January 20, 2013


The evolution of modern Israeli art can be traced from the 1920s – when the modernist style of painting in Israel emerged and then to contemporary Israeli art. Israeli artists have been particularly concerned with questions of identity and conflict. They explore topics as varied as local landscapes and Mediterranean light, Jewish tradition and its complex attitude toward figurative art, and socio-political as well as urban issues: local versus universal, periphery versus center, or east versus west dialectics. Recently, Israeli artists have become much more present on the international art scene.

In this context it is interesting to notice that Bruno Art Group, an international publishing house, committed to provide outstanding quality artwork of renowned Israeli and international artists is showcasing three innovative Israeli artists in the India Art Fair 2013 starting on February 1, 2013.

The three artists whose will be showcased are Marcel Janco, Yaacove Agam and David Gerstein.

Marcel Janco is one of the founders of the Dadaist movement (Dada) – a literary and artistic avant-garde movement that started in Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland in the 1916, spread to Berlin and Paris shortly thereafter and by the 1920s became an informal international movement, with participants in Europe and North America. Dada was born out of negative reaction to the horrors of World War I, primarily involved visual arts, literature, poetry, art manifestoes, art theory, theatre, and graphic design and concentrated its artistic activity through a rejection of nationalism, rationalism, materialism – all the prevailing standards and life values of  their times. The Dadaists teased and enraged the audience through their bold defiance of Western culture and art, which they considered obsolete in view of the destruction contributed to a senseless war. Janco designed masks and costumes for the famous Dada balls, and created abstract reliefs in cardboard and plaster.

Janco was also one of the founders of the art and literature journal Contimporanul. In an eclectic manner Janco's style brilliantly combines abstract and figurative elements, expressionistic in nature. After immigrating to Israel in 1940, Janco participated in many important exhibitions, including those of New Horizons and the Venice Biennale. In 1953 he established the Ein Hod Artists Village and founded the Department for Art Teachers at the Oranim College. In Israel Janco's art had many subjects: soldiers and battle situations, transit camps and immigrant types, Arabs, landscapes, the Holocaust and others.

Yaacov Agam is one of the pioneer creators of the kinetic art - the art that contains moving parts or depends on motion for its effect. He established himself as one of the leading pioneers of kinetic art at the Le Mouvement exhibition at the Galerie Denise René in 1955, alongside such artists as Jesús Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Díez, Alexander Calder and others. Agam determined that static paintings were inadequate to express the constantly occurring changes, which surround us every day of our lives. Since 1964, the artist sticks to his artistic credo and creates kinetic and transformable sculptures and paintings, which represent two predominant concepts of Agam's art: movement and time. Agam's work is usually abstract, with movement, viewer participation and frequent use of light and sound. He has presented at numerous exhibitions at the world’s biggest institutions, including a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1973) and a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York at 1980. Agam's works can be seen in many public places all over the world, like fountains at the La Défense district in Paris (1975) and the "Fire and Water Fountain" in the Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv (1986). Agam is also known for a type of print called Agamograph, which uses lenticular printing to present radically different images, depending on the angle from which it is viewed. As the viewer moves back and forth in front of the image the image is in constant change as the viewer moves.

David Gerstein is an innovative painter, a sculptor and a craftsman, who seeks to expand the  limits of two-dimensional paintings into three-dimensional metal sculptures. Gerstein creates universal colorful and  layered images of still-life compositions, urban landscapes and human activities which always retain local and autobiographical elements.

Gerstein’s canvas is usually steel and he paints upon them with automobile paint,  finishing with a clear varnish that enhances the vibrant hues. Already in the '1970s, Gerstein aspired to create art that would speak to the art world while remaining accessible to the man in the street. His focus on figurative rather than conceptual art was, among other considerations, the result of desiring to communicate easily with the spectator and share with him the artist's thoughts and insights into daily life. Gerstein's artistic search for the way to expand the borders of painting to the domain of the third-dimension led to the exhibition "From Dudu to 3-D" at 1987 which was a summary of Gerstein's three-dimensional work of the previous seven years and was a breakthrough for the artist. Nowadays Gerstein colorful pieces are regularly exhibited at distinguished galleries all around the world and among others, the artist is known for his outdoor sculptures. His monumental statues adorn Israeli cities.  In Singapore, Gerstein’s 19 –meter sculpture in the courtyard of One Raffles Quay is an iconic as it is monumental.

In the fair the Bruno Art Group will present a glimpse of Gerstein’s recent masterpieces, a sizable collection of new works. Pulsating with colors, the works translate a sense of movement and vigor within it, sucking the audience into the subject matter.

Let us hope the Israeli art will be find new fans in this country!

David Gerstein, Yellow Shirt

Yaacove Agam, Day and Night

Marcel Janco's work

Marcel Janco's work

Agam Yaacov, Homage