Art Review: Group Exhibition Artists’ House, Haifa

I enjoyed the sculptures of Ronit Eden where she celebrates the beauty of fertility with a series of sculptures the evoke Henry Moore and his fascination with positive and negative space.

By DANNY SHORKEND
December 3, 2018 22:29
2 minute read.
TWO OF Ronit Eden’s sculptures, now on display at the Artists’ House in Haifa.

TWO OF Ronit Eden’s sculptures, now on display at the Artists’ House in Haifa.. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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If one travels down Ben-Gurion Road in Haifa, a beautiful display of lights is visible and as the citadel of three major Western religions, one will see a crescent moon, a Christmas tree and the Hanukkah menorah and star of David. In particular, as a celebration of Hanukkah there is a beautiful exhibition at the artists’ house entitled “Light.”

Including ceramic elements such as menorahs as well as paintings, photographs, sculptures and prints, the exhibition creates a happy ambiance and invites the viewer on a journey where life is celebrated and the miracle of the Festival of Lights is expressed. The victory of spirit over might seep through in a plethora of works where color and light overcome negativity and darkness. The super rational victory of the Maccabees transmutes into a victory of culture over apathy and entropy.

I enjoyed the sculptures of Ronit Eden where she celebrates the beauty of fertility with a series of sculptures the evoke Henry Moore and his fascination with positive and negative space.

The negative space is the potential of that which might be, like a child that is yet to be born and the positive space is the mass and weight of existence and materiality itself. The miracle of birth then is the fusion of both such aspects and in artistic terms, the creation of form and the materialization of ideas.

Perhaps what is most intriguing about the show is the variation of styles that somehow converge on the theme of light. Photographs such as Maroua Chaviv that expertly captures a moment in time as nature unfolds; photographs that capture the River Jordan and surrounding space by architect Ben Gitai as topography transmutes into art and a great variety of other works where light emerges through shell-like forms, where paintings exhibit the entry and exit of light that forms figures, nature and shadows.

Curated by Noemi Eshet-Rosenzweig, this inspired exhibition is sure to attract tourists this month and adds to the festivities of the moment. One might get the general impression that this exhibition is able to override the pain and suffering of existence through cultural exchange and personal and spiritual expression. For it is precisely the capacity to find light amid darkness or bring out the latent light embedded in the darkness that is the hallmark of art. It is the ability to celebrate color and diversity; to find rhythm, harmony and quell the primitive impulse or at least channel it creatively, that justifies the arts. Where some philosophers such as Plato spoke disparagingly of the arts, perhaps one can see in art the fulfillment of what Nietzsche called the aestheticization of life. In other words, an exhibition of this kind perhaps may uplift and inspire the gallery-goer.

Art may end up just hanging on the wall somewhere in some context, but it may just prompt someone to look and think and feel and even change the very mind-set of such a person. Art can be light. Light is that which enables one to find one’s way and navigate forward into something better or clearer or greater.

I urge the reader then to have a look at this exhibition and add that on the list of Hanukkah things to do.

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