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Tel Aviv Museum of Art Opens Critical Exhibition of Mature Artist Joram Rozov
Joram Rosov, Beware Landmines!, 2007, oil on canvas, 50x50 cm, from the series "Milestones," Collection of the Artist.
TEL AVIV.- Joram Rozov's (b. 1938) exhibition Landscapes and Milestones features works from the series "Landscapes" (1983-2009), which presents vistas embedding his overt and covert life story, and "Milestones" (2003-2009), which presents landmarks extracted from the vast panorama of the artist's life: childhood, military service, engagement with wars, educational and other travels in the world. Through his immediate surroundings—landscapes of the Galilee, Hebron, Africa, Tuscany, views of foliage, trees, Sabra hedges, etc.—and their modes of symbolization, he delves into broad, intricate realities.

Over the course of time, Rozov's works have come to indicate the end of the age of innocence of Eretz-Israeli Zionism. The disillusionment with the Zionist dream was already discernible in his early works where he portrayed pilots, soldiers, and arms, and subsequently in the depictions of cracked walls, and his turning to distant views during his travels. Concurrently, the artist's fascination with the "Other" manifests his search for broader, hidden strata of meaning.

Rozov creates a threatening atmosphere; a sense of destruction often reminiscent of apocalyptic cinematic scenes. Violence is often present in his works in an indirect, restrained manner. Some of the scenes are depopulated, and are typified by excessive detail, attesting to anxiety. Many of them feature battle situations, solitude, alienation, and pain associated with political, national, religious or personal violence. The portrayals of wartime reality form an indirect, personal allusion to the death of the artist's father, in June 1967, the month in which the Six-Day War was fought.

Addressing violence linked with situations of excess or lack, Rozov frequently ties the beautiful with the terrible, spectacle with horror. His works possess a documentary facet, often abstract or implied, out of conscious decision to avoid direct depictions of atrocity, or possibly due to the desire to transcend the particular case and engage in the universal, mythical dimension.

Rozov's works combine local and European painterly traditions. They are characterized by realism abounding with textures, and by intricate baroque compositions with rich coloration and accentuated voluminosity. Most of Rozov's works fuse "warm" personal expression with "cold" technical photographic mediations—instilling his works with an air of desistence. The camera functions as a tool which may facilitate renewal of the lost affinity with the local setting, as well as "conquest" of a foreign territory.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art | Landscapes | Milestones |




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