This week I visited the second part of the exhibition "Haifa from Here" at the Karo Arts Gallery. Like the previous exhibition, it featured paintings of Haifa by local artists. This time, the paintings were in the expressive and impressionistic styles, in contrast to the more realistic paintings of the first show. Also, this exhibition did not feature only immigrant artists, and this time there were also native Israeli painters.
Baruch Elichai is a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem, and taught art in the Reali high school in Haifa for many years until retirement. He won the Herman Struck Prize, and has had many exhibitions around the world. He has also worked as a stage set designer and illustrator. This impressionistic painting of boats in the port features the shades of blue sea and sky that make life in Haifa so vivid.
Dan Livni, another Bezalel graduate, also studied in St. Martin School, London, and at the School of the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. He taught art in Ironi H high school and Gordon College in Haifa. This painting shows a view of Haifa from the sea, looking up the slopes of the Carmel, in a rather naive style. I like the contrast between the bold shades of blue and green and the pale, washed-out look of the buildings and boats in the sunlight.
Victor Lifkin was born in Moscow in 1961, studied art at Moscow University, and immigrated to Israel in 1991. He has had many exhibitions and won four international awards. He is a member of Unesco's International Artists group. Here is another picture of boats, in a very different style. The two towers on the hilltop are the Dan Panorama hotel, a familiar Haifa landmark.
The Impressionist artist Robert Rosenberg studied in Alma Ata, and immigrated to Israel from Kazakhstan in 1994. His painting of Haifa at night is a view from the north, looking across the bay at the Carmel. Some of the smoke and flames from the factories north of the bay are visible. This painting seemed to me less representative of Haifa, though the industrial aspect of the city is certainly a subject worth representing in art.
Anat Steindler-Shacham was born in Haifa in 1971, and studied art at the Royal College of Art in London. Her triptych shows a view of the Haifa skyline and sea, with the forest trees and houses. This is the sort of view seen from many places up on the Carmel. It reflects a sense of expanse provided by wide horizons and the layering of the elements (earth, water, air).
Ahuva Sherman was born in Tel Aviv and lives in Haifa. She is inspired by local landscapes. This impressionistic view of Haifa streets and buildings has warm, dusty, sun-faded colours, and captures something of the nature of the city built up the slopes of the Carmel. The way the houses seem to crowd over each other, with windows overlooking their neighbours' roofs, is a typical reflection of Haifa. The light in this painting seems to reflect the warm, humid and muggy atmosphere of a summer day.
Dr. Sergei Schnizer is a physician and scientist, born in Moscow in 1964. He specializes in digital paintings based on his photography. This work shows the contrasts in Haifa, with the old house, with its natural colours and shapes, overshadowed by the new, modern, stylized office building (often known as the "sail building" or the "missile building"), which houses many government offices in the downtown part of Haifa near the port. Another part of Haifa's character is captured here. The buildings are framed by the blue sky and green and dry vegetation, and the sea can be glimpsed on the right. The blurring technique makes the view appear to be seen through hazy humidity, or perhaps from a fast-moving vehicle.
The exhibition can be seen at Karo Arts Gallery, 19 Jerusalem street, Haifa, though it closes tomorrow, on October 16, 2009. I hope to see future exhibitions earlier, so I can report on them with more time still left until they close.