Hanna Koffler

Irit Israeli choice of iron as her sculptural material is anything but accidental. This fundamental material captured her heart both because of its primacy-it being one of the most widespread of the elements, and because of the qualities it reveals during the process of oxidation that it undergoes, and which provides the finished product with a dynamic life of its own. The factor of time does not allow the color tones of the work to be finally determined. Thus creating the tension of anticipation while the character of the work is being crystallized - the work is effect continuing to be created after the final touch.

The sculptures of Irit Israeli are graced with the feminine touch, this in opposition to the works of iron that are familiar to us, done by those called "iron workers" who deal with great masses of the material and whose works are denoted "male sculptures" in art history. Her awareness of the limitations of her physical strength does not detract at all from her passion to create using hard iron. She solved the synthesis between the two with technical means - the cutting and take to pieces of steel pipes and the welding of the pieces into sculptures shapes. In her case the technical solution produced a personal sculptural language whose images spring from the local landscape rooted in her soul, from the Bible and Jewish writings and from the stories of her childhood and youth. The components of the cultural baggage assimilated into her consciousness merge with the elements of her autobiography scorched into the iron with hot fire. The borders of Irit Israeli's sculptures re-cross the processes of disassembly and building. By sisyphic work she demolishes the essence of the steel, emphasizes the qualities of its texture and reveals the range of characteristics of the material during its transformation This is the case with the series of small wall sculptures that were constructed from small pieces of iron welded to iron surfaces of different texture-the source of these works coming from realm of word association, idiomatic phrases and private and collective memories. Here also each work stands on its own, although one group of works within the series makes a broad and well-formulated statement, assembled from nuances distilled into a structured sculptural language. From creating to creation Irit Israeli's language takes shape. Each work is a product of its predecessor, of the consequences and conclusions that it prompted. Her series of works should not be seen as a variations on a theme, but as a development, an improvement and a new departure out into space each time that bits of iron are joined together in a new order.

Hanna Koffler, Curator

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