Israeli American artists show work at Gotthelf Art Gallery
by Will Bowen
Published - 09/30/10 - 09:50 AM | 3030 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Image 1 / 2
“Topanga at Mulholland” by Lidia Shaddow. Photo by Will Bowen
The Gotthelf Art Gallery, at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Drive, is a small, square room with white walls, track lighting and a very shiny waxed gray floor. Gotthelf recently opened a new show called “Desert to Desert: Southern California Artists From Israel,” which features the work of seven Israeli-American artists. It is a small but compact exhibit that packs quite a punch.

This is a “thinking man’s show.” The artists’ statements of their personal philosophy and approach to art, posted on the wall next to their artwork, are worth the visit by themselves.

The exhibit was curated by Sara Cannon, who is the director of museum education and tours at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and the Hollyhock House. Cannon said the show is “an example of the strong and vital part that Israeli American artists play in the contemporary West Coast arts scene.”

Artist Malka Nedivi exhibits a series of wooden wall sculptures made of glue, paper, fabric, and paint which are on wooden panels. They are of low relief and are a somewhat scary, sad, fearful and bone-like series, depicting women’s bodies and faces with a Holocaust theme.

“My art is inspired by the time I spent in Israel looking after my parents who are Holocaust survivors,” Nedivi said.

Sharon Ben-Tal works with acrylic paints. The subject of her paintings are penguins, which are a metaphor for people. Her best piece is called “Winter Night Lust,” which shows a group of penguins looking up at the stars.

“Wonder, exploration, and curiosity are the three words that inform the internal psychology of my work today,” Ben-Tal said.

Rhea Carmi has four mixed media pieces in the show. They are rich and colorful, resembling ancient battle shields, in ochre and orange.

“To grow up in Israel is to experience the world both as upheaval and as sanctuary,” Carmi said. “In response to war, my palette and formal vocabulary became simpler, more solitary, contemplative and inward turning.”

Moshe Elimelech has four wall sculptures in the show, which are called the “Cubic Construction Series.” They resemble Rubik’s Cubes, surrounded by a brushed aluminum frame. The cubes are brightly painted with different designs and are movable so that the viewer can interact with the piece. Moshe said this involves the viewer in dialogue because “life is a conversation and art is its universal language.”

The centerpiece of the show is the work of Lidia Shaddow. She has three large paintings in oil and acrylic with photography and two small pieces on tiles. Her work is very colorful, usual, alive, exotic and vibrant. She paints strange flowers with photographs inside of them.

“Beauty and harmony exist in most everything and everyone,” Shaddow said. “I am intrigued by and drawn to color, patterns, and texture in nature.”

Guri Stark works in water color and he has four paintings on exhibit. His images, such as of a house in the country in Israel, are simple, realistic and clear. Stark said he is “an artist stuck in the body of an engineer.”

The most difficult artwork in the show is that of Gali Rotstein. Her paintings are very dark, one is almost completely black. They are composed in gauche, which is a type of opaque watercolor.

“I am influenced by the gauche itself. I paint and the paint dictates the images,” Gali said.

Admission is free and the show runs until Nov. 19. For further information, see or call (858) 457-3030
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
Comments are back! Simply post the comment (it'll complain about you failing the human test) then simply click on the captcha and then click "Post Comment" again. Comments are also welcome on our Facebook page.