[ "Mabat" art gallery ]

Igael Tumarkin

Igael Tumarkin is undoubtedly one of those Israeli artists who feel the strongest affinity with the European heritage in general and that of Germany in particular. This affinity extends beyond the field of art to literature, theater, philosophy and history. No other artist has dedicated so many "tributes" and dialogues to German painters, architects, sculptors, writers, poets and philosophers. Suffise it to recall his works for Heine, Kleist, Brecht, Walter Benjamin, Paul Celan and Heiner Muller, who are now joined by Else Lasker-Schuler.

In an artist of "manifests" like Tumarkin, even this affinity constitutes a challenge: to provincialism, to cultural autism, to "coterie" art and perhaps even to the excessive influence of American art. On the credit side, however, we find an extraordinary openness, a willingness to enter into dialogue with any work of art provided it has met with his artistic criteria or opened up new creative awareness: from the art of the Renaissance through the African mud huts, the scrap piles of the desert Bedouins or the ritual sculptures of Stonehenge or the Incas, to the work of Van Gogh and Brancusi.



 110 x 90 cm

 100 x 90 cm

Tumarkin's highly expressive paintings for Else Lasker-Schuler's poems, as well as the death mask he cast from the original mask, are as scorching and branding as the lines of Lasker-Schuler herself: "I, a scorching desert wind, have chilled and assumed an image". By favouring the assertive, manly tone over the soft outpouring of her poems, Tumarkin has not only remained faithful to himself but has exposed an element both in Lasker-Schuler's writing and person, which could have easily been overlooked.

Natan Zach

[ "Mabat" art gallery ]