Pinchas Eshet – Seriousness and Frivolity

Pinchas Eshet was an active and engaged artist from the mid-1960s until his death in 2006. His multifaceted oeuvre demonstrates his control of various sculpting techniques in a range of materials, while his drawings and prints reflect his way of thinking and his sculptural approach.

This exhibition is held in conjunction with the publication of the book Pinchas Eshet – Portrait, in collaboration with the Janco-Dada Museum. The works included in the exhibition, some of which are in the museum collection, reflect various chapters in Eshet’s artistic career. It seems fitting that this exhibition is presented in the museum gallery devoted to Marcel Janco, due to certain affinities between the life and work of these two artists. Eshet, like Janco, was born in Romania (40 years later). Similarly to Janco, he immigrated to Israel, where he studied in Ein Hod with Rudi Lehmann – one of the artists who had answered Janco’s call to join the artists village. Eshet, like Janco, responded critically in his work to political and social events, and recognized the importance of integrating art and architecture in the public sphere. Teaching younger generations of artists was also a meaningful part of Eshet’s life, as well as of Janco’s life.

Both Eshet and Janco challenged the relations between two and three dimensions, as well as between actual and imagined volumes. Both also created white embossed paper works, and used ephemeral materials. In addition, Eshet’s artistic stance shared an affinity with ideas that had developed in the context of the Dada movement, such as humor and irony, double meanings, and blurring the boundaries between art and everyday reality.

Eshet was a modernist, yet ascribed great value to artistic tradition and to the history of art, as well as to professional and manual skills. Tradition and innovation are continuously intertwined throughout his oeuvre.

Irit Miller, Curator

Biographical Notes 1935 Born in Iasi, Romania. 1950 Immigrated to Israel with his family. 1955–1958 Studied sculpture with Rudi Lehmann in Ein Hod. 1957–1959 Studied at the Midrasha Art Teachers Seminary in Tel Aviv. 1959–1964 Lived in Milan, studied at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts with the well-known sculptor Marino Marini, and worked in his studio. 1965 Returned to Israel, settled in Tel Aviv and worked in his studio on Har Zion Boulevard. 1968–2000 Instructor at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem. 1968 One of the founders of the artist’s group “10+.”  1982 Among the founders of the artists group Radius in Tel Aviv. Pinchas Eshet passed away in 2006