This exhibit took place at AACI Jerusalem, opening on July 7 - Sept 10, 2014.
Here are the Remarks I made at the opening:
The dictionary definition of “manifestation” is “an act of showing or demonstrating something, an indication that something is present, real, or exists.” I felt this would be an appropriate overall description of this exhibit of my art work, which in itself covers several categories, including landscapes, drip paintings, portraits and imaginary subjects.
The last exhibit of my work was five years ago, and this show includes many paintings that I have done since then, notwithstanding floods and termites in my studio. The origin of some of these paintings is often complex and obscure and I have tried to explain them in the accompanying descriptions.
I have been mindful of the fact that what we “see” is actually what our brain interprets, which can often be strange and surreal. Also, in my work I have tried to include subjects that are not concrete, such as the light thru a window or the shadows cast by light or the expression on a face, which in itself is defined by many shadows and highlights.
I prefer to challenge the terms “representational” and “abstract,” or “expressionist” and “impressionist.” Much of what we see in the real world, such as shadows or light playing on water, is so abstract as to defy the term representational. It is between the interstices of these definitions that I hope my art lies.
All the paintings are oil on canvas. The prices are available on request. Note that 25% of the payment will go to AACI.
Several of these portraits were painted many years ago, but recently I had a sudden inspiration to paint portraits of my wife, Naomi and of our Filippina, Sahlee, and my mother-in-law’s carer, Jaya from India. Then I decided to paint several of my closest friends, Barile, Baruch and Eddie. While I cannot say that these portraits are exact likenesses, I can say that I was trying to capture their essence and personality and I think that I succeeded. Naomi is typically smiling and vivacious, Sahlee is wary, Baruch is intense, Barile is relaxed and Eddie is defiant. Of course, these are only some of their characteristics, but an artist has to choose to represent one fixed pose and that must stand for their whole personality.
Naomi with her portrait (2014) and that of Simon (aged 5; 1971)
Sahlee with her portrait (2014) and that of Eddie (2014)
Portraits of Baruch, Jaya, Barile (all 2014) and Self-portrait, on hearing of Siv's death (1985)
Blue and White
It is an amazing coincidence that these two paintings, painted some 40 years apart, resemble each other in having a blue and white checkered pattern. I suppose this must represent something deep in my psyche. One of my friends said it represents my support for Israel’s imperialism, but I think it merely reflects my need for geometric order.
Cafe conversation (2006); Ozymandias, (1972)
When I was young I was obsessed with the Shoah, something that I have written about in my autobiographical novel "Amanuensis" (available on Amazon.com), about growing up in the East End of London where I and my family experienced extreme anti-Semitism. I saw the pictures of bodies from the concentration camps being bulldozed and it stayed with me. Like the people sleeping in the London underground, that became a theme for Henry Moore in his sculptures, I wanted to depict these bodies in painting. But, I could not paint them merely in black and white as dead bodies, I wanted to give them back a measure of life. I adopted the style of Henri Matisse, who did several paintings of dancers in a circle in bright colors in 1909-10. In my mind the two images fused and produced a painting of the Shoah victims as if they were still dancing in death. I believe this approach is novel and adds to our feeling for the victims.
The Fallen (1985)
I have painted few landscapes. The one of the terrain in Tuscany was a view from the entrance to Siena that entranced me. The views of Netanya were painted a few years ago and now you would see much more development and many more high rises in those locations. The painting “Marie’s dream” is of my mother standing on the cliff-top in Netanya, but she is not intending to throw herself off the cliff as people think. On the contrary, my mother could not walk for many years and could not travel to Netanya. In this painting she is without her wheelchair, standing on the cliff top and admiring the view that she could never experience. Note that these"black" irises grow only in Netanya and cannot be cut.
Poleg from the dunes (2000); Marie's dream (2000); Tuscany (2008); Black irises (1999)
Not Canaletto (2009)
Lemniscate (2008); Titrations (2008); Hysteresis (2008)
As a scientist and biomedical researcher, I felt the need to express my creative energies also in a scientific vein. I conceived of a series of paintings, using the drip method of Jackson Pollack, but in which the intention was to produce a scientifically based design rather than rely purely on the random. The three paintings shown here represent the physico-chemical processes that occur when there is a Titration, the addition of acid or base to a solution, a Hysteresis, a lagging effect, such as in magnetization and a Lemniscate, an infinity sign as seen at the moment of a nuclear explosion.
Many of my paintings were for a period focused on shadows and reflections. I show here a selection of them. Once lying in bed I noticed a series of bright strips on the ceiling. I was fascinated by them and where they originated from. I saw that they came from the sun reflected in the windscreens of cars in the parking lot below. I painted several versions of them, as well as shadows from other sources. I was obsessed by the random nature of many aspects of reality.
Light thru shutters (1999);Streetlamp thru shutters (2006); Pergola (2000)
Fanci Foods - Annapolis, Maryland (2002);Tree -reflection (1985); Trissim (slats) (2002);Doors (2003)
Glass-wall - student cafeteria Hadassah (2007);Corner of room, shadows (2000); Ceiling shadows (2000);Sun thru blind (2011)
This series of three paintings of mythical creatures arose from a trip we made to the American North-west, where I was fascinated by the Indian masks and by the mythical Thunderbird, a large female bird that supposedly protected the tribes. After painting a version of the Thunderbird, I imagined examples of the two other kinds of flying creatures, insects and bats. I painted the Fleidermaus in a Venetian mask in the form of the Carnival and the Butterfly in the form of the famous painting by Botticelli of Venus arising from the sea (1486), but with the addition of Van Gogh’s startling eyes from his self-portrait (1889) on its wings.
Van Gogh’s Eye Butterfly (2008)
Thunderbird (2007); Die Fleidermaus (2008)
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