A view from afar: landscapes of the homeland
DOI link for A view from afar: landscapes of the homeland
A view from afar: landscapes of the homeland book
Landscape has been one of the major themes in Israeli art since the 1920s, going through various phases including abstraction in the 1950s and 1960s and minimalist and conceptual treatment in the 1960s and 1970s. Despite its prominent role, affirmed by numerous exhibitions, the subject has been very little investigated. And in the few cases it has been discussed the emphasis is conveniently laid on elements of composition, colour, light and level of abstraction well within the modernist tradition of formalist analysis. An ideological inclination, if mentioned, would be summarised into a simple nationalist equation. Such is the claim that the concern of Israeli artists with landscape derives primarily from ‘the basic desire of the Israeli individual for rootedness’.1 The implication, according to this view, is straightforward: the Zionist aspiration for ‘belonging’ to the place brings about, in artists, emotional and aesthetic sensibilities towards the land and subsequently results in the production of landscape art. The assumption that there exists an obvious link between a national ideology and the production of a certain genre of art needs to be questioned. This becomes necessary in particular when considering the actual landscapes that were painted by Jewish artists in Palestine.