To mark Israel’s 70th anniversary, the museum has chosen to display a collection of solo exhibitions by contemporary Israeli artists. The works in these exhibitions depict the local landscape and engage in current and direct dialogue with the landscape paintings of Marcel Janco that are displayed in the “Travelogue” exhibition curated by Raya Zommer-Tal. As one of the founders of the Dada movement, Janco was no stranger to protests or to going against the stream, and his informal responses are evident not only in his artistic work but also in his architectural perspective and plans.
The exhibitions represent a variety of works and installations tied together by a common thread of providing a different view of the landscape of Europe and Israel. Marcel Janco similarly related to the local landscape at different periods, for example during the period of inner doubts and hesitations between the local and the universal approaches. This collection of exhibitions focuses on two main features. The first emphasizes the formal aspect with which Janco was occupied when he used lines and shadows in his inimitable style to break down the defined and clear landscape to the point of abstraction. The second stresses the content through which Janco chose to describe the landscape and the surroundings at a time when abstract art dominated as the major stream on the local art scene. Despite this, Marcel Janco chose to return to distinctly formal drawing with a social aspect. The overt and covert relationship between the chosen works finds expression both in their visual aspects and in the context of their content. The treatment these exhibiting artists give to Janco’s landscapes in their paintings, installations and innovative contemporary animations enhances the levels of observation and interpretation of these works.
In this exhibition seven artists engage in a dialogue with Marcel Janco’s works, a dialogue that underscores the differences in perception and the audacity to deal with topics that were pushed to the margins and to some extent considered taboo.
The paintings of artist Liron Lupu focus on local topics and landscapes. He has chosen to draw in a naïve style while dealing with complex political content. In her work, Emi Sfard treats the experiential aspect by designing a computer game that creates a living virtual space in which the observer is invited to wander around Ein Hod/Ein Hawd. The landscapes of Nehama Levendel are composed from the bindings and pages of books that were taken apart and intuitively reassembled. She positions the pieces of paper until a new landscape emerges, one that does not seek to imitate a concrete landscape yet nonetheless often seems to chronicle the local landscapes. Curator: Nitsan Shuval-Abiri.
Yasmin Kaspin has created an installation in which observation of the local landscape turns into an experience of observing global nature. In so doing, she breaks up the landscape into three-dimensional pieces by ripping up the picture using materials such as sponge, cardboard and slides. The three-dimensional space returns to two dimensions in the background collage. The panoramic landscape in Janco’s paintings and the topic of coexistence find expression in the sound installation created by artist Bian Hasouna Alagu. The minarets make reference to Janco’s drawings from the 1950s and also receive inspiration from the artist’s personal connections. Artist Michal Orgil has created an assemblage that combines ready-made objects and veneer boards. In her work she arranges her impressions of Ein Hod, thus creating a combination of observations of the landscape and techniques identified with Janco’s early works. Curator: Avital Katz.
The video work titled The Quarry by landscape artist Iris Nais communicates with those works of Marcel Janco in which the landscape is represented by abstract lumps in space while also relating to Janco’s lyrical abstraction in marking the images of nature. Curator: Shuly Briskin.
All of these works provide a new and contemporary view and engage in stimulating dialogue with Janco’s works. This “alternative vision” forms the core of these exhibitions. The artists invited to exhibit, paint, sculpt and position objects into a space that at first glance does not necessarily appear to be a landscape.
This project is the result of collaboration with the Man and the Living World Museum in Ramat Gan, where the second part of the “Travelogue” exhibition of Marcel Janco’s landscape paintings is displayed, along with the exhibition by Tamar Roded Shabtay.
The exhibition is in memory of Zigi Neuhaus – revered tourist guide, Marcel Janco’s friend, art lover
Special Thanks to Younis Alkara Gallery, Daliat El-Karmel