Israel Museum Exhibit Focuses on the Act of Creation

Israel Hershberg and Joshua Borkovsky Work Well Together

In A White Room: Joshua Borkovsky’s work is currently on display in the “Veronese Green” exhibit at the Israel Museum.
Courtesy of Israel Museum
In A White Room: Joshua Borkovsky’s work is currently on display in the “Veronese Green” exhibit at the Israel Museum.

By Laura Hodes

Published February 10, 2013, issue of February 15, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

At first glance, the work of contemporary Israeli painters Israel Hershberg and Joshua Borkovsky may seem quite different. But actually, the two artists — both of whom are the subjects of exhibitions at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum — complement each other remarkably well, for both exhibits concern the act of painting itself.

“Fields of Vision: Landscapes by Israel Hershberg” presents three large-scale landscapes, two Umbrian and one of Tel Kakun in Israel’s Hefer Valley, and a preparatory study of a landscape in Roman Campagna. In 1998, Hershberg founded the Jerusalem Studio School to return artists to the study of painting from observation, and these works mark Hershberg’s movement from the careful study of still lifes to exterior landscapes.

Hershberg does not attempt to create exact replicas of landscapes; rather, he creates new representations. Regarding his view of the ideal artist, Hershberg told the blog “Painting Perceptions”: “He does not obstruct by imposing his own feelings on the matter, rather, he effaces himself before what is an overwhelmingly emotional event. You know, giving way and yielding to awe. And as he is awed, we are in awe.”

As one stands before Hershberg’s landscapes, the small gallery becomes a meditative space; the viewer is swept up into the light that pours onto the expansive skies. “Aria Umbria II” is the representation of a landscape as seen through an oval window. That we observe the window through which the painter looks suggests that these paintings are about the acts of seeing and beholding.

The Borkovsky exhibition, “Veronese Green,” features 58 works from 10 cycles of his paintings created between 1987 and 2012. Paintings from different cycles appear next to each other so that the images appear to be in dialogue. Borkovsky creates works in open-ended cycles: One painting might differ only slightly from the next, as if we are seeing with each additional painting the painter’s mind at work as he attempts to get closer to his vision of what he is trying to represent. Two cycles of paintings, “Leda and the Swan” and “Echo and Narcissus,” refer to Greek creation myths and serve as metaphors for the creation of the art itself, for how a thing of beauty can be created through pain and labor.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.