New Gordon Gallery opens in Jerusalem’s religious art scene

Progressive art gallery emerges on Jerusalem religious art scene

In Jerusalem, the Gordon Gallery has transformed a neglected industrial workshop into a hub of innovative Israeli art

The area surrounding Jerusalem’s Sapir Industrial Center has long been a place of pilgrimage for creatives. Located in the southwest region of the city, it houses artists’ studios, yeshivas (Jewish educational institutions), as well as the ultra-Orthodox branch of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Its latest addition is the new outpost of the Gordon Gallery, known as one of Tel Aviv’s most distinguished and oldest art institutions.

“We are thrilled to usher in the next era of the Gordon Gallery and to advance the dialogue between secular Israeli art and the religious undertones of Jerusalem,” explains Amon Yariv, Gallery Director, “the dichotomy between the new space and solo exhibitions by two of the innovative painters to entice art lovers to explore Israeli art from a new angle.

The space – which will also include a library and archives accessible to the public – was inaugurated with two solo exhibitions by Israeli artists Ofer Lellouche and Aviva Uri, on view until February 5, 2022. At the heart of Lellouche’s exhibition, titled “Recent Works”, is an imposing bronze sculpture, The hug, whose raw, earthy colors reflect the building’s history. Nine of Lellouche’s reliefs line the walls and offer insight into the design of the sculpture.

Meanwhile, “Death in God’s Realm” features iconic works by Israeli artist Aviva Uri, ranging from works created in the 1960s to the time of her death in 1984. The works are infused with raw gestures – scenes of both anguish and vitality – which continue to influence a generation of Israeli artists.

The industrial space was given new life by Tel Aviv-based Salty Architects, who transformed the neglected workshop into a light-filled space while retaining the rugged industrial history of the building’s past. “The challenge was to distinguish the space from its surroundings without being ostentatious,” explain architects Motti Rauchwerger and Hadar Menkes.

“Inside the gallery, we have designed a circular space, and it is important that one can continue to move through the space and be surprised. One of the surprises was the natural light in this industrial area. Once we opened the facade, we realized that wonderful natural light permeates the space. §