Israeli ceramics make their debut at Paris Design Week

 Elinor Portnoy  (photo credit: ISRAELI EMBASSY IN PARIS)
Elinor Portnoy

 A group of Israeli artists presented their unique interpretation of the art of ceramics at the Paris Design Week in September. 

Arts, crafts, new technologies and ideas blended in “Present Future - A young take on ceramic making in Israel,” an exhibition that was hosted at the Galerie Joseph PARIS (Galerie Joseph Froissart) with the support of the Embassy of Israel in France. 

As explained in the website of the Paris Design Week, 16 young Israeli designers/artists presented “a perspective of technology and craft as personal expression on current cultural issues, comparing past and present, original and reproduction, while expanding the field of ceramics." 

Amit Aidlin, (Credit - Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center)Amit Aidlin, (Credit - Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center)

The exhibition was curated by Galina Arbeli while Tair Almor was in charge of the exhibition’s design. The artists are all affiliated with the Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center, Tel Aviv Jaffa, whose Head Curator Shlomit Bauman was also involved in the project.

“We present a group of works that gives a perspective of their interests at this point in their careers as they are immersed in a process of crystalizing their viewpoint and identity as makers,” said Trustee and Director of the Center Marcelle Klein. 

Evgenia Kirshtein, who moved to Israel from St. Petersburg in 2015, was among the artists featured in the exhibition with her work “No eyes needed,” a handbuilt terracotta and underglazes.

“In my exhibition in 2021 I noticed people enjoyed photographing my work and that perhaps they only saw the work through the telephone screen,” she said about the artifact. “I only know when the work is complete once I have photographed it I and can see it on my telephone screen. The vase in this exhibition is made to suit our modern reality, it is flattened so the ‘distortion’ when photographing is removed and the 2D photograph is presenting reality of a vase with no volume.”

Avigail Segal (Credit - Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center)Avigail Segal (Credit - Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center)

Another piece exhibited was “3D printed clay” by Guy Levakov, which he described as “an investigation of crafted objects in the digital world.” 

“The pots show the intervention of the maker’s hand during the printing process,” he added. “This intervention requires the use of supports in the printing process and the control of the amount of clay where the pot collapses. The use of controlled collapse in iconic forms creates a visual connection between technology and tradition.”

The other artists whose work were included in the exhibition were Amit Aidlin, Tair Almor, Tamara Efrat, Roee Ben Yehuda, Itamar Ben Shoshan, Daniel Garber, Mor Geffen, Matan Valerstein, Ofri Lifshitz, Zohar Sally, Avigail Segal, Elinor Portnoy, Gal Finkelstein and Yuval Harel.

“They examined the characteristics of clay; what can be learned from its origin and how does the processing dialogue with the original gives it a new form while questioning the meaning of original and reproduction, old and new, natural, and manufactured as well as their place in the industrial digital world,” said Klein. “It is evident that their making broadens the field of ceramics, and the objects are a personal, unique expression of cultural issues of our time.”

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