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Birds


Birds- Group Exhibition Opening: March 16, 2020 Catalogue editors: Orit Ephrat-Moscovitz and Moria Bachar Design: Nelly Levin English translation: Sivan Raveh Photography: Youval Hai Measurements are given in centimeters, height x length

Š 2020 All rights reserved to Litvak Contemporary, Tel Aviv

Cover credit: Tsibi Geva, Olive Tree, 2010, Acrylic, oil and collage on canvas.

Litvak Contemporary 3 Shvil Hamifal Street, Tel Aviv 66535, ISRAEL +972-3-7163897 www.litvakcontemporary.com


Birds Avner Ben Gal, Tsibi Geva, Elad Kopler, Itamar Freed and Tamar Roded

Itamar Freed, Milky Way, 2017 ,Inkjet print on archival paper.

Participating artists:


Birds Jonathan Hirschfeld

The main problem with the nature/culture relation is that both

I am thinking for example about Constable’s insight in parts of his

terms are untranslatable. From nature’s viewpoint everything is

most stunning landscape wherein almost every painterly action can

nature. From the bird’s viewpoint the electricity pole is a tree; the

“pass” as sky. This moment is utterly mad. Mad in the sense of the

cat considers the garbage bin a corpse that found its death in the

lack of any association between signifier and sign. It is a moment in

Savanna. In contrast, culture considers everything to be culture

which a checkers piece appears on a chessboard. Two untranslatable

and nothing as natural nature. The bird is a cultural construct and

language games find a common and consensual move.

even more so the cat. Nature and culture are simply two completely obscure language games.

The works in the exhibition, I think, address this moment of searching. They move between the two strategies: abstraction and

Artists have been aware of this forever. The myth of King Midas is

signification. A person’s most basic act is to gaze up at the stars

about this: every nature he touches turns into culture; beautiful,

and see signs, to consider a crow a bad omen. Abstraction is the

shinning and endless, unlike the natural apple that is bound to

essential anti-signifying act. Its other extreme is pushing the sign

rot, but try eating a golden apple. The myth about Zeuxis whose

to the limit of meaning and transforming it into a signal. The works

painting fooled the birds (while he himself was fooled by Parrhasius’s

in the exhibition are images of nature and culture that suggest

painting) also tackles this issue.

momentarily that a bird understands the meaning of the electric pole. That the ornithologist perceives the bird beyond the thousands

And yet there are strange moments in the history of art in which

of cultural screens set before his eyes. Of course he knows the bird’s

something does not get lost in translation.

name: lark, starling or crane, yet at the same time he knows that


there is no such thing as “lark,” “starling” or “crane” in nature. It is nothing but a random human conceptualization. Even the concept of species according to types in nature is a collection of individuals who share common features and can create fertile offspring is totally absurd. Indeed the Italian titmouse can procreate with the Swiss and the Swiss with the Austrian and the Austrian with the German but the German titmouse can no longer procreate with the Italian: there is no such thing as “species” in nature, it is an artificial cultural construct of categorizing. The abstraction of the sky, the trees, of nature itself is a mode of translation. Abstract painting exists in a cultural field, yet it contains something of the incomprehensibility of nature which is, clearly, this: nature says nothing. Simply because it has no author. It lacks intention. It simply is. The medieval world was full of meaning. For example, Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, is said to have used the shamrock leaf as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity. Lions (whose cubs were believed to be born dead and had to be brought

to life by the breath of the father lion) symbolized the resurrection of Jesus. As the world advanced, as the medieval paradigm gradually gave way to that of the enlightenment and rationality – so the world lost meaning. The shamrock no longer signifies anything – it is simply shamrock; lion cubs are merely lion cubs. Modern reason sees the world as it is and not as a symbolic language. This is, therefore, an exhibition of attempts to arrive at nature, to bypass signifying reason. An exhibition of works by artists who try to make edible golden apples and paintings of birds that can fly.


Tamar Roded, Untitled, 2013 Ink and acrylic on plywood 60x60 cm For inquiries please click here


Elad Kopler, Untitled, 2016 Acrylic on canvas 180x160 cm For inquiries please click here


Itamar Freed, Milky Way, 2017 Inkjet print on archival paper 120 x 180 cm, Edition of 5 + IIAP For inquiries please click here


Tsibi Geva, The Crow From Rembrandt Street, 2012 Acrylic on canvas, 200x150 cm For inquiries please click here


Itamat Freed, Invasive Species, 2014 Inkjet print on archival paper 110 x 110 cm, Edition of 5 + IIAP For inquiries please click here


Tsibi Geva, Olive Tree, 2010 Acrylic, oil and collage on canvas 240x178 cm For inquiries please click here


Elad Kopler, Untitled, 2016 Acrylic on canvas 180x160 cm For inquiries please click here


Avner Ben Gal, Untitled, 2012 Mixed media on canvas, 220x180 cm For inquiries please click here


Elad Kopler, Untitled, 2018 Oil, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 190 x 152 cm, CELKO188 For inquiries please click here


