Izhar Patkin – The Wandering Veil
Written by: Midnight East
The Wandering Veil, a comprehensive survey of the work of painter and sculptor Izhar Patkin (born Israel 1955, lives and works in New York City) has opened concurrently at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Open Museum in the Industrial Park, Tefen. After closing in Israel, the exhibition will be shown at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
The centerpiece of the Tel Aviv exhibition is a set of ethereal paintings on pleated tulle, the fruit of Patkin’s collaboration with exiled Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali. At Tefen, two key themes related to Jewish and Israeli culture are at the heart of his work: Judenporzellan, a late 18th century story about King Frederick of Prussia who decreed that all his Jewish subjects had to purchase inferior porcelain from a failing Royal factory that ends with Patkin making paper collages representing Moses Mendelssohn and his family; and the landscape paintings of the 20th century Israeli artist Reuven Rubin, deconstructed by Patkin to portray the rupture of the Zionist dream.
Some of Patkin’s best known works are on view, among them the glass donkey for Don Quijote Segunda Parte (1987) in which Patkin depicts the knight holding up a book and looking at himself in a mirror, and the Messiah’s Glass 2003-2007), a large scale sculpture, a hybrid of a donkey and the Arc of Covenant, that addresses religious issues in Israel.