From Within the House – Rachel Shavit Bentwich
Paintings and Drawings

Curator: Dr. Irit Miller

Hecht Museum, University of Haifa
Opening: March 17th, 2012

Rachel Shavit Bentwich is concerned with the domestic interior and with the gaze directed outwards from within the house, or the artist's studio. This exhibition features a selection of works that center on the domestic sphere and its diverse meanings.

Drawing and painting, her two main mediums of artistic expression, mutually enhance one another: her drawings intensively capture minute details, while her paintings strive towards a more abstract form of expression. Nevertheless, both her drawings and her paintings are shaped by a relationship with an exterior reality. The reduction of painting to a bare canvas, paint, and primary forms became the basis of her paintings beginning in the 1970s, as she consolidated her unique style.

Shavit Bentwich developed a formal vocabulary and syntax that recur throughout her oeuvre. Her compositions feature various fragments of a house – a wall, a shutter, a terrace railing, a roof, a window, a drainpipe, a narrow opening. These components are also revealed in the mural which she created especially for the exhibition and was executed on site. It represents the view seen from the balcony of her home in Tel Aviv.

The tension in her works is created by the confrontation between bold, contrasting planes of color, between the tangible material and the illusion created by the shadows, and by the sense of deception created by the interplay of fact and illusion. Her works are fragments of reality that are cast onto the canvas or paper under a blinding Mediterranean sun.