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Noa Eshkol

Press release

Noa Eshkol

neugerriemschneider is pleased to present its third exhibition of the work of Noa Eshkol (1924-2007), the Israeli artist, choreographer, dancer and professor who invented the Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation (EWMN) to capture the ephemeral phenomenon of movement. Bringing together a dozen of Eshkol’s rarely seen ‘wall carpets’ from 1978 to 2007, the exhibition examines the motif of the threshold and window across four decades of her work.

‘It has no rules, no theory – only passion.’ – Noa Eshkol. In 1973 Eshkol began creating wall carpets at her home and studio in Holon, Israel. They were freely composed with only one guiding principle: that no material was cut or purchased. Eshkol worked with the given offcuts, rags and discarded clothing to form lyrical compositions and, together with her dancers, sewed the elements into place. Suggesting at times dance formations, thresholds, still lifes or abstract compositions, these ‘wall carpets’ are described by Eshkol as an ‘occupation that had at first no explanation and ideology. It began as an entirely personal urge to make something, not something that involved an intellectual decision’. She was drawn to the everyday material that she found fortuitously precisely because it is ‘...“vulgar,” vernacular, fabric such as is daily met with, and of kinds available anywhere in most of today’s cultures’. These visual compositions and her lifelong work in dance offer at once contrasts and synergies. She said ‘This is unlike Movement Notation, where the material is an abstraction of the movement of the body’, yet describes the materials, which were often from clothing, in terms of limbs and movement. The fragments’ ‘negative shapes are converted by the act of recomposition into new positive shapes’, she noted.

The selection of works on view at neugerriemschneider traces Eshkol’s enduring fascination with the threshold and particularly the window. In an early work, The House of Bernarda Alba (Virgin) (1978), a composition of earthen colors surrounds a square of green fabric. It alludes to the 1936 play by Federico García Lorca (1898- 1936) The House of Bernarda Alba. Set in a repressive matriarchy, the play follows the rising tensions between five daughters and their mother, particularly through her efforts to inhibit their sexuality. The window acts as a pivot, suggesting escape yet symbolizing the restriction of the house-bound daughters. Window to the Garden with Birds (1990), by contrast, is a vibrant work of bird-like figures, conveyed through dozens of densely- patterned fabric fragments, placed together in a composition almost four-meters-high.

The artwork of Noa Eshkol (b. 1924 Kvuzat Degania Bet, Israel d. 2007 Holon, Israel) has been the subject of solo exhibitions internationally and in 2011-2012 the joint exhibition Sharon Lockhart | Noa Eshkol traveled to TBA21, Vienna; The Jewish Museum, New York; LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem and CCA Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. Selected single artist exhibitions for Noa Eshkol include Noa Eshkol. I Look at the Moon and Think about My Daughter-in-Law, Vleeshal, Middelburg and Kunstverein, Amsterdam (both 2017); Angles & Angels, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2016); Noa Eshkol. Wall Carpets, Stiftung Opelvillen, Rüsselsheim (2013); Textile Tales, Noa Eshkol: Wall Carpets, The Open Museum, Tefen Industrial Park, Kfar Vradim, Israel (2010); Hamumche Gallery, Tel Aviv (1998); Museum of Art, Ein Harod (1996); Noa Eshkol, Museum of Decorative Art, Copenhagen (1980) and Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv (1970).

Closed Dec 23, 2018 - Jan 1, 2019 
Visits available by appointment: