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Featured Artists

Complete List of Represented Artists



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Complete List of Represented Artists

The Michael Hittleman Gallery is proud to offer works by the following contemporary Israeli artists:

Raphael Abecassis, b.1953, Marakesh, Morocco - His works combine elements of manuscript biblical scenes and a mystical sense of wonder. The works have an approachability and a simple childlike candor. His drawing style is reminiscent of the Chasidic influence on Chagall.
Larry Abramson, b.1954 - Since the 1980s, Larry Abramson has been a major figure in postmodern Israeli art. His works depict nature (plants and landscapes) in a dialogue with the sublime (which cannot be attained) and reality (which cannot be depicted). Abramson has attempted to restart painting from within after Marcel Duchamp and Kasimir Malevich – twin dead ends as he sees them. He has also been profoundly affected by knowledge of the Nakba, the forced Palestinian flight from villages all over Israel. He has engaged in a dialogue with Israeli artists of the previous generation like Zaritsky who painted Israeli settlements without acknowledging they covered Palestinian villages. In a recent series of works Abramson has taken a cache of newspapers his father saved from the 1967 war and painted over them using plant motifs from a famous Israeli botanical book. He has left some of the ads and articles from the paper to be read in juxtaposition with the botanicals. What results is an extraordinary series of works on nature, politics, land, and country. Abramson has matured into one of Israel's greatest artists.

Price Tag IX: (How Beautiful the Nights), below, refers to the tagging of Palestinian homes in the West Bank with a Jewish Star as if they are going to be sold. It is a terrorist act by settlers.

Yaacov Agam, b.1928 - Agam is the most famous living Israeli artist. He works in Paris but is an international figure. Agam has done kinetic (moving) art works (figuratively and literally) all over the world. He works in every medium – even painting the entire Le Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles. He has designed rooms for the President of France and a fire and water fountain for the center of Tel Aviv. Recent projects include decorating a huge office building in Mexico City and designing and decorating a complex of buildings along the water north of Tel Aviv.
Shlomo Alter, b.1936, Romania - Alter was born into a family of restaurateurs but turned to art from an early age. He immigrated to Israel in 1948. He started painting in high school and studied with the famous Aaron Avni. Some of his works appeared in UNICEF's world tour of young artists. After years in computer science he turned back to his art in 1975. He had been guided by Marcel Janco. His works are influenced by recollections of his parents' restaurant clientele in Bucharest - the carnival atmosphere and the gypsy bands. His works are artificial stage sets of pre-war optimism. His bright colors and sense of joy create his own expressionist style.
Harry Araten, b.1936, d.2001 - Araten is a superb watercolorist. He has an original sense of humor combined with a wonderful feel for economic color and line. His works depict the humor and grit we need to make it through daily life.
Mordechai Ardon (Max Bronstein), b.1896, Poland, d.1992 - Ardon was one of the giants of Israeli art who was also a major European artist. Trained at the Bauhaus, he began exhibiting with the Berlin November Group in 1928. Among his teachers had been Klee, Kandinsky and Feininger. Ardon arrived in Palestine in 1933 and became one of the later directors of the Bezalel School in Jerusalem. Beginning with pictures of the Judean hills, he progressed to tragic figurative symbolism evoked by the Holocaust then to surrealistic metaphysical symbolism based on Midrash and Kabbala. His response to the Holocaust was philosophical rather than expressionistic and his dramatic canvases are organized by meticulously rational composition. From Rembrandt he took the use of “hidden light” which he identified with the mystical light of Jerusalem. The watches (his father had been a watchmaker), torn parchments, letters, playing cards, ladders, children’s drawings, Kabbalistic symbols are fused into a microcosm of apocalypse and salvation.
Avigdor Arikha, b.1929, Romania, d.2010 - Arikha survived a concentration camp as a youth and a nearly fatal wound in Israel’s War of Independence. After studying with Ardon and experimenting with abstraction, in 1965 he stopped painting and took up a Japanese brush and ink to paint directly from nature. After 8 years of intensive study, he emerged in 1973 to paint intensely personal imagery – objects close to him and friends and relatives. Today after exhibitions and museum shows all over the world he is considered one the two greatest figurative artists of our time.
Arie Aroch, b.1908, Russia, d.1974 - Aroch was a seminal figure in bringing Israel from the modern to the contemporary art scene. He was an intellectual and Israel’s ambassador to Brazil and Sweden. Aroch was a founder of the New Horizon group, but went on to create art works influenced by Rauschenberg and Twombly. He created a small but incredibly influential body of works, which raised the level of art in Israel significantly – taking it from a provincial maker of semi-abstract works to a world-class creator of contemporary art. His are among the rarest and most sought after Israeli art works.
David Aronson, b.1928, Lithuania - He is a Professor at Boston University School of Fine Arts and one of the most honored American sculptors. His works have been exhibited all over the United States and the world. He has won a Guggenheim Fellowship. His works are in the collections of many major museums and the Smithsonian Institution. They are based on the angels who transmit the power of God to men. They engage in all kinds of activities that touch our hearts and our souls.
Oreet Ashery, b.1966, Jerusalem - She lives and works in London. Ashery works in video, photography and performance. Her works explore sexuality, politics, relations of power and religious practices. She frequently performs as a male character, Marcus Fisher, an orthodox Jewish man, or as a Norwegian postman, a large farmer, an Arab man or a false messiah. Sometimes in character she interacts with the real world probing the limits of multicultural and multi-religious societies. Her works have been exhibited at Tate Modern, Pompidou Center, Brooklyn Museum and Zentrum fur Kunst. Currently she is AHRC fellow in the drama department at Queen Mary University.
Maya Attoun, b.1974, Jerusalem - Maya is one of the brightest new artists in Israel. Her works mine the mysteries of existence but use bodily imagery, plant forms, graphs and even ships and rocks to anchor her thoughts in the real world. Systems are replicated and deconstructed, the rational is questioned and dichotomies abound. Order is disrupted, identities are questioned, but the beauty and awesomeness of life is not forgotten but foregrounded. Ultimately these are environmental and ecological questions about where the human leaves off and the rest of existence begins. She is an installation artist as well as a consummate draughtsman and printmaker. Future works are sure to be groundbreaking and quite unique.
Arie Azene, b.1934 - Azene is the brother of Michael Eisemann. He has developed a lucid watercolor style for Jerusalem exteriors and interiors. His scenes of the Dome of the Rock, overviews of Jerusalem, and interiors with oriental carpets are sensuous and beautiful.
Samuel Bak, b.1933 - Bak is one of the great surrealist artists. Bak deals with images from the Jewish psyche. Through visions of birds, factories, pears, broken-winged angels, Jewish symbols, Bak creates a vision of destruction, repair and redemption that is among the most powerful artistic statements of our generation.
Zeina Barakeh, b.1972, Beirut - Zeina Barakeh is a Lebanese-Palestinian artist who is Director of Graduate Administration at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work examines identity and place as well as the polarization of people and spaces. Through animation, digital media and archival installations she references and challenges concepts of identity, history, memory and territory. She works in what she calls the “third half.” This is so she will not be an accomplice to binary divisions and so she can work toward consensus and survival.
Ido Bar-El, b.1959 - Bar-el is one of Israel’s greatest contemporary artists. He is a Tel Aviv artist in his typical use of “poor materials”. Ido will paint on pieces of wood, plastic, automobile hood, chunks of metal and boxes. He redeems these objects with imagery ranging from Biblical to Star Wars. Recently he used aluminum street signs to create a famous series of paintings. In it he was commenting subtly on the loss of public authority and the movement from public to artistic authority. One of the most thoughtful and intellectual of Israeli artists, Ido is much respected by his peers.
Milcah Bassel, b.Boston, MA; raised in Israel - Milcah is a multidisciplinary artist. Her work is an experiential investigation of body-space relations incorporating installation, hand-made objects, drawing, photography, video and performance. She has attended Brandeis and Rutgers and lives and works in Jersey City, NJ and Tel Aviv, Israel.
Tuvia Beeri, b.1929 - Beeri is one of Israel’s great printmakers. He studied with Johnny Friedlander in Europe and perfected his etching techniques. His works are abstract landscapes. He uses subtle combinations of deep colors and geometric forms to create classic views of Israel. In 2001, he won the Eli Oshorov Prize for contribution to Israeli art.
Edward Ben Avram, b.1941, Bombay, India - From his earliest works, Ben Avram has used creamy sensual tones reminiscent of his Indian background. His works have the intensity and density of an Indian wedding celebration or religious festival. Schooled in Israel and living now in the Old City of Jerusalem, Ben Avram has risen to become one of Israel's most popular painters. His themes of religious festivals, Israeli cities and Bible stories are fabulous confections - bright with color and warmth and his own magic.
