Noa Charuvi Resurrects the Israeli Landscape
Painting is in Noa Charuvi’s blood. Destined for a life of facing the blank canvas, Noa chose to follow the footsteps of her grandfather, Shmuel Charuvi, a 20th century Ukrainian painter who was fascinated by changes in the Israeli landscape.
With her recent series of paintings, Noa revisits recognizable sites from Shmuel’s work and observes how they’ve changed. Having never met her grandfather—he died about a decade before she was born—she connects with him through site visits and close examination of his work. While Shmuel’s paintings focus on ruins in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas, Noa’s landscapes record the same environments, disrupted by forceful intervention. “I paint places that are interrupted either by destruction or construction,” she explains. “Observing construction sites, I interpret them in a broader context of resurrection and transformation. The paint handling: bold, loose brush strokes and palette knife gestures, create a parallel with the subjects: Places that are under development and in transition.”
Palette knife in hand, Noa slicks down oil paint and scrapes it away, mimicking the process of construction and revision that continually transforms the landscape around us. Far from the windswept grasses and rippled waters of Impressionist plein-air studies, Noa’s landscapes embrace the far more mundane—and familiar—sight of piled trash and exposed steel beams. In Atlit Beach, synthetic blue and yellow barriers are rude outliers among the soft neutrals and sea blues of the Israeli landscape.
Noa’s series shows a willingness to accept change and transition, even when it results in ugly wreckage. Like her grandfather, the Israeli American artist embraces the poetry of entropy, recording civilization’s upheavals and interruptions as they play out across the landscape.
“I paint places that are interrupted either by destruction or construction.”— Noa Charuvi
All photos published with permission of the artist(s).
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