Press Release

Fall 2017 – Spring 2018 Season at the Israel Museum

Jerusalem, Israel

Major Christian Boltanski Retrospective to Conclude Roster of Exhibitions

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem will present a series of exhibitions showcasing some of the most acclaimed visual artists, designers, and fashion innovators working in Israel today in its upcoming fall 2017 – spring 2018 season. From solo exhibitions that introduce audiences to new bodies of work by Zoya Cherkassky, Oren Eliav, and Gil Marco Shani, to surveys that provide fresh perspectives on the historic roots of Israeli architecture and fashion design, including Jerusalem in Detail and Fashion Statement: A Century of Fashion in Israel, the upcoming season extends the Museum’s commitment to providing a platform for the country’s breadth of creative expression. Culminating the exhibition lineup is a major retrospective on French artist Christian Boltanski, spanning over three decades of the artist’s career.

“We are thrilled to provide our audiences a rich array of encounters with internationally acclaimed artists, whose deeply poignant works resonate with the Israel Museum’s focus on the universal and Israeli human experience,” said Ayelet Shiloh-Tamir, Acting Director of the Israel Museum. “Encompassing architecture, film, painting, installation, design, and fashion, our upcoming season promises to foster new insights across disciplines and deliver impactful art experiences for all visitors.”

Fall 2017 will also include U.S. premieres of major traveling exhibitions organized by the Israel Museum. The Yale Architecture Gallery in New Haven presents Social Construction: Modern Architecture in British Mandate Palestine, which traces the influence of international modernism on the architectural vernacular that developed in Palestine during the British Mandate period (1917 – 1948). In November at the Jewish Museum in New York, Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem showcases traditional apparel from the 18th to 20th centuries, drawn from the Museum’s world-renowned collection of Jewish dress. Additional information on each exhibition follows below. 

Fall 2017 – Spring 2018 Exhibitions at the Israel Museum:

Jerusalem in Detail 

October 6, 2017 – April 2018

Today’s Jerusalem is the product of centuries of human activity, evident in countless signs and symbols left by its builders. This exhibition presents a mosaic of the city, highlighting the ways in which different cultures left an imprint of where they came from and their vision for where they settled. By focusing on ornamental details scattered throughout Jerusalem, the exhibition demonstrates the influence and cross-pollination of aesthetic ideas between ethnic and religious groups that are embedded in the built environment. Jerusalem in Detail is based on the research of architect David Kroyanker, recently published in the book Jerusalem – God is in the Details: Multicultural Design Identities.

The exhibition is curated by Dan Handel, Curator of Architecture and Design. 

Zoya Cherkassky: Pravda

January 9, 2018 – October 2018

Focusing on recent paintings by Zoya Cherkassky, Pravda addresses the young artist’s personal experiences and the collective trials of the million-strong Russian immigrant influx to Israel in the early 1990s. In works that are at times provocative and defiant, the artist paints a portrait of this cultural encounter, examining stereotypes held by native Israelis and vice versa. This exhibition marks Cherkassky’s first solo exhibition at the Israel Museum and will be accompanied by a catalogue in Hebrew, English, and Russian, with essays concerning Cherkassky’s art as well as the social impact of the Russian immigration and its effects on Israeli society.

The exhibition is curated by Amitai Mendelsohn, Senior Curator and Head of the David Orgler Department of Israeli Art.

Oren Eliav: How to disappear completely (working title)

March 26 – October 2018

For his first solo exhibition at the Israel Museum, Israeli outstanding painter Oren Eliav creates an installation of 21 monumental paintings based on a 15th-century Italian painting of the Death of Lucretia from the Museum’s collection. Building on his practice of reworking Renaissance and Baroque artworks to catalyze new perspectives on the original object, Eliav distorts the Museum’s small-format, highly detailed painting illustrating Lucretia’s suicide after relating that she has been raped by the son of Rome’s tyrannical ruler. This episode—whether historical or mythical—was considered foundational to the establishment of the first Roman republic. Each of Eliav's painting conveys the scene from a different perspective, and visitors can view the paintings taking various routes, thereby enabling multiple perspectives.  

The exhibition is curated by Aya Miron, Curator of Israeli Art in the David Orgler Department. 

Gil Shani: Buses (working title)

March 26 – October 2018

Installed between two gallery levels, acclaimed Israeli artist Gil Marco Shani’s Buses is an architectural intervention that transports visitors to an imaginary parking lot complete with tourist buses. Visitors enter a quasi-movie set in which entire buses can be seen through a transparent door. Employing a variety of materials and techniques, Shani fabricated the space’s many details and adapted the angle to create an immersive optical illusion, with sound and temperature effects that enhance the physical experience of the audience. The uncanny and artificial nature of the installation environment produces a deep feeling of suspense and the sense of being drawn into an anonymous space in which anything might happen.

The exhibition is curated by Aya Miron, Curator of Israeli Art in the David Orgler Department. 