Asaf Ben-Zvi, b.1953 - Ben-Zvi is one of the most important postmodern Israeli artists. His works are concerned with nature and the environment but also with intimate events, private scapes and personal objects. Ben-Zvi’s world is poetic and magical. He is concerned with cycles of life. He makes observations of Israeli landscapes from the gliders he flies. In 2012 he had a major retrospective at the Tel Aviv Museum.
Adam Berg, b.1962, Tel Aviv - Adam had a 2010 one-man show in Italy and in 2007 an exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum. With an extraordinary background in philosophy and science, Adam's works are conceptual in nature. His fabulously inventive videos and installations probe the essence of space and time. He works on the nature of vision using scientific and artistic theories to inspire him. He inaugurated our new gallery space with his work “Solar eclipse.” The work uses visual material inspired by Michelangelo and by works he did for his exhibition at the Palacio Medici in Florence. In 2012 he had the exhibitions “Endangered Spaces” at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and “Wormholes” at the Inga gallery in Tel Aviv. He is currently preparing for a museum exhibit in Italy.
Yosl Bergner, b.1920, Vienna - One of the most beloved of all Israeli artists, Bergner grew up in Warsaw and moved to Australia in 1937 where he studied art and served in the army. In the late forties he traveled to Paris, Montreal and New York to study art. He immigrated to Israel in 1950. He uses symbols like kitchen utensils and butterflies to symbolize a lost community. He has many works of haunted children, some in party hats, searching for their lost youth. His powerful images have won him major public mural commissions and he has won his country's top honor, the Israel Prize.
Moshe Bernstein, b.Kartuz-Bereza, Poland - Bernstein ended study at Vilno Art School in 1939. He lived in Russia until 1947 then immigrated to Palestine through Cyprus and fought in the War of Independence. In 1949 he took part in the "Immigrant Art Exhibition" in Tel Aviv. Since then he has had numerous shows at museums and galleries throughout Europe and Israel. His works draw their strength from the Jewish reality of Eastern Europe before the destruction. His pictures are bold and powerful with plainness and beauty joined in a moral sense. His figures are symbols of a particular Jewish spirituality.
Aharon Bezalel, b.1926, Afghanistan, d.2012, Ein Kerem, Israel - He immigrated at an early age with his parents to Israel. He was one of Israel’s most beloved sculptors and showed all over the world. His works began with the familial pair: man and woman, lovers, mother and child, even horse and rider. His works refined these figures to their essence. We sense the relationship of figures to whole, to each other, to their space in a brilliant shorthand.
Avigdor Bezalel, b.1941 - Avigdor's family was from Afghanistan and he was born in Jerusalem as a divided city. Avigdor, who works beautifully in brass and silver, has commemorated the reunification of Jerusalem in candlesticks and Hannukah menorahs created of two pieces that join together. He also does Biblical figures in brass and wood and creates beautiful oil lamps.
Avraham Binder, b.1906, Vilna, Lithuania, d.2001 - The Binder family immigrated to Palestine in the 1920s. His father opened a bookbinding shop while Avraham who had been trained in Lithuania turned to painting. Binder had numerous exhibitions in Israel at galleries and the Tel Aviv Museum. He also exhibited extensively in the U.S. He is famous for his landscapes and cityscapes. Many of his works celebrate his emotional attachment to Tel Aviv: its shoreline, markets and streets. His works are emotional, personal and full of bright colors which emanate from the soul of this artist.
Samy Briss, b.1930 - One of Israel’s most popular artists who combines a cubist style with a Byzantine one. His figures are modern icons – frontal and classic but also humorous and whimsical. Briss’ images capture the strength and vulnerability of modern life.
Slava Brodinsky, b.Birobidjan, Eastern Russia, 1955 - Having been trained at art school in his hometown, he painted monumental works throughout the U.S.S.R. and served in the Soviet Army. He immigrated to Israel in 1991. Mixing sand and other natural elements into his paintings he achieves an extraordinary sense of light and depth in his magnificent landscapes. He has done works in Tuscany and in his home area of the Galilee where the surrounding hills and unique sunlight have become dominant motifs in his work. This skyrocketing artist is collected in England, France, Japan, Russia, Canada and the United States.
Israel Broytman, b.1939 - A Canadian artist from Russia, Israel Broytman came to Canada in 1980. His images speak to his longing for his homeland that can be depicted but not revisited. They speak about change and regret while evoking a timeless beauty. Broytman has a master’s touch for color and composition.
Nomi Bruckmann, b.1944, Jerusalem - One of Israel's best draughtsmen, Bruckmann has taught drawing and painting at the Israel Museum since 1979. She studied in Paris and New York. Recently, she has been a participant in the Jerusalem Print Workshop's two year project on feminist art, Crimson Petals. Her works for that project depict a pre-historic pre-patriarchal concept of woman. Nomi atttempts to go beyond the indoctrination of western culture to create archetypal woman in the collective unconscious.
Moshe Castel, b.1909, d.1991 - Castel was one of Israel’s greatest early masters. Castel’s art spanned the whole history of Israeli modern art. His works range from pastoral fantasy to modern calligraphy representing the ancient past. He was part of the School of Paris in the late 1920’s. His later works reflected Israel’s mania for its archeological past. He created a “pre-Hebraic calligraphy” that is both figurative and abstract. A Castel Museum has been erected in Maale Adummim, Jerusalem.
Marc Chagall, b.1887, Vitebsk, Russia, d.1985 - Chagall was the greatest Jewish master of the 20th century. He created modern masterworks in Russia and was the greatest stained glass artist of his time and a master printmaker. His graphics treat the whole range of subjects from village life to lovers and flowers, Paris, Jewish and Biblical themes, the joys and sufferings of the Jewish people.
Zoya Charkassky-Nnadi, b.1976, Kiev, USSR - Zoya Cherkassky-Nnadi lives and works in Tel Aviv. She is interested in people and her choice of what to present by deceptively simple means is almost symbolic and conveys subtle criticism and a wicked sense of humor. Her social commentary has been compared to Italian Neo-Realism. She is a co-founder of the “New Barbizon” school. A group of former USSR artists who have left the studio and in the Barbizon tradition depict life by direct encounter. These artists work in the Nave Shaanan and Old Central Bus Station neighborhoods of Tel Aviv, which is the heart of the city's “Little Africa.” These artists have experienced emigration, identity crises and alienation. Zoya also works in the Levinsky Park area. Her works also depict scenes from her past in the Soviet Union at the time of its collapse. Zoya paints what she observes but with a critical eye, humor and compassion, she transforms the local into the universal.
Shlomo Chotzen, b.1910 - Chotzen was born in Germany and came to Israel in 1934. He settled at Kibutz Gat in the years 1937-1942. Later he studied at the Avni Art Academy in Tel Aviv where he became a superb draughtsman. His figurative works are wonderfully conceived and richly colored. He has exhibited extensively both in watercolors and oils.
Avital Cnaani, b.1978 - Cnaani received her MFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design and a degree from Hamidrasha School of Art. She has exhibited numerous times in Israel and also internationally in Germany and the United States. Her works derive from the human body but create images of primordial animals, wastelands and vegetation. She deals with themes of alienation, vitality, power and death. Her works reference Israeli politics in the taming of nature, destructiveness, division and control.
Ofri Cnaani, b.1975, Israel - She is the granddaughter of the famous Israeli sculptor, Yehiel Shemi. She lives and works in New York City. Cnaani works in video, photography, and performance. Her works explore feminine issues of domination, bodily experiences, and spatial awareness within social and psychological spheres. Her recent Sota Project uses a Talmudic story to explore power and sexual relations. She is currently working on a series of video installations for exhibition in Italy’s Lombardy region. Cnaani is a professor at the School of Visual Art in New York.
Gabriel Cohen, b.1933, Paris; lives in Jerusalem - Cohen is one of the world’s most famous naïve (not professionally trained) artists. His works have been exhibited at the Jewish Museum in New York and at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Cohen’s imagination knows no limits. He has placed Jerusalem in the Alps, he has planes flying around the Tower of Babel, and the canals of Venice may be alive with gondolas carrying palm fronds for Succot.
Pinchas Cohen-Gan, b.1942 - Israel’s great contemporary master. Cohen-Gan is internationally renowned with many museum shows including New York, Sweden, France, Israel and San Francisco. He was a major voice in bringing back the figure and subject matter to modern art that was either Pop or minimal. His art reflects deep political and social concerns. His art directly confronts man’s condition while challenging and commenting on his fellow artists.
Itzhak Danziger, b.1916, Berlin, d.1977 - Israel's most famous sculptor, Danziger was one of the pioneer sculptors of the Canaanite Movement, and later joined the "Ofakim Hadashim" (New Horizons) group. His statue "Nimrod" at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was controversial when he created it in 1938-39, but today it is considered one of the masterpieces of Israeli art. His "Rehabilitation of the Nesher Quarry" was a project to refashion the scarred land of the abandoned quarry near Haifa so the land was renewed. Through this and other projects, he was one of the great pioneers of Earth or Land art.
