Created during the three years since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, the art on view in this exhibition communicates the flavor of a turbulent, splintered, dynamic time in Israeli society. The artists are a stylistically and ideologically diverse group; yet it seems clear that, despite the plurality of styles and visions, the works disclose shared sensibilities. Political and social references may be indirect or explicit, but these varied artworks project an inner turmoil, stripped of nostalgia or comfort.
This exhibition of 35 artists does not claim to represent the full range of Israeli art created during this three-year period; as a selective survey it is intended to suggest the scope and variety of a large reservoir of mature and rich works. Included are both emerging and established figures whose careers span four generations. While many of the artists are highly visible within the Israeli art world, and a number have been recognized internationally, the majority are unknown here.
Artists who live in a society that continues to struggle for its survival cannot ignore the stress that permeates their lives and thoughts. It is little wonder that each work has a tense undercurrent, and is committed to the expression of uncensored, often subversive, opinions. In presenting these seemingly eclectic, often competing visions and attitudes toward Israeli life since the death of Rabin, we hope to convey the vitality and innovation that characterize the work of artists living in Israel today.