The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Otto Freundlich, Composition, 1935 (detail), Musée de Pontoise, France, Donation Freundlich © Musée de Pontoise
January 15, 2017

The Shadow of Color

In 1937 the Nazi regime held a major 'Decadent Art' exhibition in Munich, displaying avant-garde art, which they considered a danger to society. Not by accident did they choose a photo of Otto Freundlich's sculpture The New Man for the cover of the exhibition catalog. Freundlich, who was born to a Jewish family, aspired to what he called "cosmic communism", and developed an abstract method of conveying egalitarian political views. This was expressed in his work through separate forms that combined into a single unit, itself but a part of the larger whole. In this way his works are considered a political manifesto, expressed in color and form.
The exhibition The Shadow of Color brings together - for the first time - the works of four path breaking abstract artists: Otto Freundlich, Len Lye, Lygia Clark and Blinky Palermo. Though working at different times and in different places, they developed a similar visual language. At the heart of their work they treated color as their prime substance; each trying to break through the two-dimensionality of the painting surface into a third dimension. All four of them were individualists, both in their life styles, and in the unique, and independent art they created.

The exhibition allows the visitor to examine the special character of each artist, and observe the way in which their art fuses, revealing a less known side of abstract art of the twentieth century.
Len Lye, A Colour Box, 1935 (Film still), Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation and the British Postal Museum and Archive.  © Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Len Lye, A Colour Box, 1935 (Film still), Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation and the British Postal Museum and Archive. 
© Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision                                                                                            

Freundlich, the oldest of the four, lived in Paris and was close to leading artists among them Picasso, Kandinsky, and Ernst. Although he was highly regarded, and well integrated in the art scene, he had little commercial success. When the Nazis came to power, they confiscated some of his work. He himself was later murdered at the Majdanek death camp. The exhibition features selected paintings created in his pioneering style - colorful geometric shapes organized by shade - and the sculpture Ascension, which is considered the first abstract, monumental sculpture in Western art.
Len Lye was born in 1901 in New Zealand. His life was marked by wanderings: from New Zealand to Sydney, Samoa, London, New York and finally - Puerto Rico. Lye began making films in the 30s when cinema was in its infancy. In the short films he created - two of which are shown in the exhibition - he transferred abstract painting to film; drawing, engraving, and smearing paint directly onto the celluloid itself, creating visual images that moved to the sound of the unique music.
Lygia Clark, a native of Brazil, expressed her ideas with Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica and other Rio de Janeiro artists, in the Neo-Concrete Manifesto they wrote together. They declared their break from concrete art, and the demarcation between two-dimensional, and three-dimensional form. The exhibition shows her Bichos - sculptures created by Clark in the 60s, made from geometric metal planes, held together with hinges. She did not set the sculptural form, inviting visitors to manipulate them into various spatial arrangements, including them in the creative process.
Blinky Palermo was and remains a mythical figure in the art world. He was born in Germany in 1943, as Peter Schwartz, and at 18 he adopted the name of an American mobster and boxing promoter. Drawing on unusual surfaces he researched conditions of painting at the edge of the sculpture. Although he used industrial, everyday materials such as metal and cloth, his works provoke an emotional aesthetic experience. Palermo died in 1977, aged of 33, at The Maldives. The circumstances of his death, however remain unclear.

The Lady in Red

A discussion on identity, gender, and transgenderism in Roey Heifetz's work, with Dr. Ofri Ilani, Anat Barzilay, exhibition curator Timna Seligman, and the artist.
Wed January 18 | 7 pm | Ticho House
No additional charge
Mordechai (Motti) Mizrachi From the series Via Dolorosa, 1973

Mordechai (Motti) MizrachiFrom the series Via Dolorosa, 1973

Behold the Man:
Jesus in Culture, Literature, and Film

What is the role of Jesus, the son of God and Messiah of Christianity, in Hebrew literature, Jewish history, and international film? A discussion of this issue with author Haim Be'er, Prof. Israel Yuval of the Hebrew University, and film scholar Sharon Roback, moderated by curator
Amitai Mendelsohn.
Tues, January 31, 7 pm
Springer Auditorium | IS 65 | IS 55 for Members

Purchase tickets online »


Neighboring Sounds
The Museum hosts a concert series performed by outstanding students from the nearby Conservatory of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.
Jan 27 | Fri | 12:30 noon | Free of charge | Space is limited

Guided Tour in the Rockefeller Museum

Ashkelon: A Retrospective – 30 Years of the Leon Levy Expedition
Led by Fawzi Ibrahim, curator of the Rockefeller Museum
Wed | Feb 1 | IS 20 | Organized transportation
Registration: 02-6708855

To the Members page » 

Gallery Talks

Tues 17.1  | 19 pm
Behold the Man with exhibition curator Amitai Mendelsohn
Wed 18.1  | 12 pm
The Shadow of Color with assistant curator Orly Rabi

Tues 24.1  | 19 pm 
Avraham Ferdo with exhibition curator Orna Granot

Wed 25.1  | 12 pm
Mordecai Ardon with exhibition curator Amitai Mendelsohn

Wed 25.1  | 19 pm | Ticho House
Roey Heifetz: Victoria with the artist

Tues 31.1  | 19 pm
Goya with exhibition curator Shlomit Steinberg
*Register in advance at tel. 677-1302

Wed 1.2  | 12 pm
Goya with exhibition curator Shlomit Steinberg - in English
*Register in advance at tel. 677-1302

Wed 1.2  | 12 pm
A Mummy in Jerusalem with exhibition curator Galit
*Register in advance at tel. 677-1302

For further information »

Free entrance for soldiers doing compulsory military service and for those doing National Service, courtesy of Israeli Friends of the Israel Museum

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