Nurit David, b.1952, Tel Aviv - One of the most intellectual and gifted artists in Israel today. David's painted works range from conceptual to figurative but always with an intense concentration on her own life and surroundings. While a teacher at Bezalel and the State Teacher's Training College (now Beit Berl College School of Art), she has created one of the most extraordinary bodies of work in Israel's history. Recent influences range from the Renaissance (Jean Fouquet) to Bruegel to Japanese woodblock artists and Georgio de Chirico. Literary inluences include Francis Ponge, Malcolm Lowry and James Joyce while film influences include Yasujiro Ozu. Recent works dealing with the death of her Japanese boyfriend and a mysterious project on imagined Italian cities brought up issues of personal struggles, love of her native Tel Aviv, and death and the afterlife. No other Israeli artist is as thought provoking with her post-modern mash-ups than Nurit David.
Ofir Dor, b.1972, Israel - One of the new breed of creative Israeli painters, Ofir Dor works in Israel and Europe. He currently resides in Berlin. He has an extraordinary mastery of the oil paint medium. His complex thickly layered works resemble abstract expressionist paintings. Only close scrutinizing reveals figurative elements that resolve into still lives, landscapes, nightmarish scenes, and human figures.
Amram Ebgi, b.1939, Morocco - He is one of the most popular Israeli artists. Ebgi is now living in the United States where he has set up a sophisticated printmaking studio. He is primarily a printmaker and his lithographs and etchings are usually brightly colored and embossed. His scenes of Israel and Jewish themes have made him renowned and beloved.
Lydie Egosi - This fabric artist and printmaker has become very popular with her blend of pastel colors and geometric abstractions of Biblical themes. Her unique works are fabric appliqué tapestries. She also does magnificent screenprints based on these fabric designs. Her works are also reproduced now on posters and cards.
Michael Eisemann, b.1942 - He is the brother of Arie Azene. Eisemann’s impressionistic collages are some of the most beautiful works coming out of Israel. He is a superb watercolorist and printmaker who spends much time in France. He is becoming internationally popular for his contemporary versions of French Impressionism in graphics and watercolors.
Nissan Engel, b.1931, Israel - Engel has become an international art star. His magnificent mixed media works and his brilliant etchings have made his reputation. His works relate to his love of music and contain bits of scores, music related cities, compositions, composers and abstract passages of light and color and texture. Much of his work is influenced by early training in stained glass work. Engel spends most of his time in Paris.
Hanna Farah-Kufer Bir’im, b.1960, Algish Village, Galilee - Hanna Farah is a Palestinian artist, architect, photographer and independent designer who has taken the name of the village (Kufer Bir’im) his family was forced from by the Israelis in 1948. Many of his works including prints and photographs revolve around his grandfather’s house which was destroyed. At the time the villagers were told they could return in a few weeks to their homes. Farah has worked on a model of the village for many years. Some of the residents still believe they will return.
Farideh, b.1949, Tehran - Farideh is a Jerusalem-based painter and watercolorist who brings an oriental sensibility to an acute knowledge of western art traditions and Israeli art history. Her works evoke Monet, Degas and the Nabis as will as Israeli masters like Zaritsky and Streichman. Her still lifes and landscapes with sunsets are modern neo-impressionist masterworks. The Persian love of gardens saturates her works.
Claude Fauchere, b.1936, Paris, France - Fauchere is a French artist who prints his works in Israel because of their superb screenprinting ateliers. His work is a unique blend of the abstract and the figurative that can only be called a brilliant personal style. The street scene pleases with its color and form, but the abstractions intrigue us with knowledge of the artifice and the construct. Fauchere’s dazzling colors and lush street scenes have made him world famous in the past decade.
Fima (Efraim Roeytenberg), b.1916, Harbin, China, d.2005, Israel - Fima's father worked on the Eastern China Railway. The family settled in Harbin, China. In 1933, Fima moved to Shanghai where he studied art with Russian and Viennese teachers. He eventually studied Chinese calligraphy and philosophy which had a great influence on his subsequent art and life. In 1949 he left China for Israel. He slowly gained a reputation in Israel and finally had a hugely successful exhibition at Bertha Urdang's Rina Gallery. It led to his discovery by French critics and a move to Paris for the next 41 years. He also showed at New York's Museum of Modern Art. He was critically acclaimed in Israel also and had exhibitions at the Israel Museum and Tel Aviv Museums as well as the Jewish Museum in New York. He returned to Israel in 2002 and even exhibited in Hong Kong before his death in 2005. His integrity, the beauty of his brushstrokes and colors and his incorporation of Chinese street banners and calligraphy made him one of the most unique and entrancing of all Israeli artists.
Itzchak Fleisheker, b.1957, Serbia, Ukraine - Fleisheker attended the Minsk Institute of Art in Belarus. In 1990 he immigrated to Israel and lives in Haifa. His works are unique in their ability to raise color above the level of the canvas. He uses color mixed with sand and plaster to create the effect. His art returns to an elemental understanding of the unique natural light in Israel. His art captures the essence of his subject without being explicit – letting his viewers interpret/imagine the details of the scene.
Neil Folberg, b.1950, San Francisco - Folberg is one of the world’s great photographers and has often been compared to Ansel Adams. Folberg’s father owned Vision Gallery in San Francisco. Neil has moved it to Jerusalem. In Israel he scours the countryside for his incredible images. He has taken astonishing photographs of the Near Eastern landscape, synagogue interiors from around the world, and the “Starry Night” series based on the recent comet sightings.
Perla Fox, b.1950 - Fox is a major watercolor painter and printmaker. Her works have been displayed at the National gallery in Washington, D. C. and in Mexico and France. She is also the author and illustrator of The Woodies, Stretching Your Imagination, a children’s picture book.
Atsmon Ganor, b.1960 - Ganor is one of Israel’s most important artists. Like Hilla Lulu Lin, Ganor relates contemporary and historical events to violations of the body and fragmentations of the self. This mixture of the personal and political and historical in the work of younger Israeli artists is a visceral response to the events of the day. Ganor’s work is among the most important of these artists. His “Atlas” series using historical and world maps is a seminal event in contemporary Israeli art.
Moshe Gershuni, b.1936, Tel Aviv - Once a conceptual artist who sang prayers at museums and galleries, Gershuni is now an expressionist painter many feel is Israel’s most powerful artist. His works have dealt with war and Israel’s politics and morality. His newest works explore the heights and depths of religion and the nature of belief. He is the most renowned artist of this generation. In 1980, he was Israel’s representative to the Venice Biennale. He has won the Aika Brown Prize; the Sandberg Prize; the Kolb, Sussman, and Mendel and Eva Pondik prizes; the George and Janet Jaffin Prize; and he was awarded the Israel Prize, which was canceled as he refused to participate at the awards ceremony.
Nahum Gilboa, b.1917, d.1976 - After laboring in Safed for many years, Gilboa became a famous painter and graphic artist. He worked in a magic realist style depicting memories of his childhood in Bulgaria and scenes from Israel. The extreme realism and clear visibility of each picture part gave his works their strange and haunting quality.
Albert Goldman, b.1922, Alexandria, Egypt - In the Independence War of 1948 during an air raid he was attacked by an Arab mob that thought he was signaling to Israeli aircraft. With great difficulty he fled to Israel in 1951. Immersing himself in art studies and groups he emerged as one of Israel’s best known painters. Now he is one of the “old masters”. His subjects include Israeli landscapes especially of Jerusalem.
Dor Guez, b.Jerusalem - Guez is both a scholar, teacher and artist. He specializes in video works and photography. His work explores the Palestinian Christian community in Israel and the position of the minority trying to overcome the meta-narrative of the majority. In this way he speaks for all minorities in this position. Dor is in the PhD research program at Tel Aviv University and also heads the photography department at Bezalel Academy. He has shown at the Jewish Museum in New York, Brandeis University, the Tel Aviv Museum among many other venues. He has devoted much time to discovering photographs and documents of the Palestinian Christian minority in Israel and the history of the town of Lod where his father and mother were born. He has done major art projects on the Israel destruction and covering up of former Palestinian towns and villages. His works and scholarship make him one of the most powerful young voices in today's Israeli cultural world.
Nachum Gutman, b.1898, Telenesti, Bessaarabia (Moldovia), d.1980 - He and Reuven Rubin were the great Tel Aviv pioneers of Israeli art. He helped forge a distinctive Israeli style moving away from the European influences of his teachers. He worked in many media including oils, watercolors, gouache and pen and ink. His mosaic fountain can be seen near the Old Tel Aviv City Hall. His artistic style was eclectic but he depicted many scenes of daily life. He was also a well known writer and illustrator of children’s books. He was a winner of the Dizengoff, Lamdan and Israel prizes.
