Welcome to the virtual tour of my exhibition at the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel, Netanya (Beit Oleh America), opening Nov 1, 2004.

Here are the Remarks I made at the opening:

We “see” the world not with our eyes but with our brains. As we develop we learn to recognize patterns of light, from the majestic show of a sunrise to the subtle patterns of light on a face that give us clues about a person’s inner emotions.

For years I have been fascinated by patterns of light, often ephemeral, often almost abstract. But, in trying to represent the play of light in my art I have always been conscious of the fact that it represents a glimpse of the “real” world. I have followed the classicists, who painted a group of people illuminated by a candle, or the impressionists, who used natural light as a major theme in their work. My motto is that “reality is a harsh taskmaster,” and I have tried to communicate to the observer the essence of the play of light in ordinary human experience, from patterns on a ceiling to rays of light coming through a geometric lattice. I prefer to paint the reflection of a tree rather than the tree itself. What exists, the tree (that is not seen) or its reflection (that is)?

In assembling this collection of my paintings I was greatly assisted by Gypsy Ron, who is well known at AACI-Netanya. It was refreshing for me to have someone who had not seen my work before to help select and critique it. Her input was crucial in the decision to combine paintings on different themes into this exhibit.

I started painting seriously when I lived in Bethesda, MD, USA. Some of the paintings I did then focused on the theme of the Holocaust. These paintings were hidden away for ca. 20 years and they were seen by very few people. I am grateful to Gypsy for helping me to decide to include them in this show. Every artist represents his or her experience of the world through their paintings and in this sense the division between abstract and representational art is artificial. I seek to represent through my paintings a representational abstraction of my own unique vision.

Self-portrait on the death of Siv Nayar, 1980 (58x58 cm)

Reflection - tree ca. 1985 (56x60)

Reflection - trees 2004 (100x120)

Fragmentation - self-portrait 2003 (60x60)

Trissim (slats) 2002 (100x120)

Trissim - night 2002(80 x100)

Fanci foods to go - Annapolis MD 2002 (80x120)

Shadows - night 2003 (100x120)

Where heaven and earth meet 2002 (100x120)

Untitled (Zebra woman)2002 (100x120)

Pergola 2002 (60x60)

Simon age 5 ca. 1971 (60x80)

Nuns at Dachauerstrasse ca. 1985 (42x52)

Holocaust tryptch ca. 1985 (123x136)

The fallen ca. 1985 (80x90)

Ceiling shadows 2000 (60x65)

Ceiling - daylight 2000 (50x65)

Portrait of Frank Portugal ca. 1985 (50x50)

Fair on Midsomer Common 2004 (80x100)

And finally, a few shots of the pictures in context.

Jack Cohen with Gypsy Ron

Naomi Cohen

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