to a delightful meeting with a place, your ?walls and voices? say ?here and no more?! and surround the hidden secret in the heaviness and silence of the stone. That is why, I thought, that the human vacuum, the lack of any person or movement in this place, is clothed in melancholy of the departure from life and exit to the ?beyond.? What is art if not the attempt to enter the orchard, and who is an artist if not the one who peeked and was hurt, but wishes to peek again. Accordingly, the sparkling lights on the stone and the walls seem to expose all and reveal, but the truth is that the light burns all, melts all, turns all materialism into wind, and even so, leaves us with all our desires as we see them. And the voices? I believe that the voices hush beneath the great silence, the holy silence of ?on the verge of? and the danger of ?up till here.? I pondered on all these ideas, and also on the musky shades of ?whitewash? in the many layers, that convey a message of concealment within the revelation. But the more I thought of the deep impression that your paintings left on me (both the modesty of their format and the topic convey a personal prayer), thus I conceived the limitations of my words. I read these lines and I feel that I am stomping in overused expressions that do not rise to a sharp, piercing, wall-shattering utterance ? I write all this in great length so that you will believe that, even though I tried and desired to write words of introduction to the catalogue, in the end of all words ? I prefer to remain silent when looking at your paintings. Gideon, January 2012 Dr. Gideon Ofrat is a world renowned art historian, curator, professor of philosophy and aesthetics. He has organized exhibitions around the world including the groundbreaking 1993 & 1995 Israeli Pavilion exhibitions at the Venice Biennale. Ofrat was the first to organize performance art festivals in Israel as well as 9 pioneering exhibitions on the rise of Israeli Post-Modernism. He is the author of over 30 books and 80 exhibition catalogues including the English translated books One Hundred Years of Art in Israel and The Jewish Derrida.
location -
רח' הצפירה 5 המושבה הגרמנית. י-ם by appointment only: tel. 5662423

Time - 01/03/2012 to - 20/06/2012

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