Bracha Guy - Since the late 1980s, Guy has been one of the most exciting artists to come out of Israel. Her works are in the fauve tradition of Henri Matisse. She uses extraordinary colors that vibrate with emotion. Her images of lush flowers and women reclining evoke passion and the renewal of life. Her works speak of the ultimate beauty of creation and the creative act.
Ardyn Halter, b.1956 - Educated in England, he lives on a beautiful farm in Pardes Hanna in Israel. His works are magnificent landscapes in a contemporary British painting style, but their power and expression is reminiscent of Van Gogh. The eye immediately takes in the whole scene, but is then free to roam the countryside defined by is strokes. We are very high on this new force in Israeli art and the influences it will bring to the rich landscape tradition of Israeli painting. Ardyn Halter also shows in England, France and the United States.
Alona Harpaz, b.1971 - Harpaz is a Berlin-based Israeli artist who confronts today’s glam world head on with her provocative paintings. These works in baby blue, egg yolk and Lolita pink depict figures seemingly standing on the edge of Eden. Alone with themselves and their fantasies they face a world where human aspirations and beliefs confront a reality check. The glitter and stars meet the recognition of an emptiness at the core in figures emerging or trapped in thick layers of white. The mixture of glamour and doubt makes Harpaz one of the most powerful new artists of her generation.
Dov Heller, b.1937, Romania - Heller was left in Romania in 1939 by his parents, who immigrated to Palestine. In 1946, he arrived in Palestine and began his search for his parents finally living in their home at age 13. His father was a communist factory worker and his mother was depressive, finding solace in movies and Arab soap operas. Dov's works are socio-political allegories recounting a history of war and struggle. He is an unrepentent socialist who celebrates collectivism and his kibbutz, Nirim, next to Gaza. His latest series of etchings, Tel Gamma, tells the story of Ria Salama and her daughter Majda who were killed by an Israeli soldier during Operation Cast Lead.
Itshak Holtz, b.1925, Poland - Itshak Holtz is an Israeli American Orthodox Jewish painter best known for works that depict traditional scenes of Jewish life. In 1935 Holtz' family moved to Jerusalem from Poland. He had shown a talent for art since the age of five. He studied at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. In 1950 he moved to New York where he studied at the Art Student's League. His artworks are driven by his religious beliefs and the idea that you have to live the religious life to capture it on canvas. He paints slowly with great care and attention to detail from memories of the alleys in Jerusalem to the streets and shops and people of his New York neighborhoods. His style is impressionistic but he has clearly been influenced by the old masters.
Shimshon Holzman, b.1907, Sambor, Galicia, d.1986 - In 1922 he immigrated with his family to Israel and settled in Tel Aviv. He studied at the Histadrut Studio under Yitzhak Frenkel. In 1929 he made the first of several visits to Paris to study and exhibit. In 1937 he was the winner of the first Dizengoff Prize, Israel's highest award for an artist. In 1956 he won another. He was one of the founders of the Artist's Colony in Safed. Holzman was a master of watercolor technique and his brilliant depictions of landscapes and cityscapes were highlights of mid-century Israeli art.
Slava Ilyayev, b.1970, Baku, Azerbaijan - Ilyayev studied art in Azerbaijan. In 1995, he immigrated to Israel and studied at the Avni Insitute for Art in Tel Aviv. He teaches art in Israel and creates his own versions of post-impressionist works. A master of palette knife technique, Ilyayev creates textured canvases whose light and shadow follow the seasons. An admirer of Van Gogh, his works have their own shimmering play of light and color.
Marcel Janco, b.1895, Bucharest, Romania, d.1984 - Janco was one of the most internationally famous of all Israeli artists. He began his career as an architect and was one of the founding members of the Dada movement at the famous Café Voltaire in Zurich. Janco continued working in Europe in a cubist style finally immigrating to Palestine in 1941. He became an influential teacher and founder in 1948 of the New Horizons Movement bringing Israel into the modern world of European art. His early abstract style evolved into a bold, angular, linear expressionism based on stylized and abstracted landscapes and figures. He was a co-founder of the influential Israeli art colony at Ein Hod.
Michael Kachan, b.1964, Armenia - He graduated in 1985 from the Kiev Institute and immigrated to Israel in 1992. His festive works with vibrant colors reflect the best of modern European romantic art. He builds up his unique surfaces with sculpted textures. Subjects range from musicians to lovers and dreams. Though his work suggests the influence of Boulanger and Chagall, it is uniquely his own.
Menashe Kadishman, b.1932, Tel Aviv - He studied sculpture in Israel and then worked as a shepherd, an experience which was to have a profound influence on his life and imagery. Kadishman studied sculpture in England with Anthony Caro and with Reg Butler at the renowned Slade School of Art at the University of London. He returned to Israel in 1972. In 1978 he represented Israel at the Venice Biennale and brought a herd of sheep painted blue creating an international sensation. He is famous for metal sculptures affixed to trees and other environmental images as well as cut steel pieces like "The Sacrifice of Isaac." He has won almost every Israeli art prize and has become the most renowned sculptor of this generation. He is the creator of magnificent paintings and graphics. Kadishman has shown in galleries and museums all over the world including numerous shows in Asia. He is truly the heart and soul of Israeli art.
Irit Kalechman, b.1950, Israel - Kalechman's works reflect her emotion-filled life in Israel. She has raised two children following the death of her air force husband at age 34. She lives in northern Israel under threat of rocket attack. Her works are jazzy collages of the contemporary scene in Israel. Airplane imagery is tucked into many of the works. They are light-filled and Mediterranean infused with prominent feminine imagery. For all of the tragedy, her works retain a sensual French charm in the spirit of Matisse.
Dani Karavan, b.1930, Tel Aviv - Karavan's father was the chief landscape architect of Tel Aviv. Karavan studied with Marcel Janco and at the Bezalel School of Art. He also studied fresco and drawing in Florence and Paris. He is famous for wall reliefs in Israeli courts, the Knesset, and research institutions. He has designed sets for the Martha Graham and Batsheva dance companies. He represented Israel at the 1976 Venice Biennale with the sculpture "Jerusalem, City of Peace." His many outdoor sculptural installations are in Israel, Europe and Asia. One of the most famous is his memorial for Walter Benjamin in Portbou at the Spanish French border. He advocated on behalf of Tel Aviv's International Style of architecture which helped it become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. He is a recipient of the Israel Prize for sculpture.
Shemuel Katz, b.1926 - Originally trained as an architect, Shemuel Katz’ views of Israeli cities and life have been reproduced on cards and posters all over the world. His views of Israel are a part of the reality of life. Katz’ strong structure gives his drawings and prints their authority.
Talia Keinan, b.1978, Kfar Saba, Israel - One of the newest stars in the Israeli art firmament, Keinan is the co-winner of the 2007 Israel Art Prize. She has also won the Shmuel Givon Prize and the Young Artist’s Prize from the Ministry of Culture. Her art works have a surrealist quality as if an alternative reality has opened in our normal time/space continuum. Her installation works are about time and splits in reality while her poignant drawings involving friends and animals with a surrealist patching that creates unexpected juxtapositions. She is influenced by filmmakers like Wim Wenders and David Lynch, writers like Banana Yoshimoto and Haruki Murakami and artists like Rene Magritte.
Liliane Klapisch, b.1933, Cachan, France - Klapisch studied painting in Cachan and Paris. She has lived in Morocco and immigrated to Israel in 1969. She works and lives in Jerusalem and Paris. Klapisch began as a figurative artist but switched to post-World War II abstraction in Europe and was part of the famous Realites Nouvelles Group. After her rise in Paris art circles, she abandoned abstraction for a return to observing nature and figurative painting. Her work in Israel has concentrated on several closely observed subjects: her studio interior and views from its windows and construction sites. The construction site paintings deal with the intrusiveness of human undertakings in the landscape, the violation of nature, and the Arab and foreign workers who are harnessed to do the labor. Based on close observations of the world around her, an extraordinary sense of color and Israel's blinding light, her works are achievements at the profoundest level of the painter's art.
Gabi Klasmer, b.1950 - Klasmer is one of Israel’s best painters. He began as a conceptual/ performance artist, but his powerful mask-like paintings brought him to the top of the young Israeli artists. Since 1979, he has taken up themes from jars to space figures and dealt with topics ranging from politics to Biblical images and time and change. Klasmer has spent a good deal of time in England where he studied and received a doctorate in art.
Alexander Klevan, b.1950, Siberia - Klevan brings the newest major influence, Russian, in Israeli art’s rich tradition of absorbing styles from all over the world. He was born in Siberia. His works show an extraordinary drawing ability and a great sense of light and shadow. There is a lyrical melancholy about them and a depth that looks past the surface realism to the poetry of life. His sense of light and color create an impressionist spontaneity that has come alive since his move to Jaffa.
