Visiting Israel? New exhibition at the Israel Museum

June 2, 2013 by  
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This year’s annual exhibition in the Museum’s Ruth Youth Wing for Art Education focuses on sensory deception and on the gap between visual perception and reality.

YoungmanOn view from June 2, ArTricks invites viewers to reconsider the ways in which we view the world through a display of works from the Museum’s encyclopedic collections, focusing on modern and contemporary art. On view are thirty works from the Museum’s rich holdings of the oeuvre of master of illusion M.C. Escher, alongside fifty additional works by artists such as Maurizio Cattelan, Ceal Floyer, Ori Gersht, Talia Keinan, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Bridgett Riley, Gigi Scaria, Buky Schwartz, Miri Segal, Gil Shachar, Victor Vasarely and Gal Weinstein.


Illusion occurs when the brain “corrects” the image transmitted by the eye on the basis of its past experiences and memories, thus creating the illusion that the image we perceive actually exists in reality. Throughout the history of art, artists have utilized a variety of techniques in experimenting with illusion. In trompe l’oeil, artists replicate every detail of reality to create the illusion of three-dimensionality on a two-dimensional surface or the illusion of a living entity in sculptural form. Another illusory art form, Op (Optical) Art consists of a play of forms and colors in order to create illusory movement, using geometric shapes, lines, and colors that recur in different arrangements and patterns. Many contemporary artists use illusion to raise philosophical questions about truth and falsehood and the distinction between reality and delusion. The works of these artists abound in illusory effects, manipulations, and visual devices of different kinds, aimed at expressing their thoughts and their perception of the world and reality.


ArTricks seeks to rouse in its viewers the sense of wonder, surprise and magic that is evoked when one thing turns out to be another. The works on display raise a variety of questions: has someone forgotten to wipe the dust off the picture or did the artist paint it there? How is it possible to simultaneously ascend and descend the same step? Could it be that the books on the shelf are nothing but a cluster of transparent nylon strings? Why does the chair look black when it is actually white? How can a view of a flat surface offer infinite depth? The works in the exhibition, many of them interactive, captivate the eye and challenge the mind, tempting and inviting us to reexamine that which is seemingly known.


ArTricks is on view June 2, 2013 – February 15, 2014, and is curated by Daniella Shalev of the Ruth Youth Wing for Art Education. Summer activities and events in conjunction with the exhibition invite the public to further engage in the theme of illusion and tricks in art.


The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked among the leading art and archaeology museums in the world. Founded in 1965, the Museum houses encyclopedic collections ranging from prehistory through contemporary art and includes the most extensive holdings of Biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world, among them the Dead Sea Scrolls. In just under 50 years, the Museum has built a far-ranging collection of nearly 500,000 objects through an unparalleled legacy of gifts and support from its circle of patrons worldwide. The Museum also organizes and presents programming at its off-site locations in Jerusalem at the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, where it presents archaeological artifacts from the Land of Israel, and at its historic Ticho House in downtown Jerusalem, a venue for exhibitions of contemporary Israeli art.


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