Maurice Utrillo, 1883-1955, Place du Tertre, first half of the 20th century, Oil on cardboard, Hecht Museum Collection, University of Haifa
After the School of Paris:
The exhibition is opening to the public
Israeli Art in the 1930s and 1940s
The official opening will be held on October 19, 2013
From the 1920s until the outbreak of WWII, many Israeli artists went to study in Paris, the art capital of the world at that time. Their art was influenced by the French painters, in particular by artists such as Auguste Rodin, Maurice Utrillo, Edouard Vuillard, Raoul Dufy, and Maurice de Vlaminck, as well as those of the Jewish "School of Paris" - Chaïm Soutine, Jules Pascin, Pinchus Krémègne and Michel Kikoïne. This chapter in the history of Israeli art is notable in the works of Chaim Atar, Menahem Shemi, Moshe Castel, Itzhak Frenkel, Aharon Avni, Arie Aroch, Zvi Shorr, Moshe Mokady and many others. Issues for discussion that arose from the French art trends in general and from those of the "School of Paris" in particular, determined the unique quality of the discourse that appeared in Eretz-Israeli art field of the era. This is the focus of the current exhibition.
The exhibition comprises examples of French painting and works by the artists of the Jewish School of Paris, which had great influence on the Israeli artists in the period under review. Thus we can examine the characteristics of the cultural links between the Israeli artists and their contemporaries in Paris, which reached a peak in the 1930s-1940s. The wide selection of works by Israeli artists (more than 90 works) follows the general development of art in the Land of Israel as influenced by those events. The main categories of the interpretive discourse are discussed, including artistic representations deriving from them - the Israeli landscape, the creation and definition of an uniquely Jewish artistic language, and the choice of "what to paint".
The intention of the exhibition is to present an overview of the ideas and values of one of the most fascinating eras in the history of art in Israel - a period that gave rise to a creativity aspiring to create a new reality and to invent "the spirit of the age".
An exhibition on the same theme will open simultaneously at the Hecht Museum. It will focus on the influence of the School of Paris on the artists of the Artists' Quarter in Safed in the 1950s-1960s.
Curator: Svetlana Reingold