Past Exhibition

The New BarbizonFrom June 26 to September 28 2013
Past Exhibition
The New Barbizon

The New Barbizon Group is a refreshing and important arrival on the art scene in Israel and beyond. It comprises five Israeli women artists who were trained in art academies in the Soviet Union, and later in Israel and Europe, who leave the studio as a group to paint from observation, usually in an urban setting.

They offer a contemporary version of the tradition of open-air painting (en plein air), rooted in nineteenth-century French Realism. Opposed to the Romantic movement and formalism in art, painters went to the forest of Fontainebleau and to Barbizon, a nearby village, to paint from nature and the everyday life of farmers and poor agricultural workers. The Barbizon school profoundly influenced painting in Europe and the United States. Over the years, outdoors painting tended to focus on ‘picturesque’and spectacular landscapes. The tradition of landscape painting is also found in Israeli art.

The New Barbizon Group that formed three years ago – all five artists have their own independent careers – returns to the starting-point: rejecting the self-reflecting culture and conceptual ‘art about art’, preferring instead to mirror contemporary reality, making art about life and within life. Painting ‘in the field’ provides an unmediated encounter with the Israeli street and the painted subjects. During several hours of painting the artists observe a slice of life of people’s lives, talk to them and, for a short time, become part of their world. “We strive for maximum simplicity and accuracy in our works, in order to share the result with the viewing audience. We seek a pictorial language that matches what we see.”

Following the invitation to exhibit at the Negev Museum of Art, the group came to Be’er Sheva to paint in the municipal market. The artists’ curiosity to get to know the Bedouin population from close-up led them to an area of the market with a strong Bedouin presence. In another visit, three of the artists set up their easels opposite the railway and central bus station: the area is under renovation and has a chaotic, confused appearance. The sites and themes they chose to draw attest to their attraction to a changing, dynamic reality, to documentation devoid of exotica or beautifying reality, to strong colours, and chance encounters with people and the environment.



Curator: Dr. Dalia Manor
Assistant Curator: Nirit Dahan


Natalia Zourabov
Asya Lukin
Anna Lukashevsky
Zoya Cherkassky
Olga Kundina


Be'er Sheva municipality
Ministry of Culture and Sport

More at the Museum