Gregory Kohelet, b.1954, Fergana, USSR - Kohelet is the son of a sculptor. He first studied art in Tashkent. At the academy in Moscow he absorbed European influences from Giotto to Modigliani. In 1990 he immigrated to Jerusalem for its light and divine inspiration. His work is informed by Byzantine icons, literary references and music.
Avram Kohen-Tzedek, b.1949, Philadelphia - Kohen-Tzedek studied art at UC Berkeley. His neighbor, novelist Chaim Potok, said he was the inspiration for the character of his artist hero Asher Lev. In 1970 he continued his studies at Bezalel in Jerusalem and made Israel his home. He is well known as an illustrator of books and magazines, but his shtetl figures are his most personal creations. His work is a wonderful blend of tradition and modernity.
Moshe Kupferman, b.1926, Poland, d.2003 - Kupferman was one of the two greatest painters of this generation. His works have been shown in major European and American museums numerous times. These included the Pompidou Center, the Stedelijk Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum, Guggenheim Museum, and LACMA. An enormously powerful abstract expressionist painter, his art works were a religious exercise in discipline, devotion and struggle. His lines and colors (grays, greens and signature purples) were the musical staffs and notes on which his artwork soared. The endless fugues and variations he played on the theme of human effort and tragedy made him one of the 20th century's most important and spiritual artists.
Sigalit Landau, b.1969, Jerusalem - Sigalit is considered by many to be Israel's most important contemporary artist. She studied at Bezalel in Jerusalem and at Cooper Union in New York. She has shown at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. She has been Israel's representative to the Venice Biennale. Sigalit has won numerous awards in Israel for young artists. Her works are enormously powerful and reflect a concern with big themes: the horrors of war, poverty, homelessness, extremes of climate and identity. She makes visceral tortured sculptures, amazingly beautiful and sometimes painful videos, and is an accomplished printmaker. She has already shown at major galleries and museums in Europe and the United States.
Raffi Lavie, b.1937, Tel Aviv, d.2007 - He was one of three artists (with Arie Aroch and Aviva Uri) who led Israeli art into the contemporary art world in the 1960’s. A major force in Israeli art, Lavie’s works are likened to those of the American Cy Twombly. His art reflected the spirit of Tel Aviv with its walls of poster remains and graffiti. A master of subtle colors and composition Raffi was a superb abstract expressionist. He taught and influenced many of Israel’s major artists.
Moshe Leider, b.1945, USSR - Leider studied at the art academy of the Soviet Union and immigrated to Israel in 1978. He studied at the famous Israeli art school at Ramat HaSharon. He depicts nostalgic scenes of urban streetscapes in magnificent colors which carry over to his delicate but powerful color abstractions. Leider is an accomplished printmaker, watercolorist and painter and has also taught in Israel for the past eleven years.
Mordecai Levanon, b.1901, Transylvania, d.1968, Jerusalem - Levanon immigrated to Palestine in 1921. He studied briefly at the Bezalel School and worked as an agricultural laborer. He continued his studies with Yitzhak Frenkel (Frenel) and finally moved to Jerusalem in 1938. He is best known for landscape and cityscape paintings and watercolors done in an expressionist style depicting Israel as a mystical land of the spirit in shimmering colors. His use of symbolic structures and glorious colors create a sense of mystical transcendence. His last works were done in Safed and Jerusalem from 1965 to 1968. His work is linked by style and energy to the Jewish School of Paris artists. Levanon won the Struck Prize, the Jerusalem Prize and the Dizengoff prize. He also represented Israel at the Venice Biennale.
Pamela Levy, b.1949, Iowa, d.2004, Israel - Pamela Levy was educated in Iowa and joined an artists’ commune in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She met and married Itamar Levy and converted to Judaism. She moved to Israel in 1976. She was awarded the Jacques and Eugene O’Hana Prize for a young Israeli artist. She has shown in New York galleries. Her works are difficult and depict Israel as a haunting vision linking paradise with a sense of vulnerability and threat. Her late works turned to haunting images of animals and insects.
Sandu Liberman, b.1923,Romania, d.1977 - Liberman was one of the most famous realist artists of our time. He was beloved by collectors the world over for his haunting faces and studies of lovers, women at prayer, children, families and nudes.
Hilla Lulu Lin, b.1964, Israel - A leading artist of the new generation, her work uses her own body, photographs, video, and installations to comment on eroticism, reproduction, and gender issues in a world of mass culture and consumerism. She also creates politically charged works. She has already participated in major exhibits at galleries and museums in the United States, Israel, Europe and Japan.
Yitzak Livneh, b.1952 Ashkelon, Israel - An artist of international standing, Livneh is one of the world's best pure painters. His canvases explore the visual process. Early works hinted at a narrative while creating eerie scenes of cars, buildings and seacoasts at dawn or sunset. Later works have explored interior spaces down to folds of clothing, tablecloths and jewelry. Recent paintings have explored the elements of vision: color, spatial relationships, how images are formed. Livneh is about to have a major museum retrospective in Israel. He is the winner of the Jaques O'Hana Prize and the Hermann Struck Prize.
Batia Magal, b.1953, Israel - Batia is the hottest Israeli artist in years. She is an acute observer of the 1990’s and the club and café scenes in Israel. Her pieces use lush colors, stained-glass effects, and a mixture of images from women and flowers to animals and textured objects collaged in them. The works are an unusual celebration of civilized living and the continued fecundity of life and the imagination. They are a tribute to the feminine side of life.
Yuval Mahler, b.1951 - Mahler is a very popular artist. His works show a brilliant wit and an insightful study of human behavior. All of this is combined with wry humor. He uses a range of strong and sweet colors that add to the human quality of the works. Recent works include metal reliefs that display his wit and wisdom in a new dimension.
Isaac Maimon, b.1951 - His warm palette has been influenced by early 20th century European art. His works have a strength created by his drawing mastery and his sense of composition. He combines nostalgia for a simpler city life and a bygone era with a sharp eye for the human comedy and universal themes.
Assi Meshullam, b.1975, Israel - His warm palette has been influenced by early 20th century European art. His works have a strength created by his drawing mastery and his sense of composition. He combines nostalgia for a simpler city life and a bygone era with a sharp eye for the human comedy and universal themes.
Michael Milkin, b.1964, Kharkov, Ukraine - Milkin was a student of architecture in the town university. After graduating he worked as an architect but always kept painting and exhibiting. In the 1990s he began teaching fine arts and his works were exhibited in the Ukraine, France and Germany. In late 2001 he and his family immigrated to Israel where he dedicated himself to painting. He concentrates on still lifes and landscapes which he paints with thick expressive brushstrokes and dramatic colors.
Rachel Monosov, b.1989, St, Petersburg, Russia - A graduate of Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, she lives and works in Ghent, Belgium. Bridging photography, video and sculpture, Monosov takes as her themes: alienation, territorial belonging and gender. Nature serves as a major source for her imagery, and many of her works are autobiographical. Her video work has probed her return to her native Israel as a foreigner bringing up issues of faith and identity.
Michoel Muchnik, b.1952, Philadelphia - Muchnik is one of the foremost Chassidic artists of our time. He lives in Brooklyn and works in a folk art tradition. His creations began with whimsical figures and homespun scenes using Jewish images and traditions. His newer works evoke mystical symbolism and allegory. These new bark paintings and graphics display an antique biblical effect and are quite lyrical.
Michal Na'aman, b.1951 - Na’aman is one of Israel’s most important and influential artists. She was the subject of a major exhibition and retrospective at the Tel Aviv Museum in 1999. Her works are complicated, mysterious, symbolic, provocative and shocking. She uses Biblical imagery, Freudian symbolism, historical material, mythology and many other sources to explore gender roles, religion, politics, Jewishness, Israel and family relations. She is a giant of contemporary Israeli art.
Baruch Nachshon, b.1939 - Nachson is growing in reputation quickly as a painter of beauty, feeling and depth. He is deeply religious and his works reflect his love of Israel’s landscapes and his own mystical religious visions which border on the psychedelic.
Adriana Naveh, b.1963, Argentina - Adriana Naveh has studied with the great Israeli artist Jan Rauchwerger. Like him she is an artist who has experienced repressive societies (Rauchwerger is from the former Soviet Union). Their works turn inward both in the psychological sense and especially in depictions of intimate scenes. Still lifes, interiors, nudes are the major subject matter. Her works seek a beauty and perfection that is oriental in feeling. The soft focus and rich earth colors are a warm and calming personal vision.
