Rivnay is an interdisciplinary Israeli-American artist based in Tel Aviv, who works in various media including painting, sculpture, video, installation and performance. He has exhibited solo shows in cities including New York, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Venice. He holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem.
This exhibition, “Unfolding Nature: Dancing Through Waves,” consists of a series of vibrant paintings, filled with characteristic biomorphic shapes that have been deliberately exaggerated and infused with harmony. The choreography of the work is laced with intense forms and unexpected colorations. The work is based upon the visual images derived from other disciplines, particularly that of music.
What’s the theme of “Unfolding Nature: Dancing Through Waves?”
In my work I deal with elements, with the relationship between them. My inspirations are the macro world, the micro world and the frequency that goes between to make it all happen.
Can you explain how the show came together?
These works are part of a show I had in New York for the last eight months. The people of the Federation found about it and the connection was made.
I understand you’ve never shown your work in Cleveland before. Why are you excited to have your work shown here?
I must say I love the idea that this show will give some colors and good vibes to the people of Cleveland, or at least to those who come to Roe Green gallery. I heard the winter is long and gray, I want to bring light.
Is there any particular piece you’d like to tell us more about that will be featured in the show?
A small painting, 20 x 20 cm. (the image with an oblong gray striped shape in the middle and purple and blue outside), that shows the relationships between the two particles, the light, the influence – is it million light years far? Or is it in your blood cell? I’m in non-story art, that creates a whole new world. (The works are abstract, but are not in any way represented or connected or trying to suggest anything out of the canvas.) I’m trying to create frequencies.
I just feel it is a good place to be. And this piece is a perfect one.
When and where is the exhibit on view?
The exhibit will be on view until May 2020 in the Roe Green Gallery at the Federation’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Building, 25701 Science Park Drive in Beachwood.
The director of the Cleveland Israel Arts
Connection, a program of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, talks about
Israeli artist Sigalit Landau’s “Growth & Change,” which is on
view through Oct. 27 at the Roe Green Gallery inside the Jewish Federation of
Cleveland’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Building.
What can visitors look forward from Sigalit Landau’s
“Growth & Change”?
Curator A. Will Brown, formerly of the Museum of
Contemporary Art Cleveland, visited Sigalit Landau and Yotam From at their
studios in Tel Aviv and near the Dead Sea to select works for “Growth
& Change.” In his words:
“Israeli artists Sigalit Landau and Yotam From work as a
team to create poignant and often incisive artworks across many forms. This
exhibition presents a group of works that explore powerful metaphors about the
nature of being human.
“Landau has long engaged with the Dead Sea as a site of
meaning and a place to generate new artworks. Over months of soaking in the
depths of the Dead Sea, Landau and From have brought to life projects that
include the Salt Crystal Bridal Gown (2014) series of sculptures and
photographs and numerous salt-encrusted objects. In addition, Landau has made
both map-like and relationally focused etchings while exploring the Dead Sea,
such as the Salt Wedding (2016) portfolio and the Bridge Map (2014), which is
one in a larger series.”
What inspires Landau to select the objects she does for
her works? Do those objects represent recurring artistic themes, and if so, can
Sigalit’s passion with the Dead Sea stemmed from her
childhood in Jerusalem, where she was able to gaze outside her window and view
the reflections off the water. After her mother’s death, she was drawn back to
the sea as a connection to her memories. Many of the objects she selects also
deal with memory, such as the shoes and an empty stretcher. The tutu is nostalgic
from her youth when she was an accomplished dancer – also now just a memory.
The Salt Bride images were conceived in part by the memory of bridal boutiques
in a neighborhood where she lived when her daughter was very young. The series
was further inspired by a costume exhibit at Habima, Israel’s national theater,
featuring the dress worn by Hanna Robina in “The Dybbuk.”
Salt in Israel plays a much different role than salt in
Northeast Ohio and other locations with seasonably cold winters. In what ways
does Landau explore this contrast in her art?
Salt is a preservative. Biblically, we dip challah in salt
because salt never spoils, just as G-d’s covenant with the Jewish people is
eternal. In Cleveland, however, salt is used to destroy – as evidenced by the
perennial appearance of potholes in our city streets. Not many Israelis know
that salt melts ice, but Sigalit knew from her experiences in Berlin and
Philadelphia that salt is a winter necessity.
To explore the destructive nature of salt, Sigalit and Yotam
developed the “Gdansk Series” where they took salt-encrusted boots to a frozen
river in Gdansk, Poland. Gdansk was chosen for several reasons in addition to
its climate. The former name of Gdansk was Danzig, and Sigalit is an admirer of
the Israeli sculptor Itzik Danziger. Danzig also means “dancer,” which Sigalit
used to be. And in recent history, Gdansk shifted countries between Poland and
Germany, where Sigalit’s family came from before the war.
In the “Gdansk Series” the salt boots are placed on the
frozen river. Still photos taken throughout the day show the boots as they slowly
melt through the surface, ultimately to sink into the river’s depths. What
remains are two holes in the ice, a memory of what had once been there.
This show was brought to Northeast Ohio by the Cleveland
Israel Arts Connection. For those who aren’t familiar, will you describe the
organization’s role in the local arts community and what it brings to the
The Cleveland Israel Arts Connection is a program of the
Jewish Federation of Cleveland, connecting our community with the most dynamic
21st century cultural experiences that Israel has to offer. Working in
partnership with Northeast Ohio’s leading arts organizations, we strive to
identify, enhance, promote and create unique and engaging Israeli cultural
In order to accomplish these goals, we meet regularly
with creative leaders throughout Cleveland’s cultural community to introduce
them to opportunities for collaboration. We often are able to facilitate
“exposures” where the artistic directors travel to Israel for several days to
experience the artform firsthand. They attend performances, visit galleries and
studios, and meet with artists, actors, choreographers, playwrights and
directors. We’ve been fortunate to send people to exposures for visual art,
world music, jazz, dance and theater.
In the past 10 years, we have helped identify and bring
in more than 100 Israeli musicians, composers, visual artists, authors, dance
companies, choreographers, actors, theater troupes and filmmakers to our
community in partnership with more than 50 of Cleveland’s fine-art
institutions. Our upcoming season includes many Israeli films at both the
Mandel JCC’s Jewish FilmFest and the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival,
exciting new visual art exhibitions at the Roe Green Gallery, conversations
with author Dorit Rabinyan, and musical partnerships with the BlueWater Chamber
Orchestra, the Cleveland International Piano Competition and The Cleveland
Orchestra, which will present the world premiere of a concerto by composer Oded