The cluster of exhibitions titled “ArTchitecture” comprises two guest exhibitions from Romania that focus on the architectural work of Marcel Janco and the houses and buildings he built there during the 1920s and 1930s. Adjacent to these are several solo exhibitions that touch upon different conceptual aspects of houses.
The exhibition “Janco Unchained” focuses on the architectural work of Marcel Janco in Romania. After completing architectural studies at the Zurich Polytechnic and spending a number of years in France and Belgium, in 1922 brothers Marcel and Jules Janco returned to Bucharest and began renovating buildings that had been damaged during the First World War. The two brothers established and ran an architectural firm called the Office for Modern Research, and up to the time they immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1941 they built more than 40 buildings in Romania. During these two decades in Bucharest, Marcel Janco developed and matured professionally, both as an architect and as an artist and initiator actively promoting avant-garde ideas in Romania. His income from his work as an architect enabled him to produce, animate and finance Contimporanul, an avant-garde literary magazine. Marcel Janco brought new European trends to Romania and paved the way for the modernistic architecture that “contaminated” young architects with the ideological load of “revolutionary” art (cubism, abstraction, constructivism) and tied them to major streams in the modernism movement in Europe. This revolutionary approach to architecture as social art spread throughout the built space, from the “inside” – the ostensible purpose of building – to urbanism – the social goal of architecture. Janco worked energetically and tended to advance new initiatives. He was deeply involved in the new social approach and lent it his support. Yet despite being known as the creator of the first “modernistic structures” in Bucharest and Romania, he was not tolerant about adopting mechanical and modern aspects in the new style. For almost twenty years, Marcel Janco experimented with daring and innovative formulas, enriched the artistic life of the capital city, and opened doors and future opportunities for young artists. He was unstable and inconsistent, yet always authentic, convincing, and positive, and he remains a symbol of the spirit of freedom and liberation.
The exhibition was produced by The Union of Romanian Architects; Curator: Ileana Tureanu
The exhibition titled “Marcel Janco Reloaded – Research on a Formal Alphabet” provides a linguistic/design response to the “Alfabet Formal” (Romanian) created by Marcel Janco and published in the Punct journal in 1925 in Bucharest, Romania. The alphabet includes a series of nine graphic marks/letters through which Janco attempted to express the rules of composition in the fields of art and architecture. For more than twenty years, Professor Augustin Ioan of the Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urban Planning (UAUIM) has offered a course in which introduces to his students Janco’s alphabet, together with a number of Janco’s sketches of houses and compositions that were published in Contimporanul. In the course, Prof. Ioan asks his students to use these sketches as inspiration in creating a design language for producing a meaningful three-dimensional urban architectural object. The exhibition includes selected student works from different years. Curator: Augustin Ioan.
Two new wall works (From July 15): Kalanit Malkin work Panel Coating – Malkin’s professional journey led her from interior design studies to architecture, based on her recognition that she needed to deviate from mere aesthetics and out of her desire to make an impact. Through the architectural lens, she discovers the deep meaning of the home as a symbol of spiritual and personal identity. Since she grew up in a semi-religious home, a fundamental part of her work deals with the home experience and the functional expectations of women in various social settings. These expectations range from maintaining a clean and orderly home to conforming to other gender roles. Malkin attempts to cast doubt on the source of such norms and to suggest a space for diversity and freedom of choice. In her work, the artist expresses concepts of femininity, respect for women, conservatism, and domesticity. She attempts to challenge these concepts and allow for alternative narratives, such as diversity, gender equality, and individual expression. These works express the artist’s ongoing work in the field of architecture, which finds expression in almost every aspect of her daily life – in her work, her writing, and her creative efforts. Curator: Nitsan Shuval-Abiri
Karine Jancourt, a resident of the Ein Hod Artists Village, exhibits the work Urban Landscape. The artist is engaged in research dealing with forms and materials. Her artistic process includes meticulously choosing pictures from an image repository she created for herself. Through abstraction and composition cutting, she simplifies these familiar scenes and creates new visual spaces that invite a fresh and alternative perspective. Her works emphasize the meaning of spaces and invite viewers to evaluate not only what is built but also the way it is integrated into and influences the space. She strives to see the world in terms of shapes while assigning equal importance to the spaces between objects as well as the structures themselves. In the process of her work, she dismantles the layers of every image, enabling them to stand on their own before using them to create new patterns. This approach, which is rooted in the world of print, enables Jancourt to continuously break through the borders of her creations, protest against repetitiveness, and embrace infinite opportunities for her unique artistic expression.Curator: Nitsan Shuval-Abiri
The exhibition “Houses in Pain” by artist and architect Nini Warschawski invites the viewer to embark on an enchanted journey at the intimate crossroads between architecture and art, where a house becomes a metaphorical tool to express the complexity of the human experience. The project began nearly twenty years ago, when Warschawski began planning and building a house for himself and his family at the Ein Hod Artists Village. The complexity, tension and anxiety involved in planning and building can generate complex emotional states. These states can often become the seed of a crisis that can unravel internal relations and ultimately destroy the “house” itself when its inhabitants go their separate ways. Through his work Warschawski copes with the inherent tension between house as a sanctuary and as a site of struggle. Curator: Nitsan Shuval-Abiri
The exhibition “Looking Out and In”, on display in an alcove-like space in the museum, contains paintings by artist Jan Stieding created during the time he spent at the Ein Hod-Düsseldorf Artists’ Exchange Program. These works are based on various motifs that fascinated the artist during his wanderings in the Carmel Mountain Range. He was particularly attracted by landscapes and people as viewed from inside caves that were once inhabited by prehistoric humans – protected spaces created by nature, which over time gained a special character as a result of tens of thousands of years of human habitation. The view outward from inside the cave converges within the artist and floods him with new insights about himself. The central work in the exhibition is a large painting affixed to the wall and framed by yellow and black tape. The viewer’s eye is attracted to this picture from afar, but the tape framing it (resembling the one used in police work) projects a sense of rejection and calls for caution and distancing. Curator: Avraham Eilat