Art review: Ein Hod Galleries

Most enjoyable and highly recommended, not to mention the beautiful vista and ambient silence of the place.

A work by Adriana Naveh. (photo credit: EIN HOD GALLERY)
A work by Adriana Naveh.
(photo credit: EIN HOD GALLERY)
On only my second trip to this art haven, I was determined to see a little more than my first taste.
And indeed, I did. This time I went to the Marcel Janco Dada museum and it did not disappoint. There one will see the work of an important modernist with the obvious significant Dadaist historical relevance, as well as surrealism, expressionism and even architectural designs of an important artist who eventually settled in Israel.
Janco’s work is marked by strong outlines, a kind of structural marker that gives his work a certain heaviness and solidity, and yet at the same time with obvious Dadaist influence, there is a humorous and lighter side – a sort of caricature of life. There is also a floor with contemporary art, some of which the viewer might find rather interesting (always a vague term in art, though) or perhaps better put as: thought-provoking.
I did not have to look much further when I found the Leo Bronstein gallery. Here some powerful work is showcased, not to mention Bronstein himself, whose sculptures immediately seem to be a kind of drawing in sculpture, a beautiful rendition of line and excellent craft in bronze that allows the artist to push and pull sinewy “line” to great effect both creating (carving) a subject matter as well as bringing forth inviting negative spaces.
There is also the work of Adriana Naveh, whose acrylic on aluminum is attractive by being not quite realism and not quite abstract on a shiny surface that is treated to exude its metallic quality. There seems to be an understanding of measure and quantity as the brushwork is never overbearing and yet is expressive and exuberant. There is a sense of purity of design and immaculate neatness, a bright sheen, and yet there is a certain vagueness as well, as buildings and even the Western Wall are only somewhat implied, almost giving way to the artist’s brushwork and movement.
In contrast, the work of painter Leo Roy seems to be a kind of satire and his methods are direct, even primitive and expressive and distort figures and faces. The paint is impasto quite often and there seems to be no frills and prettiness for its own sake.
Then I went to the Ein Hod gallery and the solo show by Amiram Crisp and curated by Daniella Talmor was most enjoyable. His use of watercolor, charcoal, pastel and acrylic on paper seems to imply landscapes and yet the artist wishes the viewer (and himself) to dig deeper, so the show is aptly named “inner landscapes.” Diffused color seems to seep through, contained within a larger white space and frame as the smaller rectangles of the actual image create a spatial dynamic that invites contemplation. Just as color is complex and layered, so too is one’s life trajectory: the past, but a memory, almost dream-like; the future, a murky non-existence, and the present barely able to be grasped as it changes and moves and flows into the next moment. So, the semi-abstract works only obliquely seem to refer to people and places. Rather it is the emotional strength of the works and not simply a narrative, that works.
The skillful palette range, in its energetic aliveness, opens the eye and thence the mind to aspects of light and aspects of concealment. There is also an interesting array of paintings and sculptures in the large gallery devoted to a group show, tantalizingly named: No Name (lelo shem).
A most enjoyable morning and certainly highly recommended, not to mention the beautiful vista and ambient silence of the place.