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כלים שלובים

Common Ground

Israeli Art Meets Archaeology

  • Date iconApril 12 2024
  • Curators: Amitai Mendelsohn, Tanya Sirakovich, Ahiad Ovadia, Pirchia Eyall
          Assistant Curators: Elinor Zilberman, Lola Vilenkin
  • Designer: Shirley Yahalomi
  • The Ayala Zacks Abramov Pavilion and Nathan Cummings Building for Modern and Contemporary Art

Over the years, many artists have sought to understand the present by deciphering the past, incorporating or addressing ancient culture in their work in diverse ways. The exhibition Common Ground dissolves the barrier between archaeology and fine arts, as recent Museum acquisitions of Israeli art are interwoven with ancient artifacts from the collection – most displayed for the first time.

The exhibition presents archaeological finds spanning millennia, in materials such as stone, pottery, wood, and metal, alongside contemporary drawings, sculptures, video works, photographs, and installation art. All of these explore age-old subjects like mortality, the strength and weakness of the human body; relationships between people; and belief in transcendent forces. What joins them together is a shared visual or material language. An invisible thread seems to lead from one work to the next, bridging the millennia and revealing a wealth of links and associations.

In the exhibition, ancient objects of archaeology complement and enrich our understanding of recent artworks. Sparking surprising connections, the creativity of the distant past and immediate present meets on common ground to inspire us with faith in the human spirit.  


Artists: Ron Amir, Maya Attoun, Ilit Azoulay, Michal BarOr, Hilla Ben Ari, Deganit Berest, Miriam Cabessa, Ayelet Carmi, Chen Cohen, Gilad Efrat, Maayan Elyakim, Assaf Evron, Hamutal Fishman, Efrat Hakimi, Meirav Heiman, Menashe Kadishman, Miki Kratsman, Shai Kremer, Sigalit Landau, Netta Lieber Sheffer, Maria Saleh Mahameed, Ruth Patir, Hillel Roman, Elham Rokni, Karen Russo, Avi Sabah, Merav Salomon, Netally Schlosser, Etty Schwartz, Orit Siman-Tov, Micha Ullman, Amon Yariv, Addam Yekutieli (Know Hope), Noa Yekutieli


Netta Lieber Sheffer, Order of Priorities, 2023. Pastel pencil on paper
Purchase, “Here & Now” Contemporary Israeli Art Acquisitions Committee, Israel
Photo: Avi Amsalem
Ilit Azoulay, Queendom (Panel 4), 2022. Inkjet print
Purchase, “Here & Now” Contemporary Israeli Art Acquisitions Committee, Israel
Photo courtesy of Braverman Gallery
Ayelet Carmi and Meirav Heiman, The Israel Trail: The Procession, 2018. Still from multichannel video installation
Purchase, “Here & Now” Contemporary Israeli Art Acquisitions Committee, Israel
Photo: Ilan Sharif
Upper part of a statue of the god Bes, Egypt, Roman period, 1st century CE. Pottery
Gift of Abraham Guterman, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
Lower part of a statue of the god Bes, Beth Shemesh, Iron Age II, 7th century BCE. Limestone
Extended loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority
Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Zohar Shemesh
Stone mask, Peni-Hever, Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period, 8th millennium BCE. Red dolomitic limestone
Staff Officer for Archaeology – Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria
Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Zohar Shemesh


The exhibition was made possible by

The donors to the Museum's Exhibition Fund:

Claudia Davidoff, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in memory of Ruth and Leon Davidoff

Hanno D. Mott, New York

The Nash Family Foundation, New York


Israel Makov, Tel Aviv


Israel Discount Bank

Special thanks to the “Here & Now” Contemporary Israeli Art Acquisitions Committee, who purchased many of the works in the exhibition