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March 27, 1964 - Image 48

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1964-03-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday, March 27, 1 964 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS - 48

An Impressive Showcase forIsraeli Art





By HENRY W. LEVY
The acceptance of Israeli art
and artists in America by both
the critics and the general pub-
lic is growing.
Playing an important role in
the development of this grow-
ing acceptance of Israeli art is
the Gallery of the Herzl Insti-
tute, in the Jewish Agency build-

ISRAEL
Fk 4i4C6-



ing at 515 Park Avenue, New
York. Each year, for almost a
decade now, some half dozen or
so Israeli artists are introduced
to the public at this "Showcase
for Israeli Art." .
The artists from Israel run the
gamut from A to Z, from the ab-
stract to stark or photographic
realism. But through the shows

iSkA2tE

6y U61 .A.

ISR4EL

by U.S.S.R..

The Israeli cartoonist, "Dosh," as exhibited at the Herzl Gal-
lery, presents a satirical picture of the Jewish State as he
thinks it appears to French. Americans. Arabs and Russians.

A street scene in Abu Gosh, a little Arab village adjacent to
Jerusalem. This is one of the earlier, pre-abstract, works of
Akron Elvaiah, shown at the Herzl Gallery.

presented at the Herzl Gallery,
under the direction of Alfred
Werner, art critic and historian,
there is a discernible trend.
Although Jewish art is no
longer typified by the bearded
Jew of the ghetto, there is a
Jewish quality in much of Is-
reali art. There is also more
than a suggesion of the Ori-
ental or Mediterranean.
One of the more recent ex-
hibits at the Herzl gallery intro-
duced Ahron Elvaiah, a person-
able sabra of 28, whose family
—a father from India and a
mother from Austria—migrated
to Israel in the early 1930s.
A graduate of the Bezalel Acad-
emy in Jerusalem, who is now
studying at the Academy of
Belle Arts in Milan on an Ital-
i a n government scholarship,
young Elaiah's metier today is
in the field of the abstracts.
Then there is David Gilboa,
born and educated in Hungary,
but a resident of Israel for 30
years. He is an expressionist.
His is a recognizable Israeli por-
trait, but as Werner says "he
gives us what no color photog-
raphy can supply: man's subtle
reactions to streets, mountains,
lakes, trees, people."
Gilboa, who is a member of
the Safed art colony, sees the
past in modern terms. His art
is a response to the age-old
alleys of Safed and Jerusalem
as they are alive today with the
exotic anachronisms of new im-
migrants from Asia and Africa.
Some may call it "old fash-
ioned art;" certainly it is art-
less or possibly naive art; but
it is an honest portrait of Israel
in pastels, water colors, gou-
aches and oils.
Veronika Nemes is also
Hungarian, an attractive
blonde in her forties. Werner
calls her "a metaphysical real-
ist." Since Hitler, she has
lived mainly in Paris. But she
has done a considerable por-
tion of her work in Israel,
and plans to live there per-
manently.
Mrs. Nemes, who was re-
stored to sight after almost
complete blindness, has a most
unusual technique. Her work
resembles a relief map, and is
achieved by her palette knife
virtually carving into a thick
substance with which she cov-
ers the canvas. She then covers
this bas-relief with innumerable
bits of color. The finished pic-
ture bears a resemblance to
sculpture, with its extra dimen-
sion.
Also recently on exhibit at
our "Showcase for Israeli Art"
was Nathaniel Behiri, who went
to Palestine in 1925, served as
an officer of the Haganah, and
who has devoted himself en-
tirely to art since he left the
army in 1950. His canvases ap-
pear in Israeli museums and
are included in the collection
of Itzhak Ben-Zvi, the late pres-
ident of Israel.
Far different was the show-
ing of Israel's foremost politi-
cal cartoonist, "Dosh "—
Charles (Kariel) Gardosh. His
work is , topical and fresh,
sometimes sharply self-criti-
cal and always good humored.
His drawings capture the
moods, problems, joys and sor-
rows of Israel; its day-to-day
problems of Arab hostility,
economic boycotts, mass im-
migratio n, the East-West
struggle. He delights in por-
traying the Israeli as a boy
in short pants, symbolic of
the informality of the sabra.
A Hungarian, who is a sur-
vivor of Nazi concentration
camps in Hungary and Yugo-
slavia, "Dosh" escaped to fight
as a Yugoslav partisan. He set-
tled in Israel in 1948, after com-
pleting his studies in Paris at
the Sorbonne.
Simon Karczmar devotes him-

