Black and White – Group of Exhibitions

This group of exhibitions displays the works of diverse artists who use a variety of techniques. All the works focus on two diametrically opposing colors on the color palette. Sometimes small amounts of other colors penetrate the works, but the black and white concept dominates all the rest.

The main exhibition is “I am Shadi” by the artist Shadi Twafra. Over the years, Twafra has been producing sensitive creations in a language of his own. Most of his paintings are of large proportions and depict imaginary and absurd figures that carry a symbolic and autobiographical cultural burden. These figures’ changing facial expressions reveal emotional storms and upheavals alongside childish naivete. In his work he examines origins, difference, otherness, human rights, the value of human life and the rejection of all forms of violence. His work reflects the attempts to cope by an unusual man who has chosen to follow a different path, one where his main concern is survival in its most basic form – staying alive. When he first entered the classroom in the children’s ward where he was hospitalized and began drawing, he could never have imagined the tremendous effect and therapeutic influence art would exert on his life. Then and there, the soul of artist Shadi Twafra linked itself to art as his fate and later also as his mission. The exhibition holds over 40 works some of them large, and also a special mural. The exhibition is made possible thanks to the support of the Pais Council for Culture and Arts. The curator is Nitsan Shuval-Abiri.

The Exhibition “The Secret World of the Introverts” by the twin artists Nil and Karin Romano is a spectacular fantasy in four hands. The pen-and-ink drawings are the result of harmonious collaboration between these two autodidactic artists. Their attention to detail has yielded crowded drawings teeming with situations and occurrences, creating a full and explosive kaleidoscope of images, animals, furniture and architectural items reflecting off one another and shattering/splitting in the mirrors mounted on the sides. The works are laden with many details that call for examination. The elements inspire a sense of ritual: various religious symbols alongside witches and black magic; an abundance of accessories and   props – masks, umbrellas, chains, lamps, candles; an assortment of animals, such as turtles, bats, rabbits, pheasants, shellfish and snakes alongside imaginary hybrid creatures. In between, the human figures stand out, first and foremost duplications of the twin artists’ faces and bodies alongside other female figures with flowing hair, naked or dressed in ceremonial attire. All are in motion, symbiotic, powerful in their appearance. The exhibition curator is Izi Itzhak Civre.

Sima Levin is a multidisciplinary artist who creates in various media – painting, drawing, print and sculpture. In this site-specific work “Uprooted II” the artist continues her “Project in Progress” that began with her virtual exhibition “Uprooted,” on the Museum website. This project is Levin’s response to the current global phenomenon of millions of refugees, displaced persons and migrants who have been forced to flee their homelands due to political crises, wars, natural disasters, hunger and poverty. In this work, displayed in the permanent exhibition space dedicated to Marcel Janco’s lifework, Levin creates an atmosphere that draws the viewer in. Twenty panels are installed on each of the two walls of the space. These panels serve as independent units, while together they generate two huge works containing images of destruction and ruin. Against a background of the ruins of what once were residential buildings, streets and cities, the artist depicts helpless men, women and children who have been uprooted from their homes or are fleeing for their lives. The inspiration for these images comes from scenes of refugees in Marcel Janco’s paintings. The exhibition curator is Rina Genussov.

Moshe Ripner’s exhibition “Perpetual Questioning” includes six large portraits of Hasidic figures whose typical outer features identify them as Hasidic: hats, curly sidelocks and beards. These self-portraits represent the artist’s alter ego of sorts, even though he is not affiliated with any particular Hasidic movement. Ripner continually examines his image as a Hasid, casting about for lines and shapes to form his image with the help of acrylic paints, ink and chalk. This painting technique enables the artist to relinquish control, draw intuitively and leave room for coincidence to shape the figures and forms. Ripner chooses to represent himself as a Hasid because he sees the Hasid as a symbol of Judaism and spirituality. Through this image Ripner examines his Jewish identity versus his identity as an artist, looking for points of intersection as well as points of conflict between the spiritual Jewish world and the universal artistic world. The exhibition curator is Rina Genussov.

The works in the exhibition “Oculus”, produced by Danielle Feldhaker in the past several months, are on exhibit in the library gallery. These works are a continuation of her virtual exhibition recently posted on the museum website. A giant mask made of layers of parchment paper is situated at the center of the space. On this mask, the artist printed a repetitive black-and-white squiggly pattern that resembles lace, embellished with a pair of eyes. This same pattern, which serves as a static background for the video work Eyes Wide Shut II, also appears on additional masks scattered among the bookshelves and drawn on objects of light as well. The artist seeks to raise the issue of domestic violence, and particularly violence against women – women who are anonymous, transparent, silenced, those for whom society and official authorities shut their eyes, turn their backs and disregard their state. These women are faceless. The use of the black lace-like pattern refers to the increasing fragility of the encounter with the delicate material – parchment paper or glass. At the same time, these works also have a global aspect. The fact that the artist chose to use the image of a mask in today’s times conveys the overwhelming sense of suffocation while wearing a mask, the loss of identity, the limited ability to interpret facial expressions, and the social distancing that has been forced upon us alongside the paralyzing fear we have been immersed in for too long a time. The exhibition curator is Raya Zommer-Tal.

In the exhibition “Colossus“, Ronit Keret has positioned a fictional monumental sculptured black-and-white figure between a pair of tall columns standing in the museum Entrance gallery. The thin and elongated figure stands in a walking stance on a display pedestal made of broken pieces of extruded polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) that had been discarded when they were no longer in use. The figure is marked by frugality of structure and color. Its head is white, while its body is half black and half white, such that our first impression is of a black figure and only upon approaching do we discover its white back. Keret strives to unify the fragments of the figure, instilling it with an engaging sense of extremism through her use of colors and materials. On the one hand, the white extruded polystyrene foam creates an effect of a delicate, quiet and airy texture, while on the other hand this material incorporates harmful and destructive features. As an expression of the desire to live in a better and improved world, this lowly and non-degradable material has been turned into an illusionary and exalted form that guides us toward environmental consciousness and the need to cope with our fragile human existence in this world. The exhibition curator is Avital Katz.

Additionally, a video work of the artist is displayed in the Pit space