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ILAN BARUCH

(born 1974)

From the wilderness of Judea and Samaria to the stones and Cyprus trees of Jerusalem, When landscape painting becomes a painting of the soul

ABOUT ILAN BARUCH
Ilan Baruch Born in 1974, to a religious family from the Geula neighborhood in Jerusalem. In 1988 he began his studies at the School of Painting and Sculpture founded by Rabbi AdinSteinzaltz, where he met painter Lillian Klapisch, who taught there at the time. In 1992 Klapisch exhibited his paintings at the “Nidbach” exhibition at the Artists’ House in Jerusalem.
In 2004 he displayed a solo exhibition name “The Cactus: Introspections” at the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (curator: Aya Luria). In  he had a solo exhibition at the MonartMuseum (curator: Yonah Fisher). In 2013 he displayed a wide exhibition - "It was never truly a wilderness" ,at the The Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat-Gan (curator: Meir Ahronson)
 
In addition to the art studies of his youth, Baruch studied philosophy at the Hebrew University.
 
The paintings of Ilan Baruch reflect an ongoing exercise in the language and methods of figurative painting. His meticulous exploration of the expression of the pictorial values of climate, light, texture, and material is indicative of a particular interest in the significance of the object and its mythic and symbolic value, and the study of the place, its spirit and manifestations. The actual labor of painting takes place outdoors, without the mediation of a camera and without any further processing of the canvas when it is back in the studio. In this manner, Baruch has devoted dozens of paintings to depictions of the Jerusalem landscape, its sabra plants and cypress trees, and shepherds grazing their flocks in pastures near Jerusalem at the villages of Ein Kerem and Kfar Ruth. Baruch bases his investigations on the creation of large-scale thematic series that focus on a central object utilizing various formats and focal points. Sometimes it is the foliage of a cypress tree that covers an entire canvas, its trunk and branches an incidental part of an all-encompassing panoramic landscape.
  
Baruch’s subjects are loaded from the beginning with a familiar mythic charge that derives from the repertoire of images representative of local culture: the cypress tree, the Arab, the sabra, and the shepherd, which were interpreted variously in the local context. For example, over time the sabra changed from being a founding symbol of Zionist nationalism and local culture to a symbol of the shattering of that ethos and a sobering moment of awakening. Baruch’s paintings challenge the validity of the definition of the mythic status of the painted object by portraying it simultaneously from the vantage point of unique and specific investigation and inclusive mythic context

 


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