self exclusively to the shetl
theme. He recreates the past,
his remembrances of the Poland
of his father and his grand-
father. A fine technician, who
studied art in Warsaw and the
Acadtnie des Beaux-Arts in
Paris, Karczmar is an artist
without an ism on his brush. In
painting rabbis and ghetto
dwellers in the spirit of an
honest portraitist, Karczmar-
according to Werner—"creates
a romantic mood, enforced by

the gem-like quality of his re-
trained pigments."
Through its support of the
Herzl Foundation—its art gal-.
lery, its lectures and classes,
the books published by its Herzl
Press and the quarterly maga-
zine, "Midstream"—the Ameri-
can Section of the Jewish
Agency adds another dimension
to its program—the presentation
to America of the cultural facet
of Israel, an ever important as-
pect of the Zionist dream.

Mt. Zion Legends, Fantasies in
Mrs. Silverman's 'Harp of David'

Mrs. Althea 0. Silverman, the
wife of Rabbi Morris Silverman
of Hartford, Conn., who already
has to her credit several inter-
esting books, has produced a
most fascinating collection of
legends of Mount Zion in Jeru-
salem, in "The Harp of David,"
published by Hartmore House,
Hartford, Conn.
During her four-month stay
in Israel, on her fifth trip to
the Holy Land, Mrs. Silverman
conferred with the Mount Zion
curator, Dr. S. Z. Kahana, and
she obtained from him legends
that have become part of this
new book.
The story begins with Moshe,
a young American boy, who
came to Israel for a summer's
stay. He was told about a schol-
ar, Reb Zanvil, a weaver of
tales and fantasies. The guide
tried to steer him away from
him as a mere story-teller. But
Moshe went to Mount Zion early
the next morning, at an ap-
pointed time when he was told
Reb Zanvil would be there.
They met, and there began the
adventure out of which was
woven the running story that is
in "The Harp of David."
The weaver of tales pro-
ceeded to relate about the bul-
lets in the sky that were averted
by a magic hand, preventing
harm to the defenders of the
city, fulfilling the prophecy of
Isaiah: "No weapon forged
against us shall succeed."
Based on the , Psalm "The
mountains skipped like rams,"
Moshe learned from Zanvil a
tale about the jumping moun-
tain.
The narrative continues with
stories about the ascent to the
holy mountain, the kippah, the
skull cap, that was accepted as
David's crown, about singing
stones inspired by another pro-
phetic verse, "How beautiful
upon the Mountain are the
voices of the pilgrims . . ."

Another score of themes,
charming stories that have
grown out of the legends re-
lated to David, continue to form
a running story that makes
"The Harp of David" a most
delightful book for children and
one to be read by adults so that
they may relate the tales to the
young.
Moshe returned to his moth-
er, after that adventurous trip
on Mount Zion with Reb Zanvel,
to report that he had indeed
grown by several inches out of
what he had acquired from the
weaver of tales. That's how all
readers of Mrs. Silverman's
book will feel when they will
have absorbed the fantasies so
splendidly narrated in her book.

Hebrew Corner

Department for
International
Institutions

The Department for International
Institutions in the Foreign Ministry
in Jerusalem, takes an interest in
all that happens in international
organizations and institutions that
handle important matters in which
Israel has an interest. The Depart-
ment supervises the activities gf the
representatives of Israel in these
institutions, so that the place of
the State of Israel will be expressed
correctly in these organizations in
order to advance international co-
operation, and in order to look
after the necessary interests of the
State and its citizens.
Here are some examples: On the
agenda of the United Nations As-
sembly in New York there is an
important item: The development of
underdeveloped countries. The rep-
resentative of Israel emphasizes the
danger of dividing the world into
developed and rich countries, and
underdeveloped and poor countries,
and calls for bridging the difference
by giving help to new states. He
points out to the U.N. Israel's ex-
perience in her co-operation with 80
developing countries.
Or, for example, another interna-
tional institution: The U.N. Commit-
tee for Tourism. The representatives
of Israel are active in this commit.
tee for the advancement of tourism
is an important way of bringing
together the peoples of the world.
(Published by the

Brith Ivrith Olamith)

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