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Between Design & Sculpture The Exhibition




































Amnon Amos






Daphna Amibar







Orna Bahash





Maya Muchawsky-Parnas










Ravit Sagih








Libit Varon

In this exhibition, I decided to present the works of young artists, graduates of the Bezalel Academy's Ceramic Design Department. They, like many other talented and energetic artists, will determine the future and quality of Israeli ceramics in the twenty-first century.

The choice of these six artists is by no means incidental, despite the overt differences in their works and theoretical conceptions. I was guided by the palpable integration of concept process and material in their creations, through which each artist develops a language of self-expression that constitutes a milestone in future development.

Another salient point of unity is the productive simultaneous discourse these artists maintain among values drawn from the worlds of sculpture, design and craft - a discourse that has been taking place in world ceramics since the beginning of the twentieth century. As early as the Bauhaus Period, integration of "higher art" and craft gave rise to a social upheaval, leading to the creation of functional objects whose purpose is popularization of avant garde conceptions in everyday life.

In the 1940s, U.S. artist Peter Voulcos, influenced by abstract expressionist art, sparked a revolution in perception of ceramic vessels. He exhibited expressive lumps of clay thrown on a potter's wheel that conveyed the image of a pot yet waived all traditional aesthetic and functional messages. The result attests to the theoretical and physical transformation of the ceramic object - a turning point conducive to freedom of expression and a consequent blurring of the boundaries delineating sculpture, design and craft.

Along with or perhaps because of these changes, material concept and attitudes towards the historic functional vessel constitute the cornerstones of ceramic identity preservation. Clay as a symbol, the historic and cultural contexts and the image of the pot serve the artists as inspiration for self-expression through clay objects and sculpture.

Amnon Amos is indeed inspired by traditional pottery, yet is also drawn towards pointed criticism of it. His eclectic, ornate pillar suggests an elegant theoretical and physical golden egg - a symbol of vacuity that adds aesthetic values taken from Eastern cultures and embodies the secret of his work. Using clay and glazes with all the obsession of a virtuoso, Amnon develops a personal, original language rich in quotations and codes that test the limits of kitsch in art.

For Maya Muchawsky-Parnas, metamorphosis is effected as a kind of animated film in which the image of a cup and saucer describes the process of changing a lump of wet clay into the intended form. Her work, like that of Amnon Amos, addresses a ceramic tradition, particularly that of the luxurious porcelain vessels that symbolized the technological and aesthetic achievements of nineteenth-century European porcelain industries.
Applying stylized historical quotations, Maya succeeds in creating a new formal harmony expressing the Sisyphean nature of ceramic art with delicate humor. The curious observer will reveal countless new details in her work, the visual aspects of which constitute an authentic experience.

The creations of Daphna Amibar like a sophisticated riddle have many possible solutions. At first contact with her work, the viewer feels a sense of commitment to seek and find a personal response.
Daphna develops two integrated systems: Supportive and supported. The interdependence developing between them is derived from morphology in nature and the world of functional vessels.
Function is accorded an essentially dual expression: Each individual vessel is functional, but the overall system rules out this option. Her work exemplifies the claim that understanding and solutions derived from the sphere of design advance the world of sculpture as well.
Selection of materials, use of the wheel as a tool and language and avoidance of a classic, formal conception render Daphna's work surprising and unique.

Orna Bachash creates a sculpted environment comprising objects built into a given space that exist only for this specific exhibit. The ceramic material plays a dual role, alternately bearing the character of scorched earth or reminding one of soft woven fabric or felt. A more focused examination of Orna's creations reveals a strong bond with nature and a marvelous sense of order possibly derived from the inherent secrets of the Japanese garden.

Libit Varon 's work is a clear representation of the sculptural aspects and creative space inherent in ceramics. Her personal, authentic and sincere work has undergone complex processes of development, ultimately leading to a surprising and highly skillful result that links technology language and content.

Ravit Sagih's exhibit clearly represents pottery as a language of expression. Her total control of the potter's wheel frees her from technical constraints and enables maximal application of the rotary movement, energy and power inherent in the art of ceramics. Ravit uses the image of a traditional bottle, familiar in everyday life, as a point of departure or pretext for personal, intuitive work that displays profound curiosity in examining the growth of form and the power of volume, shell and texture, combining numerous values from the worlds of craft, design and art.

In one of his letters, author Franz Kafka wrote that craft has contributed far more to fine art than fine art contributed to craft.

Prof. Lidia Zavadsky

Amnon Amos

Born in Israel, 1976.
Graduate of the Ceramic Design Department, Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem, 2000.

