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STREICHMAN ON PAPER
Jerusalem Post - Jerusalem
Author: Goldfine, Gil
Date: Jun 2, 1989
Start Page: 17
Section: ARTS
Abstract (Document Summary)

Good intentions and positive resolutions, however, do not always lead to success. The impact of [Yehezkel Streichman]'s sensitivity as a watercolourist is diluted by one's inability to take in the scope of the exhibit. Having been served up such a wide-ranging selection of pictures in an institutional attempt to equalize the relative importance of Streichman's oils and water-based techniques, it is inevitable that the spectator will ride through the galleries on a sort of roller-coaster, pausing at the high points and then descending quickly to be disappointed at the lower ones.

Together with Zaritsky and Stematsky, Streichman is considered a major pioneer of Israeli modernism. Born in Kovno, Lithuania, in 1906, Streichman immigrated to Palestine in 1924 and enrolled at the Bezalel School of Art where he remained until 1927, when he travelled to Paris and Florence to complete his studies. After five years back in Kovno, Streichman returned to Tel Aviv, established himself as both painter and teacher and in 1948 became an influential charter member of the New Horizons movement. His many honours include the prestigious Sandberg Prize, awarded to him by the Israel Museum in 1974.

Even his large studio window, barred from the exterior by decorative iron constructions, is transformed by Streichman from a menacing protective element into a poetic compositional design. Vertical bands and diamond-shaped patterns, applied with observational correctness or as whimsical directional lines, expand upon the artist's view of things rather than seeing reality through a restrictive barrier that isolates and confines other subjective imagery. By changing the weight of things, playing with the balance of pictorial structure and observing life as a transient moment in time and place, Streichman strikes an harmonious chord in his art and allows the serenity he sees before him to manifest itself in its entirety.

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