Artists BIO

Avner Ben-Gal (born 1966) is an international painter and artist, working mainly from Tel Aviv, Israel. His works depict various intense, often neglected locations such as agricultural fields, prisons and smoky interiors, whereby theatrical scenes play out. The scenes present ghostly, rough hewn and often low life figures that are bare and hardened. The parallel between Ben-Gal’s raw way of painting and his tough, ambiguous subject matter allows a unique intensity within his paintings. Avner Ben-Gal studied at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem. Over the years his work has been shown in solo shows at museums such as the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art (2002, 2009); Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland (2008); and the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, United States (2007). Ben-Gal also participated in group exhibitions in major museums and galleries worldwide, including at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and as part of the Venice Biennial Venice 2003. A number of books have been published on his work, notably a catalogue to accompany his 2008 show in Basel. Ben Gal is the recipient of numerous awards, including; Rapaport award for an established artist, Kollner award for excellent young artists, Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem and Mary Fischer award for excellent young artists, Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem. Ben Gal’s works are kept in public and private collections worldwide.

of Contemporary Art, Boston; The American University Museum, Washington, DC; MACRO Testaccio, Rome; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and a retrospective at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Israeli Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). He has participated in group exhibitions in major museums and galleries worldwide, including the Kunsthaus Zürich; Orangerie Herrenhausen, Hannover; Whitebox, New York; Palazzo Reale, Milan; Martin- Gropius-Bau, Berlin; El Espacio Aglutinador, Havana, Cuba; CCA Andratx, Mallorca; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; and Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem. Geva is a professor at the University of Haifa and at Hamidrasha School of Art, Beit Berl College. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Sandberg Prize awarded by the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the Pundick Prize awarded by the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Israeli Ministry of Culture. Geva’s works are included in major public and private collections, among them; The MoMA Collection, NY; The Jewish Museum, New York ; Rothfeld Collection, American University Museum, Washington DC; Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; The Phoenix collection; Annina Nosei, NY; Arturo Schwartz, Italy; Donald Rothfeld, NY; Joshoua Gessel, Zurich; Michael Recanati, NY; Monique and Max Burger, Zurich.

Elad Kopler (born 1974). Kopler lives and works in Tel-Aviv. His Tsibi Geva (born in 1951) is an international artist working in Tel Aviv and New York. Since 1979, his work has been featured internationally in numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Institute

work has been showcased in solo and group exhibitions worldwide including the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, Tel-Aviv; Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa; Petach Tikva Museum of Art; The Nahum Gutman Museum of


Art, Tel-Aviv; Habres & Partner, Vienna; VOLTA13 Basel Art Fair 2017, Basel; and VOLTA NY Art Fair 2016, New York. Kopler received his B.Ed. from Hamidrasha School of Art, Biet Berl in 2004 and graduated with distinction from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, MFA program, in Jerusalem, in 2006. Kopler has been the recipient of many awards and recognitions, amongst them are the Award Scholarship, Hamidrasha School of Art Beit Berl College; Award for Excellence, Bezalel Academy of Art Design; America-Israel Cultural Foundation; Young Artist Award, Ministry of Science Culture & Sport; and the Rappaport Prize for Young Painter, Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Kopler’s works are included in major public and private collections worldwide among them the Collection of Tel Aviv Museum for Contemporary Art (Israel); The Collection of Petach Tikvah Musuem for Contemporary Art (Israel); Bank Ha’poalim Collection (Israel); Philip Hofer Collection, NY (USA); Sam & Yael Bacharach, NY (USA); and numerous private collections.

Itamar Freed (born 1987). Freed is an international artist working in Israel, UK and Australia. Freed’s work has been showcased in solo exhibitions in the Ramat-Gan Museum of Art, Israel, Litvak Contemporary in Tel Aviv and VOLTA NY Art Fair 2017, New York His works were also shown in group exhibitions including “NordArt 2016” and “NordArt 2018”, International Art Exhibition, Büdelsdorf, Germany, Pulse, Miami 2018, Edinburgh Prints, Edinburough, Musrara Gallery, Jerusalem, the Bezalel Gallery, Jerusalem etc.

Freed received his B.F.A from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 2012. He received his M.F.A from the Royal College of Arts, Photography Program, London in 2018. Freed has been the recipient of the 2016 Clore - Bezalel Scholarship & a full Grant for a Master’s degree at the Royal College of Arts, London and the 2012 “EPSON” first prize for excellence in the art of photography. Freed’s works are included in private and public collections worldwide among them the Lauren and Mitchell Presser Photography Collection, USA, The Estee Lauder art collection, USA, US State Department and the Clore Collection, London, UK.

Tamar Roded, (born 1983). Roded works in Arad and Tel Aviv. Roded deals with destruction and construction in the urban space, drawing upon her experience living in Fuyang, an industrial city in eastern China. Roded’s work has been showcased in solo and group exhibitions including ZK Contemporary Gallery, San Francisco, USA, Lendava Gallery Museum, Slovenia, Minshar Art Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel, “The Triangle”, Yearot Hacarmel Hotel, Israel, and Zemack gallery, Tel- Aviv, Israel. Roded graduated from Beit Berl College School of Art – Hamidrasha in central Israel in 2011, and has been the recipient of the 2011 Excellence Scholarship for High Achievement, Ministry of Education, 2014 LindArt International Young Artists’ Colony, Lendava Gallery Museum, Lendava Castle, Slovenia, and the 2017 ‘Artist in The Community’, scholarship by the Ministry of Culture, Israel.


Profile for Litvak Contemporary

Birds: Group Exhibition Catalog  

Paintings and photographs by Israeli contemporary artists: Avner Ben Gal, Tsibi Geva, Elad Kopler, Itamar Freed and Tamar Roded.

Birds: Group Exhibition Catalog  

Paintings and photographs by Israeli contemporary artists: Avner Ben Gal, Tsibi Geva, Elad Kopler, Itamar Freed and Tamar Roded.