Joshua Neustein, b.1940 - Neustein is one of Israel’s most famous modern artists. His works on paper have been shown worldwide and he has spent a good deal of time as a New York based artist. His paintings on paper involve folding and tearing which reveal the past of his people in stunning book-like presentations. Many of his intimate works on paper are philosophical exercises on history, memory, truth and the artistic exercise. His works are in museums all over the world and he has created many special projects in Europe, Israel and the United States. In 2012, Neustein’s works were shown at MOCA’s ground-breaking exhibition, “Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974.” In 2012, he also had a major drawing retrospective at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Lea Nikel, b.1918, Zhitomir, Ukraine, d.2005, Moshav Kidron, Israel - Israel’s most brilliant abstract expressionist and perhaps greatest colorist, Nikel won the Sandberg, Dizengoff and Israel Prizes. She studied at the famous Studia of Streichman and Stematsky. By 1950 she had left her husband and decided to leave her young daughter with relatives and go to Paris, whose art scene served as the cultural tradition in painting that Israel didn’t have. By 1954, influenced by tachisme and art informel, she became a pure abstract painter and remained in Paris until 1961. After Paris Nikel lived in Ashdod, New York, Africa, Safed, Rome, Yafo, Tel Aviv, New York and Tel Aviv. In the late 70’s she returned from an extensive stay in New York and settled into Moshav Kidron near her daughter. Her abstract works always seem to have a structured-linear-mechanical component which is opposed by stains, smears and scratches. She is described as a painter who thinks with her heart and feels with her head. Her encounter with Zen meshed with her technique of “controlled spontaneity” and “logic of intuition.”
Israel Paldi (Feldman), b.1893, d.1979 - Paldi was one of the great early Israeli masters. He spent his childhood in Switzerland and came to Palestine in 1909. He studied at the art academy in Munich; lived in Constantinople. He participated in early Tower of David exhibitions as a rebel student of the Bezalel School. His works are defined by the “orientalism” popular at the time. This is a romantic-idealistic view of reality, a tendency towards the primitive and naïve and centered on oriental elements and on School of Paris techniques.
Abel Pann, b.1883, Dreslawka, Russia, d.1963, Jerusalem - Pann was the son of a rabbi who headed a Yeshiva. He studied in Paris at the Academie Julien and with Bougereau and Toulouse-Lautrec. He is world renowned for pictures depicting pogroms in Russia and for a lifelong series of illustrations of the Bible. These biblical works are heavily inspired by art nouveau techniques. Dramatic events, gorgeous costumes, oriental mystery, threatening skies, and larger that life characters are all part of his biblical vision.
Dan Partouche, b.1936, Tiaret, Algeria - Partouche comes from a design background primarily in theatre sets. At eighteen he immigrated to Israel and joined Kibbutz Chanita in the Western Galilee overlooking the Mediterranean. Influenced by such artists as Zaritsky, Streichman and Stematsky his works are nature oriented with a preference for flowers. Since the 1970’s Dan Partouche’s dramatic floral compositions have become world famous. He has a huge following in flower conscious Japan.
Tal R, b.1967, Tel Aviv - Born in Israel, Tal R grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark where his family moved when he was a small child. A product of Jewish and Danish cultures, Tal R, has become one of Europe and the world's major artists. A designer as well as a painter, printmaker and sculptor, Tal R is the definition of a contemporary artist. He has a unique style which has not lost a childlike sense of wonder and innocence yet his works are profound mysteries involving use of recurring symbols. He is profoundly aware of his surroundings and their history as well as meditating philosophically on the meaning of memory, time and the cyclical nature of life. While he uses every available medium his works glow with soft colors, abstract shapes, erotic symbols and a nod to Edvard Munch and his Scandinavian homeland.
Ze'ev Raban, b.1890 Lodz, Congress Poland, d.1970 Israel - Raban studied in a number of European academies especially in Brussels where he was inspired by Art Nouveau. Under the influence of Boris Schatz, he came to Palestine in 1912 (in the Second Aliyah) to work and teach at Bezalel. In 1921 he participated in the historic Tower of David exhibition, the first exhibit of Hebrew artists in Palestine. Raban is regarded as a leading member of the Bezalel school art style in which artists portrayed Biblical and Zionist themes in a style influenced by Jugendstil artists and by traditional Syrian and Persian styles. Raban famously illustrated books of the Old Testament. Other works included paintings, sculpture, jewelery, and ceramics. He designed decorative elements for the King David Hotel and the Jerusalem YMCA. He also designed commercial packaging, bank notes, tourism posters, and Zionist insignia. He designed a wide range of ritual objects including the menorah used by Barack Obama in a 2015 White House Hanukah celebration.
Orit Raff, b.1970, Jerusalem - Raff studied at the Bezalel Academy 1992-4 and received an MFA from Bard College. She is one of the finest photographic artists working today. She lives and works in Tel Aviv but has also worked and shown in the U.S. She is having a major exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum in 2013. Her works have been described as minimalist but she has a pop sensibility concentrating on everyday objects. Her profound works using images of desktops, steam, bathroom drains, an old freezer and bakery ovens evoke absent bodies, time and history and thoughts of life and death.
Philip Rantzer, b.1956, Romania - Rantzer is one of the giants of contemporary Israeli art. His work in sculpture, assemblage, mobiles, mixed media and drawing using found objects are zany, sardonic and magical. Never forgetting his childhood in an Israeli transit camp, he uses found materials to create dada and surreal masterpieces. His work also owes a debt and pays homage to fellow Romanian Constantin Brancusi. Rantzer's works deal idiosyncratically with larger themes of civic justice, class warfare, and environmental destruction. But the objects themselves never lose a sense of childhood wonder and fascination blending horror and humor to jolt the viewer's thought processes.
Jan Rauchwerger, b.1942 - Ukranian born Jan Rauchwerger is one of the finest artists ever to work in Israel. He is now an internationally recognized master. Following a major retrospective at the Israel Museum in 2004, he had another retrospective in Moscow. While some of his works are reminiscent of Bonnard, he is his own master. Concentrating on the everyday of housescapes and interiors, nudes, still lifes, and domestic animals, he brings a phenomenal sense of color and a sensitivity to every nuance of subject. At first glance his works seem simple, accessible and non-provocative. After repeated viewings the depth, complexity, and intensity of his vision are revealed. Each of his paintings serves as material for self-analysis and a deeper understanding of universal questions. Redhead Michal, newly acquired by the gallery, was exhibited at the Israel Museum in 2004 as part of a Rauchwerger retrospective exhibition.
Leo Ray, b.1950, Vilnius, Lithuania - Since 1991, Ray has lived in Tel Aviv. Ray is at home in both sophisticated abstract art and deceptively simple figurative art. His figurative art uses humor to introduce the profoundest ideas which occupy mankind. Like the sad clown who is continuously knocked down but will not stop getting up, Ray's works focus on malice, greed, stupidity, pomposity, and licentiousness. Yet these ideas are presented with the creative power and imagination of the child - innocence and reality are what we must face in Ray's works. Ray's works are really in the realm of cartoons using animals as symbols of what is closer to nature and the purity we have lost.
David Reeb, b.1952 - Reeb became one of Israel’s great contemporary artists in the late 1980’s and has been an important and controversial artistic leader ever since. He has shown in Europe and the United States. Some major works feature a beloved Tel Aviv and Israeli interiors. Other controversial works are done with photographer Miki Kratzman who is frequently in the West Bank. Reeb’s photo-based paintings depict the occupation and life around the Intifada. His works question Israeli society and political policies making Reeb one of Israel’s toughest artists as well as one of its greatest painters.
Yael Robin - A sculptor, printmaker, photographer, Yael Robin is an important new voice in Israeli art. She is not afraid to work on the edges of Israeli society where moral questions are as important as physical presence. She explores the terrain where orthodox meets secular, Israeli meets Palestinian and where conflict and misunderstanding are part of the landscape. Her works brilliantly deconstruct these daily occurrences. She has already shown extensively in Europe, where she received much of her art training, in Israel and now the United States.
Mordechai Rosenstein - A graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art, Rosenstein has become world famous for his graphic works which play off the shapes of Hebrew Letters. His bold colors and graceful curves have made his work instantly recognizable. He now designs synagogue interiors, creates stained glass and designs tapestries that are woven in China.
Rina Rotholz - Rotholz has become one of the most original printmakers on today’s art scene. She makes “tuilegraphs” (tile-writing) which are linoleum block prints. Her works depict Jewish and Near-Eastern subjects. She uses foils, metallic inks, and watercolor to give her works their strength and authenticity.
Michal Rozenvain, b.1963, Kiev, Ukraine - He studied art at The Kiev School and in Lvov. He immigrated to Israel in 1990 and quickly established himself as a fast rising popular artist. His works integrated the sunshine of the Mediterranean scene with his Russian background in music compositions in their movement and complexity.
Reuven Rubin, b.1893, Romania, d.1974 - Rubin was Israel’s greatest painter of the first half of the 20th century. In Tel Aviv there is the Reuven Rubin Museum in his old house. Rubin became part of the School of Paris artists. He also Studied in Palestine. He went on to become one of the most famous painters of the century. Both he and Nachum Gutman were the great early Tel Aviv artists. They acknowledged the non-European light of Palestine as well as focusing on observations of everyday life as subject matter and eschewing Orientalism.
