Israeli art, term for the development of art in the State of Israel founded in 1948. According to animalerts, it is characterized by a variety of cultural traditions that immigrants brought with them from all over the world, with the ancient Jewish tradition occupying a special place (Jewish art).
The architecture was v. a. determined by European architects who worked for Jewish immigrants decades before the state was founded. Lively construction activity, which sought to incorporate oriental-Jewish traditions, began after 1917 (for example the technical center in Haifa, 1914–24; by Alexander Baerwald, * 1877, † 1930). The international style was introduced in the 1920s and 30s. To this day, modern architecture is shaped by the trends of the 1930s, when Bauhaus students worked side by side, architects under the influence of Le Corbusier such as Zeev Rechter (* 1899, † 1960) and E. Mendelsohn . Was one of the leading architects Arieh Sharon (* 1902, † 1984), who has headed the central state planning office since 1948 and who excelled in hospital and housing construction (partner among others Eldar Sharon, * 1933, † 1994). Among the buildings for culture in Tel Aviv are by Dov Karmi (* 1905, † 1962) the Frederic Mann Concert Hall (1953–57; together with Yacov Rechter, * 1924, † 2001) and Rechter’s Performing Arts Center (1989–95) to be highlighted. In Jerusalem, D. Karmi built the Sherman administration building and the Weiss Auditorium of the Hebrew University together with Ram Karmi (* 1931, † 2013) (1956–62); by Heinz Rau (* 1896, † 1965) and David Reznik (* 1924, † 2012) is the design for the synagogue at this university (1957). Among the Jerusalem Memorialbauten the hall are the memory (Ohel Izkor) of the Yad Vashem institution (1957-61) by Arieh Elhanani (* 1898, † 1985) and the house of the soldiers and the Kennedy Memorial (1966) by D. Reznik to to name. The Israel Museum in Jerusalem (1959–65; expanded to include the book shrine by F. Kiesler ) byIsaac Yashar are among the most important museum buildings by Alfred Mansfeld (* 1912, † 2004) and Dora Gad (* 1912, † 2004) (* 1920, † 2011) and Dan Eytan (* 1931) the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (built in 1971 and expanded until 1999) and the Palmach Museum in Tel Aviv (1999) by Z. Hecker , who in Germany with his expressive design of the Jewish Heinz Galinski School in Berlin (1991-96) and the Jewish Community Center in Duisburg (1999). M. Safdie emerged, among other things, in urban architecture with his master plan for Israel’s first city of Modi’in (1992–2002) for a population of 200,000, which was planned on the drawing board.
In the decades before the founding of the state, essential elements and foundations of the visual arts developed. As in architecture, immigrant European artists played a decisive role in the development. A conception committed to the Bauhauspursued z. B. the Bezalel art school, which has been run by former Bauhaus student M. Ardon since 1940. In the search for an independent Jewish art, in addition to Old Testament and mythical themes, stylistic elements of the modern age were taken up in partly archaic forms (including Aharon Kahana, * 1905, † 1967). There was also a strongly expressive, realistic trend with a socially critical tendency, which made particular use of the woodcut (e.g. Moshe Gat, * 1935, and the group around Gershon Knispel, * 1932, † 2018). Israeli art since the 1970s has very clearly reflected the tension between an orientation towards the western avant-garde and consideration for the particular characteristics of the Israeli nation. In this way, the artists repeatedly take up themes or pictorial forms that refer to the country’s position between the Occident and the Orient; Likewise one finds, for example in the work of Moshe Castel (* 1909, † 1991) and Itzhak Danziger (* 1916, † 1977), a clear reflection on the history of the people, which is not only in the motives, but also in the Materials finds. The post-war generation, including the sculptor D. Karavan with his »wall« in the Knesset or the »street of human rights« (1993) in Nuremberg, Igael Tumarkin (* 1933) with his monumental »observation post« in Arad and Nahum Tevet (* 1946), addresses the issues of the extermination of the Jews and Fascism as well as Zionism and the building of Israel apart. The integration of Israeli painting into Western painting, which was already a concern of the »lyrical abstract«, v. a. by Yosef Zaritsky (* 1891, † 1985) and M. Janco , has been increasingly sought after around 1975, often as a contribution to the international art scene, taking into account their own origins and history. The painter and sculptor Nurit David (* 1952), Yael-Shahar Sarid (* 1968) and Asad Azi (* 1955) incorporate associations with Israeli past and present into their work. M. Ullman (* 1939) inparticular, whose “underground library” on Bebelplatz in Berlin (1995) commemorates the book burning by the National Socialists in 1933, works on topics relating to the suffering inflicted on the Jews in his room installations. There are also positions whose questions relate to phenomena of the modern communication society. In his video installations, Buky Schwartz (* 1932, † 2009) plays with the perception of two and three dimensions as well as the phenomenon of time. Ido Bar-El (* 1959), Gideon Gechtmann (* 1942), Tamar Getter (* 1953), Motti Mizrachi (* 1946), Sigal Primor (* 1961), David Shvili (* 1953), Ibrahim Nubani (* 1961), Pesach Slabosky (* 1947) and Moshe In their mostly multimedia works, Ninio (* 1953) deal not least with the problem of a self-overtaking avant-garde and thus join the post-modern discourse of the western art scene. Since the 1990s, neoconceptualism, which partly refers to the 1970s, has been gaining in importance, for example in the works of Belu-Simion Fainaru (* 1959) and Daniel Zak (* 1961). In addition, there is a new feminist approach that corresponds to the surge in Israeli female artists in the art world and has produced a specifically feminine awareness in several important exhibitions, including Jennifer Bar Lev (* 1948), Pamela Levy (* 1949), Dorit Yaacobi (* 1952), Naomi Siman-Tov (* 1952) and Galit Eilat (* 1965). The turning away from basic solidarity with the state and open criticism of current Israeli politics are characteristics of the phenomenon of “post-Zionism”, which can also be understood in art. Instead of clear linearity, pluralistic tendencies have prevailed since the turn of the millennium, which in their claim to be global are in part closely based on current European and American art events.