Laurie M. Tisch Gallery, JCC Manhattan
On View September 1 - November 21, 2016
Founded in 2013, The Jerusalem Biennale is dedicated to exploring the places of intersection between contemporary art and the Jewish world. Following the success of the first two Biennales, which included over 250 artists from all over the world, The Laurie M. Tisch Gallery was honored to host the first New York exhibition highlighting the innovative work that is defining contemporary Jewish art.
The Jerusalem Biennale is modeled after the century-old Venice Biennale, an international showcase of trends in contemporary art. But Ram Ozeri, founder of the Jerusalem Biennale, wanted to make this new venture specific to his home city. “I find it very hard for Jerusalem to compete with cities like New York, Berlin, London, or even Tel Aviv when it comes to contemporary art. But when we say ‘contemporary Jewish art,’ there is no city in the world that can compete with Jerusalem. Jerusalem finds its natural position as the center of this specific, yet expansive field.”
The first Jerusalem Biennale in 2013 was met with great enthusiasm, exhibiting works of 60 artists, 50 of whom were from Israel, in five venues across Jerusalem. In the second Biennale, in 2015, those numbers grew dramatically: Nearly 200 artists from 12 countries exhibited their work at seven venues around the city, including the Biennale’s main exhibition at the iconic Tower of David Museum. The third Jerusalem Biennale opened on October 1, 2017 and was the largest gathering of Contemporary Jewish Art enthusiasts in the history of Jerusalem. The 2017 Biennale hosted 31 exhibitions and projects from all around the world with 231 participating artists and an estimated 30,000 people in attendance.
Intersections featured the work of over 20 artists whose works display the wide-ranging interpretations of what constitutes contemporary Jewish art. Some works directly respond to religious practices, while others look at cultural trends within Israel. Pablo Lobato’s photographic series, Rest, captures the poetic moment of soldiers’ hands at ease while Debbie Kampel’s massive painting, Big Cityscape, captures Jerusalem’s iconic stone buildings replete with windows and doorways. Porat Salomon’s Dancing in the Sky reinterprets the classic, almost stereotypical image of a Chasidic Dance. These works convey aspects of current Jewish life and experience through the somehow sophisticated lance of contemporary art.
The Jerusalem Biennale is made possible by The Leichtag Foundation (San Diego), The Jerusalem Municipality, The Pershing Square Foundation, The Lambert Family Foundation, and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
Gallery exhibitions at JCC Manhattan are made possible in part by the generous support of The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.