In addition to the wonderful performances in the Museum's galleries, The Jazz Festival features special performances hosted in the Museum's Auditorium. Original and entertaining productions, surprising combinations from the Festival's artists, all housed in the Auditorium's luxurious and intimate surroundings.
On display for the first time in Israel, works by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, one of the most influential and esteemed members of the international contemporary art scene. Weiwei artworks combine sculpture, photography, video, and large-scale installations, such as his astounding 2010 installation which covered the entire floor of the Tate Museum in London with hundreds of tons of sunflower seeds, each one sculpted from porcelain and painted by hand. This work addresses the accelerated production processes which are eradicating both traditional Chinese handcrafting and lifestyles, and is one of the works on display here. This exhibition – spread out over a number of galleries – features powerful and visually captivating works exploring issues facing contemporary culture. Weiwei was imprisoned without trial in his native China, and his movements were restricted by the government due to his political activism and outspoken stance on human rights and freedom of expression, messages which are central themes in his art.
The Museum's permanent exhibition of Israeli art presents the best artists in Israel throughout the 20th century. The exhibition gives expression to the many different voices, directions and trends in Israeli art while offering the viewer a general and broad history. The gallery exhibits the work of artists who struggled internally with their own artistic concepts, presented side by side with artists whose works engage and reflect Israel's complex and tense reality.
'Life into Art': While many artists embraced the original principles of the readymade, Marcel Duchamp’s concept acquired a life of its own from the 1960s onwards and was continually redefined. Some artists were drawn to the beauty of found or industrial objects, incorporating them into their assemblages; others merged art and reality in a forceful, sometimes brutal, manner. Featuring works by artists such as Vito Acconci, Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama, Manuel Millares, and Jannis Kounellis, this display illuminates the legacies of the readymade from Arte Povera to contemporary art.
Ilit Azoulay’s first solo exhibition in the Israel Museum is the culmination of her ongoing project exploring and the Museum itself. Azoulay interviewed past and present Museum employees, learning how rare objects made their way to the Museum’s collections and how the institution has changed over the years. Inspired by these stories, the artist created large-scale collages comprised of photographs of artifacts in the collections and hidden corners on the Museum’s campus, combined with paper, wood, glass, and gold leaf. The resulting series of works is shrouded in mystery, breathing life into objects that have not been displayed to the public for many years and imbuing them with a new and cotemporary purpose.