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No art gallery anywhere else in the world can boast of such a location. "The New Gallery" is situated in a soccer stadium. To be precise: in the empty space below the sloping spectators' stands, in the "Teddy" stadium, home grounds to Jerusalem's formidable "Beitar" football club.
This location, at the very "seam" between a popular spectator sport. and the "elitist" world of plastic art, is highly characteristic of a cultural institution that dares to disregard conventional demarcation lines in its quest for novel matter and substance. Looked at differently, the location represents a fundamental motif of modem art - exploitation of the readymade (in this instance, "unused" architectural space) as an economical means of achieving an unexpected outcome. The unusual notion was the brainwave of the Jerusalem municipality and its technical staff.

Almost equally unusual is the combination of a unique exhibition space (its form dictated as the "negative" slope of the spectators' gallery) with a creative environment represented by ten artists' studios likewise nestling under the same tilting roof. The studios have been placed at the disposal often young artists just launching out on their career - yet another tribute to the wisdom and generosity of the municipal arts department under whose patronage the complex functions.

The close proximity between display space and studio workshop has given more than one artist the opportunity to come here and create in situ the work(s) he is about to place on exhibit. And the resulting exhibition turned out to be tailored exactly to the proportions of the gallery.

Such a location also dictates appropriate artistic substance. This gallery should not - dare not ! - tread conventional paths. "The New Gallery" is still taking its first steps and has yet to hammer out a formal philosophy. But it aspires towards the novel, the exceptional, it pursues the unusual - not as mere fad or mannerism, but in a genuine effort to blaze an entirely new trail.

Hedva Shemesh,
The New Gallery Curator.

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