Zimrat HaAretz

Zimrat HaAretz exhibition at the Yad Ben Zvi Institute 2023

Yad Ben Zvi is a national historic research and educational institute, located in the heart of Jerusalem. One of their projects is the Survey of Israeli Wall Art. During the heyday of socialism during Israel’s formative years, public art was prevalent all over, in bus stations, post offices, and kibbutz dining rooms. While most of this art had a didactic and “Zionist” agenda, much was of surprisingly high quality and reflected a modernist aesthetic.

While researching for this project, I noticed how frequently archeology was quoted in murals and ceramic reliefs, and how often the human figures were prototypes or iconic, and not individuals. The mid-century abstracted stylization fit both perfectly.

Over the past five years I have expanded my body of paintings referencing the lyrics of Israeli songs of the past 100 years. I found the lyrics of popular music in all genres, to be the quickest and most reflective expression of the changing values and identity of Israel/Jewish society. As many of these paintings were inspired by the language of Israeli wall art, Dr Nirit Shalev Khalifa invited me to exhibit. The musical aspect was no less important. Many wonderful things were created here, I am glad to be a follower of those traditions.