This exhibition aims at setting up a brief historiography of the body as it is perceived, represented and manifested by Israeli artists from the 1950s until today. On view are works from some of Israel’s most known artists together with a selection of contemporary Israeli artists residing in Berlin. The works of Moshe Kupferman (1926 – 2003) and Lea Nikel (1918 – 2005) are our starting point, chronologically. Like many of their contemporaries they were engaged in an abstract discourse avoiding any direct representation. Kupferman’s paintings are an on-going process of marking and erasing, thus constructing a timespace machine whose generator and scale is the basic move of the painter’s hand. In Nikel’s case the body is transﬁgured into abstract forms. Possible ﬁgures, emotions and inner situations are shaped into colors and spatial relationships.
Going back centuries and millennia, the travel routes of migrants tell the story of a humanity ravaged by wars, famine, prosecution and crises. Traversing lands, seas and continents, the pairs of eyes that witnessed and the legs that treaded the land – of those persistent in their search for a better future, if not sheer survival – are the bearers of life experiences that remain largely untold and forgotten, even if the collective fates of migrant populations had merged into the great currents of history, shaping cultures, civilizations, peoples and ethnicities everywhere.
Among the pieces exhibited in our current exhibition are Zoya Charkassky’s paintings. Zoya is an Israeli painter born in Kiev. A few years ago she was quoted regarding her unique outspoken way to deal with the Israeli identity & Judaism: “it was never my intention to shock Holocaust survivors. They have had enough shock and horror in their lives. For me it is about coming to terms with such things. If that’s the way a Jew is drawn – then perhaps that’s what he really looks like, perhaps there’s something to it.” Continue reading