Aryeh Rothman: An Etching Master

The exhibition "Aryeh Rothman: A Retrospective" was initiated by Miriam Shalev. Rothman's faithful student, Shalev was his assistant for twelve years at the print workshop he set up at Oranim College, and subsequently – the founder of a print workshop which she established, with Rothman's help, in the artists' studios compound of Kibbutz Ein Carmel. Shalev's initiative was made possible thanks to collaboration with curator Shir Meller-Yamaguchi, the Hecht Museum administration, and the artist's family.

This exhibition follows one of the guidelines underlying the changing exhibitions at the Hecht Museum – presentation of works by artists who taught at the Fine Art Department of the University of Haifa. In this frame we have mounted such exhibitions as "Avner Katz: Pinecones" (2008, curator: Prof. Avishay Ayal) and "Shoshana Heimann: A Retrospective" (2009, curator: Shir Meller-Yamaguchi). Rothman taught at the Fine Art Department between 1973-1976, focusing primarily on painting and etching.

Prof. Avishay Ayal, a teacher in the Department since 1977 in whose own art printmaking plays a pivotal part, first met Rothman when the latter arrived in his newly-founded Jerusalem-based etching workshop. Closely acquainted with Rothman's work, Ayal regards him as "one of the forefathers of printmaking in Israel," attesting to his great passion about print, his struggles to be recognized as an artist by his kibbutz, and his confrontation with gallery owners regarding the commercialization of the art world. Being a kibbutz member and a teacher at the University of Haifa, Rothman ultimately succeeded in preserving his artistic freedom, as he attested.

Aryeh Rothman: A Retrospective
Jerusalem, City of Stone, 1976
photo-etching, aquatint, sugar lift and burnishing
Untitled, 1974
two-plate color etching and aquatint
Hovering Man, 1976
color etching, aquatint, sugar luft and spit bite
Fifth Avenue, 1987
photo- etching, aquatint and byrnishing