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!
“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.
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.
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‘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.
“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.