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Artist / Larry Abramson

Larry Abramson 
b. 1954, Durban, South Africa; immigrated to Israel in 1961 and lived in Jerusalem; currently lives and works in Tel Aviv.

According to Abramson, painting always relates to the body, especially studio painting, which necessarily refers to the scale of the body, the artist's as well as the viewer's. The transition to the scale of a truck is a revolution which requires rethinking painting and its relation to the body. To paint on a truck, one must recalibrate the body.

On the truck, Abramson painted images he has been exploring in recent years: color fields, abstract shapes, plants, branches, silhouettes, a house, and a plank. On one side of the truck he painted the silhouette of a large cyclamen and a small house carried on the back of a horizontal wooden plank, whose unsettling juxtaposition introduces an alternative model of Israeli landscape. On the other side of the truck, Abramson painted six sections of indigenous wild plants from the Land of Israel, deconstructed and portrayed as silhouettes that join to form a hybrid whole, a horizontal plant that does not grow from the bottom up, as is the way of nature. The plant images, which Abramson turned into silhouettes, were extracted from a book of botanical illustrations of Flora of the Land of Israel by Ruth Koppel. As a child who immigrated to Israel in the 1960s from South Africa, such illustrations were part of the construction of his new identity as an Israeli. Such botanical illustrations, he says, had a considerable ideological weight in Israeli visual culture, and it was not accidental that protection of wild flowers became a major national enterprise.

To articulate the status of local flora, both as an object of love and as an object of criticism, Abramson chose to paint the plants as black silhouettes, thereby echoing the ancient myth about the "birth of painting," which recounts the story of a young woman who draws the silhouette of her lover before he goes off to war.

Painting, says Abramson, is always associated with the loss of something precious. Life passes, and only the image remains, like a silhouette captured on a wall.

Studied art in London for one year. Worked as a printer and curator at the Jerusalem Print Workshop. Chaired the Fine Art Department at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, founded and headed the school's Advanced Studies Program in Fine Art (MFA), and served as an art professor and Head of the Department of Multidisciplinary Art in Shenkar College of Engineering, Design, and Art, Ramat Gan, Israel. Over the years his work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions in leading venues and museums in Israel and abroad, including the Venice Biennale (1986); the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Haifa Museum of Art; Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod, etc. He has won numerous prizes and awards, including the Minister of Education and Culture Visual Arts Prize (1988), the Mendel and Eva Pundik Foundation Prize for Israeli Art from Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2007), Sandberg Prize for Israeli Art, Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2022) etc.

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