The Israel Museum's Prizes in Art and Design, once awarded annually, appear to have become a biannual affair. The museum has just announced the winners for 2004-2005.
The Artvision Prize for A Contemporary Work of Israeli Art was awarded to Ruti Nemet, an artist who integrates installation, sculpture, relief, painting and photography. Her works frequently incorporate inner spaces through which sections of natural, open landscapes can be glimpsed; three-dimensional structures placed within these landscapes reveal private interior scenes.
The Enrique Kavlin Photography Prize was awarded to Roi Kuper, whose works grapple with issues of time, place and memory. His early, abstract black-and-white photographs displayed a philosophical approach to the study of nature and the environment and a "political" perspective that also characterizes his recent color photographs.
The Gerard Levy Prize for a Young Photographer went to Amon Yariv, a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Carefully planned and executed, his allegorical works have earned him a place among the foremost young photographers in Israel today.
The IDB Group Prize for an Israeli Artist was awarded to Irit Hemmo, an innovative artist for the past two decades. The wide range of materials she uses attests to her passion for exploring new modes of expression, which, say the judges, she does with remarkable talent and creativity.
The Beatrice Kolliner Award for a Young Israeli Artist went to Gal Weinstein, cited for an unusual choice of techniques which undermine the traditional conception of art and convey "a clear and original message that is raw, captivating and vibrant."
The prestigious Sandberg Prize for Israeli Art was awarded to Bezalel's head of its Fine Arts faculty, Ido Bar-El, who, using all sorts of discarded items in various stages of decay, creates works "imbued with tension and poetry, between the shape of the support, its meaning and "memories" and the images he paints on it. His work is characterized by a wealth of visual, technical, stylistic and representational means, and by the ever-surprising and sensitive way in which he uses them." The Sandberg Grant for Research and/or Development was awarded to Yair Engel and Roni Lev for their research proposal of the planning and designing of bicycles as an alternative means of transportation. Their research will focus on the development of a bicycle-friendly infrastructure.
The Crate and Barrel Israeli Product Design Award for the Home and Its Surroundings in the Professional Category went to Vered Kaminski, who has designed a group of stools that "constitutes an innovative interpretation of a familiar object within the domestic landscape." The Second Prize in this category went to Alon Meron for his series of bowl forms combining the hard material of ceramics with a soft synthetic material.
The Crate and Barrel Israeli Product Design Award for the Home and Its Surroundings in the Student Category did not award a first prize this year. A Second Prize was given to Michal Chen and Yair Fuchs. Chen's prototype of a portable microwave is a fresh approach while Fuchs's minimalist bench managed to attract attention by the clever detailing of the connection between the wood and the metal legs.