Category Archives: Andi Arnovitz

Andi Arnovitz

Andi Arnovitz’s Paper Artworks

During the Tel Aviv Paper Biennale, I fell in love with “Coat of the Agunah”, an amazing work of art by artist Andi Arnovitz. It was therefore unavoidable that this blog post highlight her and her work!

Andi Arnovitz is an outstanding artist who works with ceramics, etching, silk, cotton, polyester, printed fabric, paper, wood and even fimo. Although her artworks and installations in these various art forms are intriguing and powerful, naturally I will focus on her paper artworks, as paper is my thing!

This Jerusalem based artist grew up in the surroundings of Kansas City, where her family owned a fabric store that inflamed her fascination for texture and fabrics. After graduating with a major in Graphic Design and working as a printmaker, her love for paper started for the simple reason that paper can be manipulated in so many ways: one can fold, roll, cut, sew, shred, draw and write on it.

Andi Arnovitz’s paper artworks demonstrate her exceptional talent to visually and intellectually move her audience. For her, art is a place where religion, politics and gender meet. Her artwork approaches issues that affect Jewish women on a political level.

Andi Arnovitz

For example, in her art piece “Coat of the Agunah”, currently shown at the Israeli Paper Biennale 2013, Arnovitz tears ancient Jewish marriage agreements (prints) into small strips and sews them into new arrangements, as if seeking to dismantle existing order and free Jewish women from arbitrary prohibitions. Not for nothing does she call herself a political feminist artist! She also admits that this piece probably wouldn’t have been displayed ten years ago.

During our short interview, Arnovitz emphasized that the most important part of her art is the “idea”. After the idea is born, she chooses the material that fits best in order to begin the process of hand labor. The wrapping, rolling, binding and tying motions are returning religious rituals in Judaism, and as an observant Jewish artist, Arnovitz finds it important that these motions are a recurring part of her art creation. As Jews have always been writers and recorders of religious words within paper scrolls, text also plays a role of significant importance in her art.

Arnovitz’s goal is to always raise awareness and move the viewer. She has certainly moved me. I find her an outstanding (paper) artist with an extraordinary artistic gift, whose art will hopefully keep on “opening” the eyes and minds of many!

Andi ArnovitzA>

“ A Mother’s early Morning Prayer” by Hava Pinhas Cohen, 2012, etching and drawings digitally reproduced and laser cut, edition of 25.

Andi Arnovitz

Detail “Dress of the Sotah” 2009 Japanese rice paper, hair, dirt, film and threads

Andi Arnovitz

Left “Vest of Prayers” Japanese paper, thread and found prayer book
Right ” Tzedakah Vest”

I am happy to share with you Andi Arnovitz’s paper artworks, as well as the dates of a few of her current and upcoming exhibits:

“Flight Patterns” Atlanta- Hartsfeld International Airport April 2014
“Textile Art in Israel” Eretz Israel Museum February 2014
“Muslima: Muslim Women’s Art and Voices” International Museum of Women on-line exhibition, December 2013
“A Seat at the Table” WoCA Projects, Fort Worth, Texas December 2013
“Paper Art in Israel II” Eretz Israel Museum, September 2013
Sacred Words, Sacred Texts” Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles, through January 2014

Image courtesy Andi Arnovitz

Eretz Israel museum paper exhibition

Israeli Paper Art exhibition 2013 – Paper Art View

I am thrilled to have attended the opening evening of the Israeli Paper Art exhibition 2013 at the Eretz Israel Museum. What I can say is this: the rich diversity of creative paper artworks created by twenty select Israeli-based artists captivated me and would not let go.

Unlike the first paper exhibition held in 2008, whose focal point was to represent the historical aspects of paper art, this exhibit depicts the current state of contemporary Israeli paper art. A wonderful job was done by Dr. Sorin Heller, the highly acclaimed curator of visual art. One of Heller’s criteria for selecting the works on display was that the medium of paper be an ongoing and significant component in the works of the chosen artists. Heller divided the exhibition into three sections: paper as a material for translating reality; converting the paper object – from representation of reality to creation of art, and lastly, combined use of traditional and contemporary techniques.

I was touched by how this exhibition glorifies paper, and I am evenly impressed by the new approaches and techniques that utilize paper in a wide variety of media such as installations, objects, sculptures, photographic paper, paper cutting, weaving and folding. To quote Heller, “The exhibit presents working in paper as a kind of obsessive occupation and an almost devotion – a kind of perfectionism which is expressed in this material particular”.

I strongly recommend visiting the exhibition, which will be held until March 14th, 2014. This despite the fact that on a personal level, these eyes would have liked to have enjoyed more paper delights! Also, I think it will be a real shame to wait another five years for the next Paper Art exhibition. Paper art is thriving here in Israel (and worldwide) at a rapid speed. And I’m truly happy about that!

Here is a selection of some of my favorite paper art pieces for you to enjoy!

Carmel Ilan Sea

Carmel Ilan North Wind

“Sea” (2011) and “North Wind” (2012) by paper artist Carmel Ilan, who folds and cuts pages from encyclopedias, her childhood notebooks and monthlies in order to reinvent new personal memories that she channels into social and cultures mold.

Andi Arnovitz

The artwork “Coat of the Agunah” (2010) by Andi Arnovitz, in which the artist cuts ancient Jewish marriage agreements (prints) into small strips and sews them in new arrangements in order to free Jewish women from arbitrary prohibitions.

Moshe Gordon

The untitled artwork (2012) by Moshe Gordon – a large wheel of concentric circles in which he reworks newspapers, encyclopedias and books, then perfectly blends color and text to create a balanced harmony. Gordon leaves it to it viewer to decipher his works.

Etamar Beglikter

Etamar Beglikter‘s Butterfly installations, in which the artist cuts atlases into butterfly shapes as a homage to the disastrous fire on Mount Carmel in which the butterflies symbolizes death and the atlases our planet Earth.

Yael Ben - Zvi

“Memories” ( 2010) is a series of cardboard boxes of artist/designer Yael Ben-Zvi . She cuts images of her childhood memories. For her the act of cutting is analogous to etching on memory.