While I visited the Rehovot Municipal Gallery awhile ago, I did not recall how quaint and appealing it is. It was built in 1891 by Jehoshua Dundicov who had bought the land from the Turks who had ruled Palestine at that time. The building’s architecture and the simplicity of its lines retains a sense of the past.
Rehovot Municipal Gallery
We attended the opening of a solo exhibition of the artist Gary Goldstein
A permanent sculpture at the entrance to the gallery hall
The first thing which struck me while looking at the art works was the multiple depiction of the female figure. But for one or two exceptions, the paintings were of women and parts of women – some in full body, some only heads while others just bodies, with no heads. A series depicted the female torso, a corsetted.
The artist did not render an ideal or a specific women but rather generalized images in which all women sport similar stylized features: full red lips, black hair, trussed breasts etc.
One might think that a domineering red/pink color theme in a series of paintings would give a cheerful ambiance. However the combination of dramatic black hair and the disembodied bodies intimates something dark and obscure as well as a sense of violence.
The cartoon like painting of 7 knives pointing at a woman’s face, about to penetrate, is a depiction of a direct violence, not a comic matter.
Is this even a statement against violence directed towards women in some societies or is this the artists’ laden psyche , barely sublimated?
The use of big red lips, corsets, headless torsos also invoke a sense of a vulgar eroticism. The women shown, in the first art work above is semi- naked but for a corset and big loop earnings. She is facing towards us, a black gloved hand perhaps beckoning us. Is she a caricature of a red light district lady, framed in her own window, immortalized in the artists frame ?
In the above painting, the face of a young women is marked with a repetitive pattern. Is this a mindless pattern the artist is creating or is this a form of violating this women’ s face?
What is your impression of these art works?