This article is a guest post on NoCamels and has been contributed by a third party. NoCamels assumes no responsibility for the content, including facts, visuals, and opinions presented by the author(s).
Sarah Peguine and Michal Freedman are the founders of Art Source, a platform that provides exclusive access to discover and buy contemporary Israeli art from leading and emerging artists.
“Which contemporary Israeli artist should I be watching right now?”
This is the question the two of us here at Art Source get asked the most.
As art advisers, art world innovators, and former directors of two of Israel’s leading galleries, we have been deeply immersed in the local art scene for over a decade. We love sharing our point of view and expertise on the most exciting contemporary Israeli artists. In fact, we founded Art Source to give anyone in the world who is interested in the Israeli art scene exclusive access to discovering and collecting the best of what contemporary Israeli art has to offer.
Today, we’re excited to highlight four female contemporary Israeli artists whose work we have followed for years, and who are planning great things in 2021.
In her immersive paintings, Miriam Cabessa uses her own body as a paintbrush. Referring to her work as “slow motion action painting,” Cabessa performs choreographed acts of painting, repetitively applying and subtracting sumptuous layers of paint into intimate compositions. In addition to exhibiting in several shows around Israel in 2020, Cabessa focused her time in the past year on creating a new body of work consisting of two series of paintings – a Bauhaus series and a Circle series.
These new works deal with carving out one’s space in the world. While Cabessa normally divides her time between Tel Aviv and New York, the recent COVID-19 travel restrictions have created an opportunity for her to rediscover her love for Tel Aviv and its iconic Bauhaus architecture. Cabessa’s Bauhaus buildings are not painted from observation or memory. Instead, she translates the landscape into her signature style and color palette.
If the Bauhaus series is focused on the physical landscape and looking outward, the Circle series is in a way an antithesis; an exploration of a meditative state, turning the gaze inward. As with all of Cabessa’s paintings, the paint strokes in both series are dictated by the artist’s breathing pattern during the creation process. The Circle series invites the viewer to get drawn into its mesmerizing waves, and back out like a deep exhale.
Anisa Ashkar is an interdisciplinary artist engaged in issues relating to identity, social critique, and gender. Growing up in Akko, Ashkar studied calligraphy, a skill she has been utilizing in her iconic self portraits in order to document her ongoing artwork.
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For decades Ashkar has developed the daily practice of using her own face as a canvas, writing on it in Arab calligraphy. Visible to all, but not understood by all, this artistic practice encourages viewers to engage in conversation with her and start a dialogue about what it means to be a female Arab artist in the state of Israel.
Ashkar is the recipient of the prestigious Ann and Ari Rosenblatt Prize for Visual Art in Israel for 2020. She is currently working on her upcoming solo show, scheduled to open at Tel Aviv Artist’s House in April of 2021.
Ever since her early childhood in Safed, Israel, nature always played an important role in Khen Shish’s life. Today, the multidisciplinary artist thoughtfully incorporates natural elements in her paintings, drawings, collages, and large scale installations. Her human-animal hybrids have become iconic images in contemporary Israeli art, prominently featured in the permanent collections of Israel’s major museums.
In her expressive signature style, Shish does not shy away from bold colors like gold or bright pink, but rather embraces their intensity, symbolism and raw beauty. Despite the challenges, 2020 has been an exciting year in Shish’s artistic career, with an extremely successful solo exhibition at The Israel’s Museum’s Ticho House in Jerusalem, and we can’t wait to see what 2021 will bring!
A rising star in the Israeli art scene, Natalia Zourabova is primarily a figurative painter and paints from observation. In her work, she recreates scenes that she is intimately familiar with, like the streets of her Tel Aviv neighborhood or home interiors. Color is central in Zourabova’s work; her palette and the mood of her paintings range from naturalistic to absurd.
Zourabova is the recipient of prestigious Israeli and international art prizes, the most recent one being The Discount Bank Artistic Encouragement Award with The Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art (2019).
In 2011 Zourabova founded the New Barbizon artist collective along with four other prominent painters. Together they have exhibited at such venues as The Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Ein Harod Museum, Israel; and Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin, to name a few.
In August 2021 the group is scheduled to present a large-scale exhibition at de Apple Museum in Amsterdam.