Around the country, art and exhibit lovers are invited to enter a museum near them to enjoy International Museum Day.
Visit I Watch You from My Tragic Isolation, a new exhibition of works by Nil and Karin Romano now showing at Tel Aviv Artists House. Curated by Sari Paran, the works selected for this exhibition show progression from the paintings presented at Beseeching the Goddess (Beit Ha’ir) three years ago.
The occult, gothic figures had become much more muscular and robust, a little like the human figures depicted by William Blake. Just as Blake was compelled to share his unique, outsider visions with the world, so too the Romano sisters co-create frank and vivid tales of sexuality, passion and pain that carry a solid punch.
Note how the work Lovers Sharing Spaghetti, for example, strides the wide gap between pop culture and highbrow art. The work refers to the pasta-sharing scene from the 1955 animated film Lady and the Tramp and the 1594 painting Gabrielle d’Estrées and One of Her Sisters which hangs at the Louvre. “Shot through with the tropes of sado-masochism and imbued with an almost overwhelming sexuality,” Paran noted, “theirs is a visual language saturated with pain and pleasure, constantly poised on the knife edge between sublimity and offensiveness.” Showing until Saturday, May 13, at 9 Alcharizi St., Tel Aviv. Admission is free.
FRIDAY, MAY 5 – Attend the opening of a special exhibition honoring the memory of late Canadian-Jewish artist Johanan Herson. Having made Aliyah in the mid-1970s, Herson established himself as a set designer, painter and even part-time actor (in the late 1980s television series Late Night Stories, episode four, A Certain Death). Held at 8 p.m. at Art Market (3 HaTa’arucha St., Port of Tel Aviv), this is a chance to examine works from a full artistic life. Admission is free.
SATURDAY, MAY 27 – Visit Twilight Zone, a group exhibition curated by Svetlana Reingold that deals with the complexity of refugees in Israel. The only Jewish state in the world, Israel gladly accepts Jewish migrants but to this day does not have a clear policy concerning non-Jewish migrants. It has a hostile policy concerning Palestinians who claim refugee status, following the War of Independence and the Six Day War. The exhibition includes Jewish and Arab artists.
The title has a double meaning, it refers to both the classic late-1950s television series The Twilight Zone created by Rod Serling, where logic and reality become blurred and the ongoing series of reports from the West Bank carried out by Gideon Levy.
Reingold recently curated We No Longer Feel the Future at MUSA Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv, which focused on Ukrainian artists and their response to the Russian invasion of their country (co-curated with Suzanne Landau, who herself became a refugee in this country following the Soviet Invasion of her native Czechoslovakia). Join a discussion with the audience being held today at noon and learn more about these vast and often painful issues.
The Janco-Dada Museum offers a cluster of exhibitions focused on the chaotic reality of this country. Among them are Fracture, in which Ophira Spitz offers an assemblage instillation and Bonds by Orna Versano Malki. Malki explores the theme of motherhood in the Israeli context, where mothers see their sons becoming active-duty IDF soldiers who shoulder the defense of this country at considerable risk to their own lives. For more information, call: 04-984-2350.
TUESDAY, MAY 9 – Museums across the country will open their doors and welcome patrons for free in honor of International Museum Day. Chair of the International Council of Museums Israel Raz Samira said, “In museums, tangible cultural legacy is kept.”
This year, the theme of museums, sustainability and well-being was selected.
“This is an important topic for the physical existence of the planet,” Samira added.
In addition to the large and well-established museums, such as the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Biblical Lands Museum, this is a chance to enjoy smaller museums. Among them, the Old Yishuv Court Museum, which will offer a workshop about how previous generations made the most of what they had, such as turning a flour sack into a dress, decades before recycling became a trend. 6 Or HaChaim St. Jerusalem.
Plating the Field at Arthura Gallery (Ruppin Academic Center, Kfar Monash) is another interesting space that offers sketches from the notebooks of several chefs who attempt to bring food from the earth of this land to the plates of foodies. Works by the former chef to the Prime Minister, Joseph Korson, as well as Jerusalem chef Oscar Zuckerman, are included in the exhibition. Curated by Yifat-Sarah Pearl.
NEW YORK – The ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair (NYIABF) returned to the Park Avenue Armory for its 63rd year. Among the gems included was a hand-colored Old Testament by Dirck Jansz van Santen from 1686 offered by Antiquariaat Forum and Asher Rare Books, a 1923 edition of a Hebrew book for children by Bialik (Enchanted Book) and even a complete set of the currency used books at Theresienstadt (Eric Chaim Kline Bookseller).
Designed by Jewish-Czech artist Petr Kien, who died in Auschwitz after being deported from Terezin, this is a powerful reminder of the importance of material Jewish legacy in our digital age. The fair ended on Sunday, April 30, but the booksellers are available for all who are keen to expand their unique collections.
SOHO HOUSE TEL AVIV – The Soho House celebrated Purim with a future mythology-inspired soiree-themed celebration, which hailed the triumvirate of wi-fi, fashion and revolution in a world called Utopeace. If you weren’t invited to Purim, there is always hope for next year. There are forty such locations around the world, Tel Aviv is but one of them.
Soho House is a members-only club. Membership is gained on the basis of being an unusual and creative person, not wealth or social class – making it an interesting networking option for creative people.
NAIROBI – Syowia Kyambi currently presents KASPALE at the Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute (NCAI). KASPALE is a trickster figure created by the artist and inserted into real historical situations to address issues such as colonialism and gender in East African contexts. Showing until Friday, June 30.
Readers who remember the Contemporary Redefined: Africa Today (Curated by Joseph Awuah-Darko) exhibition might appreciate a chance to learn more about current art from Africa. They may also write to KASPALE or even send him a drawing via firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit: www.ncai254.com.
Art Roundup is a monthly glance at some of the finest art exhibitions currently being shown across the country. Artists, curators and collectors are welcome to send pitches to email@example.com with “Art Roundup” in the email subject.