SOAS University of London

Contemporary Israeli Art: Middle Generation

29th June - 15th August 1998

The second group of artists, belonging to the middle generation, began their careers influenced by trends related to Conceptual Art in the mid 60s. By now, they are all working within the later trends of Post-Modernism. After going through a severely minimalistic period, today Menashe Kadishman is working with powerful icons - biblical and mythological metaphores - that portray our existential struggle. Buky Schwartz deals with the dialectics of the visible and the invisible, jousting the viewer with his constructions and video images. Pinchas Cohen Gan, who was one of Israel's leading conceptual artists of the early 70s, works today with neo-expressionistic figurative images while commenting on the current mental state of affairs in Israel. Motti Mizrachi, a leading performance artist in the 70s, currently works with materials such as knives, gloves, etc., raising them from the everyday to the sublime. the work of Ofer Lellouche presents the narcissistic urge to continue looking directly and persistently at what seems to be our refection, and our inability to grasp the image. Michael Na'aman, one of the most sophisticated artists in Israel today, binds together textual and visual images, creating a great puzzle of the awareness of our cultural and spiritual existence.

Middle Generation
Pinchas Cohen Ganb. Morocco, 1942
Menashe Kadishmanb. Tel Aviv, 1932
Ofer Lelloucheb. Tunis, 1947
Motti Mizrachib. Tel Aviv, 1946
Michal Na'amanb. Kvutzat Kineret, 1951
Buky Schwartzb. Jerusalem, 1932

The exhibition comprises approximately 70 works - drawings, paintings, sculpture, photographs and video installations from three generations of artists (senior, middle and younger).