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Israeli Art Discourse and the Jewish Voice

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Israeli critical art discourse reflects both opposition to Jewish tradition and its enduring influence. Even when artists employ Jewish sources, scholars and critics often detach their art from the traditionalist world. In this essay, the sociological concepts of “hybridization” and “purification” are therefore presented as fundamental processes underpinning the mainstream discourse of Israeli art.

This essay demonstrates how while processes of rift and reconstitution with respect to Jewish tradition inform the Israeli art scene, Israeli art discourse, like modern art discourse in general, seeks to set itself apart from the worlds of religion and faith. This essay explains that a byproduct of this phenomenon is that those artists most squarely identifiable as “religious” are largely invisible to, and ignored by, the discourse.


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