To Go: Contemporary Designs for Jewish Ritual Objects (working title)

March 26 – October 2018

This exhibition features travel kits of Jewish ritual objects reexamined and revisited by a wide-ranging group of contemporary designers. Today more than ever, travelers of our global village take with them some kind of kit. This exhibition shows how Jewish ceremonial items can be rethought by designers to better fit the modern world. For this project, the Museum approached about 20 Israeli and international designers and asked them to create a kit of ritual objects, inspired by a Jewish holiday or ritual, contained in a single unit. Participating designers include Assa Ashuach, Yuri Suzuki, Gali Cnaani, Vered Kaminsky, Nati Shamia-Opher, Chanan de Lange, and Nitzan Cohen.

The exhibition is curated by Sharon Weiser-Ferguson, Associate Curator of the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life.

Christian Boltanski (working title)

June 1 – October 31, 2018

This major retrospective surveys the work of French multidisciplinary artist Christian Boltanski from the 1970s through the present, demonstrating the artist’s ongoing exploration of the mechanisms of commemoration, from such seminal projects as Ombres, Monuments, and Reliquaires, to recent large-scale pieces and installation works, and several new site-specific projects created specifically for the exhibition. Amongst the earliest supporters and collectors of Boltanski’s work, the Israel Museum presented one of the artist’s first installations, Inventaires (1973), and in 1988–89, as the Museum’s Lindy and Ed Bergman Visiting Artist, he created and exhibited an installation entitled Lessons of Darkness. Featuring works gifted to the Museum by Boltanski from that project, in addition to important loans and site-specific works, the exhibition carries local and historical significance while posing human questions beyond place and time.

The exhibition is curated by Mira Lapidot, Yulla and Jacques Lipchitz Chief Curator of the Fine Arts. The guest curator is Laurence Sigal, Former Director, Le musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme, Paris. The exhibition was made possible with additional support from the Institut Français.

Fashion Statement: A Century of Fashion in Israel 

May/June 2018  

Fashion Statement is a pioneering presentation that surveys a century of fashion in Israel. Through clothing, fashion sketches, and photography, this large scale-exhibition illustrates the broad scope of fashion in Israel from its deep historical roots to contemporary collections, provoking a dialogue about tradition and modernity, myth and reality, and conflicting ideologies. The exhibition highlights the phenomena of such leading industries and fashion houses as Gottex, Maskit, Fini Leitersdorf, and Rojy Ben-Joseph. Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Israel, Fashion Statement will follow several recurring patterns, including religious and national symbolism; the inspiration drawn from Israel’s landscapes; and the influence of encounters with a diverse range of traditional dress, both Jewish and Arab. 

The exhibition is curated by Noga Eliash-Zalmanovich, Associate Curator, Stella Fischbach Department of Modern Art; Efrat Assaf-Shapira, Associate Curator in the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life; and Tamara Yovel-Jones, a leading fashion designer and educator in Israel.  

Traveling Exhibitions Organized by the Israel Museum:

Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress

Jewish Museum, New York, NY

November 3, 2017 – March 18, 2018

The first comprehensive U.S. exhibition drawn from The Israel Museum’s world-renowned collection of Jewish costumes, Veiled Meanings showcases over 100 articles of clothing from the 18th to 20th centuries, presented as complete ensembles or as stand-alone items. This array of apparel from over 20 countries on four continents offers an opportunity to view many facets of Jewish identity and culture through rarely seen garments. The range of textile designs and clothing illuminates the story of how diverse global cultures have thrived, interacted, and inspired each other for centuries. Showcasing color, texture, function, artistry, and craftsmanship, the exhibition also offers an incisive and compelling examination of diversity and migration through the lens of fashion.

The exhibition is curated by the Israel Museum’s curatorial team including Daisy Raccah-Djivre, Curator in Charge; Efrat Assaf-Shapira, Exhibition Curator; and Scientific Advisors No’am Bar’am Ben-Yossef and Esther Juhasz. Claudia Nahson, Morris and Eva Feld Curator at the Jewish Museum, is Overseeing Curator for the New York presentation. 

Social Construction: Modern Architecture in British Mandate Palestine

Yale Architecture Gallery, New Haven, CT

August 31 – November 18, 2017

Exploring another dimension of European modernist influence on the evolution of Israel’s visual heritage, this exhibition examines the significant influence that early 20th-century European modernism had on the architectural language of Palestine during the period of the British Mandate, which came to be known as White Architecture. Social Construction draws inspiration from the extensive research of Israel Prize-winning architect Ada Karmi-Melamede and architect Dan Price, whose book of the same title explores not only the tectonic and functional aspects of this new architecture, but also the relationships among values, place, and form that defined the qualities of its new language. The exhibition features documentary, analytical, and interpretive drawings that provide an alternative understanding of modern architecture as an evolving language, together with stunning archival photography of some of the iconic architectural projects of the period. The Yale exhibition will include two new sections focused on the transitional periods bookending the ’30s, in which architects hybridized traditional and modern styles.

The exhibition is curated and designed by Oren Sagiv, Chief of Exhibition Design at the Israel Museum, with Eyal Rozen.

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Zoya Cherkassky, The Chemical Warfare, 2016. Oil on canvas. 100 x 150 cm. © Zoya Cherkassky

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