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May 24, 1991 - Image 65

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-05-24

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

FINE ARTS

A major exhibit at the DIA highlights
important work by major Israeli artists.

AARON HALABE

Special to The Jewish News

I

n what might be termed
an artistic coup, members
of the city's art and Jew-
ish communities have organ-
ized an exhibition represen-
ting nine of Israel's most pro-
minent contemporary artists.
The exhibition, called "Art
in Israel Today" is a col-
laborative project of Detroit
Institute of Arts' Friends of
Modern Art and the American
Israel Education Institute
(MEI). The artwork will be
displayed at the DIA between
May 24 and August 18. A gala
opening and dinner was held
May 23.
Organizers consider the
event to be a coup because of
the DIA venue and the in-
volvement of Jan van der
Marck, the DIA's curator of
20th century art. Mr. van der
Marck selected the nine par-
ticipating artists during an
AIEI-sponsored trip to Israel
last August. After ten days of
meeting artists in Jerusalem
and Tel Aviv, Mr. van der
Marck returned to Detroit
with paintings and sculptures
that represent some of the

best contemporary art being
produced in the world.
Mr. van der Marck says "the
most innovative" work in
Israel is being done by artists
born between 1943 and 1952.
The exhibition features six of
those artists, including "im-
agistic" painters Dganit
Berest, Shuki Borkovsky and
Gabi Klasmer and "construc-
tivist" sculptors Michael
Gitlin, Zvi Goldstein and
Nahum Tevet.
As a tribute, and to provide
a historical context, Mr. van
der Marck says the exhibition
begins with works of three
older Israeli artists born bet-
ween 1926 and 1936 — paint-
ers Moshe Gershuni and
Moshe Kupferman and sculp-
tor Maneshe Kadishman.
These artists, Mr. van der
Marck says, convey images
that "relate to the war, to
Israel as a country torn
asunder and under siege."
As a whole, the works
"should suggest to viewers the
breadth and intensity of feel-
ing expressed in images that
range from the traditionally
symbolic to the hermetic and
abstract?'
He says Borkovsky, Klasmer
and Berest are ". . . three real

up-and-comers. Borkovsky
does very intimate work of
sailing ships and maps — real
gems of paintings. Then you
have a more impulsive,
tempestuous style in the work
of Gabi Klasmer who is in-
terested in faces — very slick
surfaces. And another painter
to watch is Dganit
Mr. Berest is one of Israel's
leading female artists.
"Israel is a relatively
isolated country, yet extreme-
ly open to the world," Mr. van

Jan van der Marck:
Selected the Israeli works.

der Marck says. "The artists
there are very sophisticated.
They not only get perfect
teaching at home, but they get
opportunities to travel and see
what is happening around the
world. So they have a very
sophisticated attitude toward
the arts . . . Their art is in no
way provincial or limited.
Some of them have already
made a splash in New York or
Berlin, for instance?'
"Art in Israel Today" ex-
ecutive committee co-chairs
Doug Busbey; Dede Feldman
and David Leader emphasize
that the exhibition should not
be, as Mr. Leader says, con-
fused with art"commonly seen
at synagogue art shows. We
want to give the Detroit com-
munity, including the gentile
community, a picture of fine,
highly-regarded Israeli ar-
tists."
Mr. Busbey suggests that
the cost and quality of the art
distinguishes it from other ex-
hibits. "We're talking about
the art that an international-
ly renowned curator has said
is representative of the finest
art in Israel. So rather than
looking at $50 or $100 prints,
it's more expensive art; it's
higher quality art and I think

it's representative of the kind
of art you see on an interna-
tional level. And that is not
what you generally see in a
synagogue or church sale?'
The artwork, which ranges
in price between $1,000 and
$10,000, will be offered for
sale to the public during the
exhibition.
While some of the works
have Jewish and Israeli
themes, much of the exhibi-
tion deals with subjects that,
according to Mr. van der
Marck, go beyond nations,
ethnicities and religious
beliefs. "To put it quite blunt-
ly, one doesn't have to be
Jewish to empathize with
the (Israeli) culture, with the
courage of that people and
with the art that comes out of
that culture.
"I am not Jewish," he says.
"But I don't have to be in
order to be fascinated, to be
totally immersed in it. Nor
does a Jewish artist living in
or outside of Israel have to
deal with religious themes of
his country. He can deal in an
international language, but it
will be colored by where he
comes from and who he is:"
The director of the Israel
Museum in Jerusalem, Mar-

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

65

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