Art in many forms

A new exhibition at Beit Tzarfat in Jerusalem displays an eclectic blend of painting, sculpture and photography.

By NADAV ROITER
August 6, 2011 08:13
3 minute read.
Art exhibition at Beit Tzarfat.

Art exhibition at Beit Tzarfat . (photo credit: Courtesy )

A new exhibition entitled “Summer Time” recently opened at Beit Tzarfat in Jerusalem and will remain open to the public, free of charge, until October 10. The exhibition, which displays the artwork of four local artists, is a vibrant compilation of different shapes, forms and sizes.

Beit Tzarfat, which is the first academic art gallery of its kind in Israel, was inaugurated in 1972 in an effort to change the Hebrew University’s image as a strictly academic institution. According to gallery director Michal Sadan, Beit Tzarfat has had 160 exhibits, displaying Israeli art as well as art from the world over.

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“We encourage academics to display their art here. We want to prove that scientists and linguists can also be artists,” says Sadan. The gallery usually displays five artists’ works at a time, including sculpture and photography, as well as paintings in abstract, naïve or classic styles.

In comparison with past exhibitions, the current exhibition lacks a narrative or subject which usually helps weave the artists’ works together and gives the display a feeling of unity. Contrasting art themes are not at play, either.

Instead, “This exhibition is an eclectic collection of varying art forms. One has to come and experience the display for oneself in order to appreciate it in its entirety,” says Sadan.

On display are works by painters Anita Meir and Miriam Weiner, as well as sculptures by Chanah Cohen and photographs by Rachel Gordon.

The latter, an immigrant from Wisconsin, has been in Israel for six years and says she loves it here. The one thing she doesn’t love is the hustle and bustle of the big city, Jerusalem. Appropriately, “Left Behind” is the title of Gordon’s portion of the exhibition.

“There is so much garbage in Jerusalem. People leave the oddest things in the oddest places,” she says. Her goal “is not ecological,” she stresses. Instead, she says she seeks to elevate the mundane.

“Stop and see the quirkiness. Look at all the beauty around you,” says the photographer, referring to a picture of a cigarette butt stuck in a bamboo fence. “Levity and curiosity were the true driving forces behind this exhibit,” she explains. “I mean, once people see my art, they start noticing things! People call me and tell me that they see coffee cups everywhere they go,” she giggles.

Sculptor Chanah Cohen, originally from Hod Hasharon, is a graduate of the Bezalel Academy School of Art.

She says she has lived and breathed sculpture ever since she started using this form of artistic expression five years ago.

“Sculpting with mesh hurts; it scrapes and wounds the artist. Who ever said that creating art was a picnic?” says a solemn Cohen. “But there was a turning point. Suddenly mesh and I became friends; suddenly there was room for dialogue between us,” Cohen says, personifying the material she sculpts with. “The manifestation of this turning point is that the mesh cooperated with me and made this exhibit possible,” she emphasizes.

Curating her own portion of the exhibition, Cohen says, “The topic of my display is people, as well as life around us. I wanted to sculpt interactions and dialogue between people in the context of my own life. I sculpted a mother and child when we had a birth in the family, and lawyers because I am surrounded by them.” In addition to these, Cohen’s work includes doves and pomegranates, as well as abstract sculptures.

Beit Tzarfat is open to visitors Sunday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. To arrange a viewing of the exhibition, call (02)566-0192.


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