Boris Schatz, b.1866, Bulgaria, d.1932 - Schatz was the founder of art in Israel in the modern sense. In 1906 he established the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts. The school trained artists and teachers as well as artisans and distributed Israeli art works all over the world through sales and exhibitions. The school and its adjacent museum form today’s Israel Museum. Schatz worked tirelessly as a fundraiser, teacher, artist, designer and promoter of Israeli art and Palestine as a viable economic entity. He died in Denver, Colorado on a fund raising trip.
David Schneuer, b.1905, Galicia, Poland, d.1988 - He was the great artist of the “cabaret” scene. He was a German Expressionist master in the mould of Kirchner and Grosz. Schneuer collaborated with Brecht on theatrical designs and on posters in Munich. He was arrested and sent to Dachau, but he was released and went to Palestine. He never stopped doing his expressionist works of the demi-monde. In 1985 he had a retrospective at the Israel Museum.
Heinz Seelig, b.1909, Germany, d.1992 - Seelig studied art at the Bauhaus. He was Israel’s first great interior designer. He returned to fine art later in his life with whimsical works on Genesis and the story of Esther. He became one of Israel’s most popular painters and a brilliant printmaker. His art works are naïve in style but extremely sophisticated in execution.
Eran Shakine, b.1962, Israel - Shakine “burst” on to the Israeli art scene after 30 years of working for artists like COBRA's Karel Appel and stints in Paris, London and New York. He is a self styled art historian who probes the minutiae of the art world, creating works which tweak and question its values. Poking gentle but barbed fun at artists, architects, performers, fashion designers and museum curators and directors, Shakine deftly questions the workings of the special world of art and fashion. The works are deceptively simple and incredibly perceptive.He is both figurative and concetual in a most unique blend. Working more like a graffiti artist, he “bombs” sanctioned spaces of the art world. Shakine is also an accomplished sculptor and installation artist.
Shalom of Safed, b.1887, d.1980 - One of the most beloved primitive artists of this century, Shalom of Safed lived in the Galilee and painted images of the Bible. His style was naïve (untrained) but his conceptions of color and form and his ability to tell a story made him a great master whose works hang in museums throughout the world.
Gil Marco Shani, b.1968, Israel - Shani is one of the most exciting of a new generation of post- Zionist myth Israeli artists. Shani's art works appear simple almost cartoonish. This is extremely deceptive. They are sophisticated works dealing with unprotected moments when you are stripped of defenses. "Violence, blood, erotica, sex and death connect me to art," says Shani. His paintings oscillate between safety and threat. The simplicity, the paring down is an attempt to control emotions and to create an aesthetic of the political.
David Sharir, b.1938 - Sharir is one of the most beloved of Israeli artists. He is a great painter and printmaker. In addition, he designs sets and costumes for opera and theater companies in Israel, Europe, and the United States. His brilliant decorative works are an art of pure joy. His Persian inspired fantastic plants, animals, and people are a celebration of life.
Shaul Shatz, b.1944 on a kibbutz - Shatz worked under the influence of Willem DeKooning, the American master abstract expressionist and still retains the slashing brushstroke and violent application of color and form. His work has become much more figurative lately. He is using the Temple Mount and landscape for a backing sometimes inserting his family. The works have a dramatic metaphysical feeling. The mysterious trees, stormy sky and other elements infuse the landscape with the sublime.
Zvi Shorr, b.1898, d.1979 - Shorr was the patron artist of Petah-Tikvah. He was influenced by Cezanne and worked all his life in the Post-Impressionist style. Shorr’s scenes of early Palestine in this century and his landscapes and still lifes are magnificent images.
Yohanan Simon, b.1905, Berlin, d.1976, Tel Aviv - Simon studied at the Max Beckmann Art School in Frankfurt and schools in Munich and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris where he lived in the 20s. He worked for Vogue in the 30s in New York. In the 50s he was a member of Kibbutz Gan Shmuel. He began as a socialist realist, painting family life in the kibbutz. He also executed murals for Israeli ships, public buildings and hotels, including works in New York and the Ivory Coast. He illustrated books and designed stage sets. He showed twice at the Venice Biennale and was awarded the Dizengoff Prize three times. After an extended trip to South America he abandoned socialist realism and developed a style of colorful biomorphic abstraction for use in surrealist landscapes. His works are highly collectible, with the early kibbutz scenes now quite valuable.
Shaul Smira, b.1939, Iraq - Smira studied at the Avni Institute. Sometimes known as the Chagall of Israel. Smira's works are post-cubist creations of fractured reality but not post modernist. He is earthy and delightful concentrating on sensual themes with a glorious sense of color and movement. Smira has shown extensively in Europe, Israel and the United States where he has lived for much of his career. He is one of the most internationally recognized Israeli artists.
Tal Shochat, b.1974, Israel - Graduate of Hamidrasha Art College, Beit Berl, Kalmaniya. Tal won the 2005 Israeli Ministry of Education Prize for a Young Artist. Her photographic works are in the collections of museums in England, Israel and the United States. Shochat's photographs create their own worlds cut off from sky and sun and walled off from the outside. Whether fruit trees of Israel or nudes or mothers and daughters, her works force us to focus on the meaning of the figure in a deliberately artificial setting and tease out all it meanings both real and physical as well as mythical and poetical/metaphorical. It's almost as if the subjects have taken the photos. Her focus is on the cosmic and not the social.
Alina Speshilov, b.1973, St. Petersburg, Russia - Speshilov attended art school in Russia and in Israel. She is also a graphic designer. She has a degree in archaeology and ancient middle eastern cultures from Tel Aviv University. Alina is a wonderful draughtsman who relates to urban settings, landscapes and people watching. She has an intuitive feel for the forms of things from people to trees to electricity poles. She seems to depict and deconstruct all at the same time.
Jacob Steinhardt, b.1887, Zerkow, Poland, d.1968 - Steinhardt was one of the 20th century's most powerful artists. He was a German Expressionist whose graphic works - especially woodcuts and etchings - are masterpieces of the medium. In 1912 he was a founder of the Pathetiker Group. He also exhibited at and was a member of the Berlin Secession. In 1933 he immigrated to Palestine and eventually headed the Graphics Department of the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts. In the 1950s he was honored internationally for his contributions to art and the graphic medium.
Avigdor Stematsky, b.1908, Odessa, Russia, d.1989 - He immigrated to Palestine in 1922. He studied in Israel at Bezalel and in Paris. He was one of the founders of the New Horizons Group that brought Israeli art up to the standards of modern European art. He worked with splashes of interacting vibrant color to create expressive abstract compositions. His themes included cities of Israel and his wife as well as outdoor compositions. Stematsky was one of a handful of great Israeli middle period masters.
Yossi Stern, b.1923, d.1992 - He was the most popular “street-artist” in Israel. Stern depicted the daily life of Israel’s cities in his brightly colored works. He studied people in costume, dancing and celebrating as well as relaxing.
Yeheskel Streichman, b.1906, Kovno, Lithuania, d.1993 - He was the great elder statesman and master of Israel’s middle 20th century art. He always remained a great art teacher of the young and pioneered Israeli art’s rise to world class status. One of the founders of the New Horizons movement, his art was semi-abstract and centered on themes of still life, his wife and room interiors, views out the window of his studio and landscapes. His soft colors and rich shading made him a master of lyrical feeling.
Hermann Struck, b.1876, Germany, d.1944 - He was one of Europe’s most important engravers and printmakers. He was also an enormously influential teacher of graphic arts. He was on the Berlin Bezalel Society. Struck first traveled to Palestine in 1903, and went immediately afterwards to Vienna to do a portrait of Herzl. In 1923, he immigrated to Eretz Yisrael residing in Haifa. Struck died in 1944. His influence on generations of Israeli artists by his great body of work and his teaching is incalculable.
Arthur Szyk, b.1894, Poland, d.1951 - Szyk was one of the greatest illustrators of the 20th century. As a young man, he created famous illustrations for Andersen’s Fairy Tales. During World War II, his satirical illustrations of the Axis Powers were on the covers of America’s leading magazines (Colliers, Time, Esquire). His works have been on display in the White House and at The FDR Library in Hyde Park. Toward the end of his life, he concentrated his illustrations on the new State of Israel and its place among the nations.
Ruty Tal, b.1953, Zichron Yaakov - Tal's teachers were Jan Rauchwerger, Josef Hirsh, and Liliane Klapisch. A painter as well as a printmaker, Tal has exhibited in Israel, Europe and Asia. Her works combine abstraction and figuration to comment on the place of man in nature. Her acute sense of color raises the emotional energy of her works and concentrates our gaze giving her works a monumental and timeless quality.
