Tel Aviv Art Tour

Menashe Kadishman

Anyone familiar with Israeli art spanning the last few decades will recognize the iconic sheep motif of artist and sculptor Menashe Kadishman (1932-2015). Kadishman’s oeuvre looms over Israel’s artistic landscape and is still prevalently exhibited and collected. Over decades, Kadishman transformed the sheep he herded as a child into powerful anti-war paintings and sculptures that decry the sacrifice of soldiers, likening them to sheep being led to the slaughter. But contemporary galleries in Israel have moved on from the likes of Kadishman to a broad range of artists working in a variety of mediums and techniques.

Detail of mixed media painting by Tommy

On a recent visit I dropped into the beautiful new Rothschild49 Art Gallery in Tel Aviv. There, I was introduced to a number of contemporary artists mostly producing large-scale works such as those by the artist Tommy, who has successfully married mixed media with pop art tropes while still maintaining a fresh originality through textured layering.

Sommer Contemporary has always been one of my go-to art stops in Tel Aviv. It took me a while to find their new location and when I did finally navigate my way up several flights of stairs and into a small space off a balcony overlooking a super chic courtyard eatery, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the artist on exhibit was an old friend and colleague, Shai Azoulay. I recognized his larger canvases and was delighted to discover his small scale daily paintings attractively displayed in a room of their own (see some examples below). There is something quintessentially Israeli about Shai’s intuitive paintings.

I also visited the high-end Eden Gallery with branches in major cities around the world. This gallery has some of the most beautifully curated spaces I have encountered. The artists are of the highest caliber, sharing a bold sense of color, a mastery of slick new materials and distinctive contemporary styles. The artist who goes by the name of SN comes from an impressive background as a National Geographic photographer and now exhibits his new series of photographs enhanced by the brilliant colors of his trademark butterflies.

Gal Yosef’s stunning, oversized digital images (example below) demonstrate his impressive 3D and digital sculpting skills, and are often staged in his uniquely crafted ‘cartooniverse’.

‘Stylin’ by Gal Yosef

Heading over to the hip Neve Tzedek neighborhood, I came across some superb realist paintings by Natan Pernick, exhibited at the TLV ART GALLERY. I encourage you to peruse his website.

At the same gallery (Shabazi 39, Tel Aviv), I admired the large graphic paintings conceived by Rachel Ehrenhalt, a young artist recently graduated from the prestigious Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem.

Some of the street art in Tel Aviv was equally interesting and whimsical:

This next example of graffiti art stood out to me because it brought to mind a ceramic mixed media piece I created years earlier called ‘TV Baby’. The similarity is striking, isn’t it?

Street art
TV Baby by Lilianne Milgrom

I hope you enjoyed this whirlwind tour of the Tel Aviv art scene. And in case you blinked and missed my 5 seconds of fame, I was mentioned in a New York Times article about Museum podcasts!!

Until next time…

8 thoughts on “Tel Aviv Art Tour

  1. Yeah, Another Blogger May 15, 2022 / 12:30 am

    Thanks for the art tour. Of the artists on display in your piece, I like Shai’s works the best.

    • liliannemilgrom May 15, 2022 / 12:42 am

      Yeah, it’s original and very layered in its narrative 🙂

  2. Jennie Schoenfeld May 15, 2022 / 1:11 am

    It’s great to read an artist appreciating and unpacking other Artists’ work. Maybe now you have yet another profession awaiting your development- Artist, Novelist and now skilled and experienced Art Critic!

    • liliannemilgrom May 15, 2022 / 3:08 am

      I am constantly in awe of other artists and the infinite creativity of that I encounter. And yes, I love to talk about art, analyze it and critique it :))

  3. Lifan May 18, 2022 / 1:36 pm

    Hi Lilian, thanks for sharing pictures of these art pieces. They are all amazing. It is uncanny that you came across the street art piece that is quite similar to your mixed media piece tv baby.

    • liliannemilgrom May 18, 2022 / 1:45 pm

      Thanks, and yes, quite uncanny! Also just read your blog about your flight being brought forward and that sinking sensation that there is no human to turn to…..

      • Lifan May 20, 2022 / 1:24 am

        Indeed It’s an impossible task. I understand the particular airline has a service desk at the airport but I had a flight to catch I might have ended up missing the flight while sorting out the flight. On our return flight which was similarly brought forward by 5 hours, we had to get home to catch our sleep. It was apparent from the texts that are generated by the online assistant, it appears that I could not split my booking anyway. My husband had to go on that 4.30am flight, he had to be there before noon for a prior engagement he had made with a friend weeks earlier, so it was better to be 6 hours early … anyway it all worked out. Thanks Lilian for dropping by my blog.

  4. Lifan May 18, 2022 / 3:42 pm

    Indeed. Automation allows us to purchase flight tickets online but it is only good when the flight sticks to its original itinerary. Whenever there is a hitch, the process becomes a daunting exercise.

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