Final project
Clay and ready-made objects
Thrown and hand-built stoneware, high temperature glazes, luster and decals

A shrine to the ceramic object and the potter's wheel, it does not necessarily serve a specific function, rather it justifies its existence simply by being a space-consuming construction which relates back to the ceramic roots of the various human cultures, and to the reason and shape that exist freely in nature. The object Has but one purpose: to pleasure the viewer with its richness, while maintaining a certain degree of distance. It treads a thin line between being, on the one Hand, a self-justifying central object, and on the other band, a critical statement regarding men's worship of objects -objects that once served a practical purpose but are now appreciated unconditionally for their very existence.

Daphna Amibar

Born in New Zealand, 1971.
Graduate of the Ceramic Design Department, Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem, 2000.

Award of Excellency for the final academic year at The Bezalel Academy.

Contained Containing
Final project
Thrown clay, partly glazed

If one could reorganize the world while ignoring the familiar order - not for the sake of ownership, but as a way of self definition, to comprehend reality and identify with the existing.
I must break up the whole into repeating structural units.
To add a problem - how to create an illusion of movement without using expressive means. The answer would appear in the contact between the units. The tension will be expressed in the connections and shall have a false flexibility whose changing meaning is hidden from the eye but its appearance is convincing.
I shall use the containers as individuals who will create a new tissue that no longer allows their existence as functional units, but enforces a defined order upon them which derives from the way their receptive ground was designed.

Orna Bahash

Born in Israel, 1964.
Graduate of the Ceramic Design Department Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem, 2000.

Winner of the Isaacson Prize for the academic year of 1998.

Active or Passive
Final project
Extruded clay of various colors, unglazed

This work has been created from elements formed by studying landscapes and translating them into three-dimensional color stains.
The manner, in which these elements were positioned, emerged during the creation of this work, while constantly reworking the construction. This resulted in the creation of this exhibit, which relates to the environment.
Similar and different planned and random, these are the concepts which guided the creation of this work and hence its name.

Maya Muchawsky-Parnas

Born in Israel, 972.
Graduate of the Ceramic Design Deptartment, Bezalel Academy, jerusalem, 1996.

Rosenthal Judaica Competition Award
Award of Excellency for the final academic year at The Bezalel Academy
The Blumenthal Award for the final project, Bezalel Academy

Group Exhibits:
1996 'Modern Judaica in Ceramics' -The Rosenthal Showroom, New-York city.
1998 'Different Matter', Contemporary Ceramics, Israel 1998, Eretz Israel Museum, TeI Aviv.
1998-2001 'Continuity and Change: 92 years of Judaica at Bezalel', A worldwide traveling exhibition.
1998 'The Garden - A Metaphor'' An exhibition of installations and sculptures The University Botanical Gardens-Jerusalem.
2000 The Israeli Biennale for Ceramics, Young Artists' Exhibition, Eretz Israel Museum, TeI Aviv.

Glazed and overglazed stoneware, various techniques of hand modeling.
An imaginary evolution of a traditional porcelainous vessel.
An installation-work dealing with the encounter between the decorative-functional object and the abstract-sculptural one.

Ravit Sagih

Born in Israel, 1971.
Graduate of the Ceramic Department, Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem, 2000.

Final project
Thrown stoneware, sand glazed and high fired

This work represents conflict - the struggle between the internal and the external - as the reality of existence. The constant tension between the stirrings of one's soul and how this is expressed externally (or incontrollably erupts outwards); the thin line between aspiring and growth upwards, like falling into the abyss.

The external pressures experienced by the individual, on the materials, the objects, opposite those forces working from within: air breath, the drive to grow, strength and violence; the secrets one conceals even though their influence is felt. How much can the body stand the internal and external pressures? When does the material disintegrate and when does the construction collapse?

The tension between the objects and that which is created by their meeting; their durability as separate entities and as a group facing a given void, their touching each other or the floor walls or roof. All of these contacts interested me. Examining these and trying to understand the dynamics, is the essence of my work and, maybe, part of the essence of life.

Libit Varon

Born in Israel 1974.
Graduate of the Ceramic Design Department BezaleI Academy, Jerusalem, 2000.

The Blumenthal Award for final project, Bezalel Academy.

"I will not get far the far was taken from me"
Final project
Thrown and hand built clay, partly glazed

In my work. I try to create in a sculptural formation, a situation parallel to a mental institute's way of life.
I create a public space, using abstract shapes built on the ceramic wheel, while every shape reminds an object.


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