Itzchak Tarkay, b.1935, Yugoslavia, d.2012 - Tarkay and his family were sent to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. In 1949 the family immigrated to Israel. Tarkay attended the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and graduated from the Avni Institute of Art and Design. He began his brilliant artistic career as a fashion illustrator. Tarkay’s paintings of sensuous women in rich warm colors immediately attracted worldwide attention. He was compared to Toulouse-Lautrec. His works evoke a sense of ennui, of pampered excess – of the demi-monde. Visually his works are a feast of color and composition.
Samuel Tepler, b.1918, Poland, d.1998 - He studied art first in Vilna. At the end of World War II, he reached Italy and studied in Milan. He has received the Legion de Oro and the Italia Prize for Art. Having studied and worked with such geniuses as Giorgia Morandi and Marino Marini, he was a fabulous painter of still life. His simplified forms and brilliant use of color make him a master of the highest order. One can contemplate his still life works for hours and never tire of them. They are the very definition of classical art.
Anna Ticho, b.1894, d.1981 - Ticho is Israel’s most famous woman artist. Her magnificent Arab-style home was recently turned into a part of the Israel Museum and is open to visitors in Jerusalem. Educated in Austrian and German methods of draughtsmanship, she sketched the hills of Jerusalem for 65 years. She became one of the great masters of drawing. Her works are like those of a Chinese landscape master. Her late etchings are also magnificent works.
Theo Tobiasse, b.1927, Jaffa, d.2012 - Tobiasse spent most of his working life in Nice, France. For decades he was one of the world’s most beloved artists. His works are about color, light and joy. Many of his themes reflect the wanderings of the Jewish people and the great figure of the Jewish mother. He is the subject of a book by Chaim Potok. In many ways, his art was the successor to Marc Chagall’s.
Yuri Tremler, b.1961, Ukraine - Tremler is one of the new generation of Israeli artists from the former Soviet Union. He comes with a strong background in crafts and design from schooling in Russia and Germany. Tremler fuses geometric shapes and female forms in designs that are dynamic and harmonious. His works with flowers and women, vases and goblets, move from shadow to light and back. The whole composition comes to rest in multi-colored cubes.
Igael Tumarkin, b.1933, Dresden - Tumarkin is an Israeli painter and sculptor of enormous range and power. Tumarkin came to Palestine in 1935. He studied with sculptor Rudi Lehmann in Ein Hod. In the 1950's he did stage sets in Germany for Berthold Brecht. He also painted in Paris until 1961. He returned to Israel and created his trademark monumental sculptures. His sculptures and paintings reflect on Israel's wars and the sacrifice given by soldiers and civilians. Many of the works are tortured metals and canvases and are expressionistic masterpieces. His works protest war, dehumanization, violence and alienation as expressed in geometric and abstract forms. He is a winner of the Sandberg Prize and almost every honor that can be given to an Israeli artist.
Micha Ullman, b.1939, Tel Aviv - Ullman creates subterranean sculptures, some of which barely protrude from the ground. They touch on universal themes such as the meaning of place and home, absence and emptiness. They have been described as simultaneously "celestial and earthbound, metaphysical but sensual and tactile." Ullman's project, "Land Exchange," was to dig up a cubic meter of soil from his village and one from the neighboring Arab village and exchange them. In 2012, Ullman’s works were shown at MOCA’s ground-breaking exhibition, “Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974.”
Victor (Victor Shrem), b.1944, Jerusalem - His family came from Spain fleeing the Inquisition and settled in Italy and then Hebron. He studied art in Germany following his service in the Israeli navy. Originally obtaining his degree in ceramics, he worked in this field for several years before switching to painting. His favorite subjects are taken from Israeli folklore, Jerusalem and its surroundings, Israeli landscape and Judaica. He is an exceptional watercolorist, mixed media painter and now printmaker.
Andy Warhol, b.1928, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, d.1987, New York City - The leading figure of the Pop Art Movement. Warhol was one of the most important and influential artists of the 20th Century. Educated at Carnegie Institute of Technology, he became the leading fashion illustrator and window designer in New York before turning to fine art. His revolutionary work celebrated consumerism depicting products, movie stars, popular figures, art works, and even animals. In 1980 he produced a series entitled Ten Portraits of Jews of the 20th Century.
Shraga Weil, b.1918, d.2009 - Weil was one of Israel’s great printmakers and watercolorists. His early 1950's works dealt with the hard labor of building the Jewish state. His later multi-layered images deal with biblical history, ancestors, the passage of time, families and memories. His brilliant watercolors and graphics made him one of the greatest artists of Jewish themes we had.
Tanya Wissotzky and Alexander Glatchansky, b.1959 (both), Crimea, Russia, d.2006 (Tina Wissotsky), 2008 (Alexander Galtchansky) - They studied at the Kiev Institute of Arts and immigrated to Israel. She trained as an artist, and he as a book illustrator. They used calligraphy from old English flower painting manuals in their works as well as calligraphic quotations from 1920’s Paris music scores. Their work has a nostalgic and romantic quality that evokes gaiety and pleasure.
Samuel Wodnitzky, b.1895, Kazimierz, Poland - Wodnitsky immigrated to Palestine in 1934. Wodnitzky’s charming shtetls and synagogues are part of an enduring naiveté that he brings to his art. But there is no lack of skill in the technical mastery of his craft. Wodnitzky revives his youth in his works that depict his vivid recollections of the village of Kuzmir (Kazimierz) and the Eastern European Jewish way of life that no longer exists. Wodnitzky depicts the townspeople with fond objectivity and brilliant technique and does not fall prey to sentimentality. He received the Dizengoff Prize in 1942.
Pavel Wolberg, b.1966, Leningrad (St. Petersburg) - Wolberg is both a photojournalist and an artist photographer. He has created a brilliant body of work detailing orthodox ritual in Jerusalem, and Purim scenes in Hebron. In addition he has photographed the other side of life in Israel at gay clubs and scenes of street revelry. He takes you with the Israeli army into Palestinian homes and combat zones. His images of Palestinian uprisings are riveting. His astounding talent for choosing the perfect moment to shoot and for creating the most arresting compositions make Pavel Wolberg one of the giants of contemporary photography.
Sharon Ya'ari, b.1966, Israel - Sharon Ya'ari may be Israel's best photographic artist. He is truly the a philosopher of photography. His work is not political or topical rather it tries to get at the essence of the medium while never forgetting where he is and the history of that place.. Freezing moments in time, sometimes the same shot in two photographs, he records changes both large and small. His works concentrate on moments of waiting, obscure locations and deserted landscapes. His works are meditations on change, the transience of things, chance and fragility and the unknown. Each of his works is a meditation on the mystery of life the limits and magic of photography and above all what time and chance have wrought. His retrospective exhibition “Leap Toward Yourself” was just held at the Tel Aviv Museum in 2013.Sharon Ya'ari,Israel, photography, photographic artist, Tel Aviv Museum,
Marek Yanai, b.1946, Poland - Marek Yanai’s style and talents reflect a European sense of craft and training. His mastery of oil and watercolor come from his Viennese training and experience. His works concentrate on details of scenes of Jerusalem, of still lifes, of an interior or a portrait. The feeling of time standing still to reflect on the moment is paramount in Yanai’s works.
Adi Yekutieli, b.1958, Tel Aviv - Trained at Bezalel in Israel and the Claremont Colleges here in California, he is a powerful neo-expressionist artist. His works blend biblical and Israeli themes with a strong moral sense and filter them through today’s media images of violence and oppression. His works treat the conflict of traditional values with modern reality. The works use the irony of child-like innocence to make it palatable. His work is part of the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial in Tel Aviv. He is currently the director of the Sea Breeze Art Colony in Bat Yam.
Judith Yellin, b.1923, Jerusalem, d.2005, Jerusalem - Yellin studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art and the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. She studied in Paris under S.W. Hayter. She received the Prize for Life Achievement at the Biennale for Modern Art in Florence. Yellin’s works are brilliant collages of paper and fabric. Her themes are Jewish dances and celebrations and holidays. The varied textures, colors, and shapes create rhythms and a music that enhances the joy and energy in her art.
Ruth Zarfati, b.1928, Petach-Tikva - Zarfati was the only woman member of the New Horizons Group. She married sculptor Moshe Sternschuss. Her art is the innocent art of children. However, she is a sophisticated artist whose wood sculptures are in many museums. Zarfati is also a designer who has worked on street signs and the Israel pavilion at Expo ’67 in Montreal.
Joseph Zaritsky, b.1891, Borisopol, Ukraine, d.1985 - Zaritsky studied art in Kiev with Russian watercolor masters. He came to Palestine as a young man. He is recognized as Israel’s great master of the middle 20th century. He led Israel into the modern era as the leader of the Universalists over the Orientalists and amateurs and sent only their work to the Venice Biennale. He is internationally recognized as a great abstract expressionist painter. His works hang in museums in Europe and the U.S. His paintings are based on landscapes and cityscapes. Early in 1985 he had a massive retrospective at the Tel Aviv Museum with more than 300 works shown.