September 07


Sculpture by Jonathan Ofek - Text by Amitai Mendelsohn

Jonathan Ofek’s work derives its inspiration from various sources, including Mesopotamian, pre-Colombian, and early Christian art. Ofek’s "Couples" series revolves around the duality of the relationship between two individuals. As Jonathan states, a couple is the smallest social unit – the two partners of a couple are like two points connected by a line; human contact passes through the hands. The enlargement of the hands in his figures emphasizes the feeling of emotional connection, wherein action is at the center. Relationships are built around actions, good or bad. Many laws and commandments in Judaism stress the practical side of the relationship between individuals, serving as the foundation for family, group, and national life. Jonathan’s works present a kind of index or dictionary of relationships between couples. The similarity between the figures turns them into one another’s shadows, so that sometimes it seems as if what we see here is a struggle between two inner forces. In this series, Jonathan Ofek deals with basic values and behavior and tries to understand the foundation of human interaction.

-Amitai Mendelsohn


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Jonathan Ofek is a painter, sculptor, and ceramicist who lives and works in Jerusalem. His clay and bronze sculptures have been exhibited at the Israel Museum and at galleries throughout Israel.

Amitai Mendelsohn is Curator of Israeli Art at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. His published catalogues include Landscape of Longing: Avraham Ofek's Early and Late Works (Israel Museum, 2007) and Prophets and Visionaries: Reuven Rubin's Early Years, 1914-23 (Israel Museum, 2006).