Ode To The Sea / Group Exhibition

Ode To The Sea / Group Exhibition: 30/6-30/8 Zadik-Art Within Reach Curator: Dan Birenboim Artists: Gad Ulman, Dror Auslander, Hagay Argov, Niv Borenstein, Dan Birenboim, Iris Goldberg, Gali Timen, Amnon Yuhas, Miri Kassif Hoffman, Ronen Siaman Tov, Rivka Kave, Atalia Sahar

The sea is an inexhaustible source of motifs in various cultures: Ecclesiastes states that “all streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full” (Ecclesiastes 1:7) illustrating its size and significance. In Greek and Roman mythologies the Sea is a god in itself: Poseidon in Greek mythology, Neptune in Roman. The sea’s strength and potency, mentioned in most of its connotative meanings, made it an object of worship. Alongside its mighty qualities, the Sea in Judaism is a purifying and cleansing place, illustrated by traditional beachside new year "Tashlich" prayers: “and you will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micha 7:19).

It is impossible to overstate the impact blue sea light and imagery (ships, fish, fishermen) had on the history of art. Casper David Friedrich “The Monk by the Sea” (1809) painting replaces a specific, familiar location into an abstract symbol of holy-nature. In contrast, Gericault's Raft of the Medusa (1819) focuses on the despair of exhausted survivors facing nature. Similar awe at the sea's might is expressed in Courbet’s The Wave (1869).

The birth of Israeli painting is also associated with the presence of the sea. Israeli painting from the 1920’s and Tel Aviv-Jaffa’s beach are inseparable. Gidon Efrat marks Nahum Guttman’s bond to the sea, from the instant he was transported from ship to shore by a mustachioed Arab seaman. This very same bond is illustrated by the round ship window that the artist installed in his Tel Aviv apartment.

The exhibition “Ode to the Sea” is an intimate group exposition focusing entirely on painting. The exhibition tries to grasp the fleeting instant of an individual overwhelmed by the horizon –awe uniting observation of the sea with anticipation of a better future. The sea is a comforting place and an object of hope for new beginnings. The exhibition contrasts the sea's hugeness with concise significance. The Ode to the Sea is grasps the private moment when the individual is unified with the universal. This moment is a metaphor to the temporal observing the eternal: “The sun moves in its rigid circle – rises and sets and rises again and the sea does not move”.

It is important to remember the pacified nature of the sea which has been here forever – long before people, nations, borders and countries, long before conflicts emerged. The sea was here before us, and will stay after we’ve gone.
By- Dan Birenboim

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