The Rough Law of Gardens

This exhibition brings together two artists who belong to two generations in contemporary art: Nahum Tevet (born in 1946, in Kibbutz Messilot, works in Tel Aviv) and Olaf Holzapfel (born in 1969, in Görlitz, East Germany, works in Berlin). The kibbutz kindergarten open area serves as a metaphor for The Rough Law of Gardens, as both artists charge their work, each in his own way, with the dialectical tension between “art” and “world”. The kibbutz kindergarten area is a continuous open space where children learn to develop an independent personality while discovering their abilities and exercising their imagination. This is the focus of the new work of Olaf Holzapfel – a multi-disciplinary artist who engages in concepts of building and transitory structures that are open to processes of change. In his new film, which is complexly structured in its editing of form and content, Holzapfel deals with the way children build their own realities in an ongoing process of dismantling and re-arranging space.
Nahum Tevet’s oeuvre may be read as an ongoing, overt and covert confrontation with the crisis of the two great utopian narratives – “abstraction” as a modernist utopian idea and “the kibbutz”, an ethos that forms the background of his growth as a man and an artist. In his new work he employs a rich and intense color range to emphasize the tension between particulars and the whole. He begins with a rational and lucid “modernist grid”, and gradually, in a prolonged process of improvisations and play, creates a complex and enigmatic occurrence.

In their joint exhibition, which is being shown concurrently at the Kunstmuseum in Bochum, Germany and the Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod, Olaf Holzapfel and Nahum Tevet create a dialogue that challenges what is common to them and what is different in their longstanding oeuvres. The work of these two artists, though on the face of it seemingly reductive, rejects the global logic of growth and traverses the bounds of sculpture and painting. It is conscious of art language yet embedded with materiality and temporality, charged with experimentation, learning and memory.

Our thanks to Lushy Shani, who participated in crystallizing the idea, and to the institutions that supported the exhibition.

Olaf Holzapfel and Nahum Tevet

The Rough Law of Gardens

Curators: Galia Bar Or and Hans Günter Golinski

October 2015-January 2016

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