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Lavih Serfaty in Hamburg

Lavih Serfaty is an Israeli artist and his works reflect the turbulus area of the Middle East. War, terror, teritories, landscape, urbanic tragedies, colors, compositions, movements, people, cities and villages, all is restless and always in movement, like a fortissimo musique. The sky is taking part of the painting as a rivale of the earth. There is always a debate between the sky against the earth, the city against the mountains, the villages against the desert, the people against the nature and against themselves.

Lavih is a multicultural artist, born in Casblanca, Morocco in 1945: "My childhood was very colorfull, the color and the light in morocco are very strong and the contrast of the color and their shades use to change every hour of the days forming new forms and new colors...". His works are on canvas and paper. The painting are in acrilyc and water color.

Lavi Serfaty would kindly like to invite people from the Jewish community in Hamburg to assist and visit his exhibition on the 9th January at Marziart.

Marziart - Internationale Galerie und Malschule
Eppendorfer Weg 110, 20259 Hamburg / Germany

Fon : 0049-40-23518894 / Mail : /

He immigrated to Israel in 1956. A graduated of the Bezalel Academy of Arts in Jerusalem, Serfaty has designed exhibitions, worked extensively as a children’s books publisher and dedicated many years to a design company, in the capacity of Art director.

“…Most of my pictures were painted in the 70’s, when I had the opportunity of visiting the Sinai Desert innumerous times. I was deeply influenced by the movement of light, as it fell over the dunes, rocks, villages and some isolated houses, changing their colors gradually. It reminded me of the views of Morocco, where houses are painted white, with blue and turquoise windows, creating and impressive contrast with the reddish soil background. As the bright, glaring light was changing throughout the day, it reshaped the shadows and emphasized the contrasted colors of Nature…”.

Soil, Land, Territory. In a country where these words are a source of recurring conflicts, landscapes usually become dreamed places, sanctuaries actually. Painted on the borders of Israel, Serfaty’s aquarelles depict the richness of colors under a Mediterranean sun. Indeed, a painful, silent testimony echoes in the red, blazing rocks of Edom Mountains or in the scattered houses in Village on the rocks.

Village on the rocks, 1989, aquarelle

“…Borders are human inventions that artificially split the Nature’s flow. Standing on one side of the border, I could feel the magic, healing intangibility of Nature on the other side. Landscapes became accessible to my eyes and imagination in their entirety. When I painted the villages of Lebanon and the West Bank, I could encompass both sides and reconcile between them…”.

Edom Mountains, 1991, aquarelle

The wish for reconciliation is also apparent in other aspects of Serfaty’s creations. In his aquarelles sky and earth fuse gently and villages progressively emerge from earth. The human presence does not interfere with Nature’s forces, but adapts and adopts its immense rhythm, becoming an integral part of it. Serfaty’s use of aquarelle colors deeply emphasizes this process of integration. The transparent colors spread out the contours and bind opposite components of the painting. The white background on which transparent colors are laid, functions as an inner source of light, that illuminates the whole painting from within.

Lines have an important role in Serfaty’s aquarelles. They regulate the space, define its components, and at the same time differentiate among them. The lines also accumulate into topographical textures that vary in their density and direction according to the depicted area. Thus earth is usually characterized by a highly dense rhythm, while the sky, comprising spaced lines, is perceived as a fresh, spiritual environment. In addition, the morphological rhythm of the lines conveys a feeling of movement that seems to be inherent to Nature itself. The rocks, dunes, sky, and earth are not static, displaying a constant process of formation and development. Therefore, even in the absence of a stated narrative, the aquarelles present a dramatic occurrence anchored in the realm of Nature.

Tel Aviv dancing, 2002, acrylic

Tel Aviv, 2002, acrylic

The atmosphere in Serfaty’s late acrylic paintings is of yet another type. He intensively populates the space of the paintings with a large number of diverse shapes, creating intricate urban landscapes, playing with the illusion of spaciousness. Here is the tamed Nature contributing its amazing colors and brightness to the urban maze. In the case of Serfaty’s acrylic paintings, the pattern revealed is a joyful and intense one, full of strong, saturated colors.

We could point out other characteristics of his acrylic works as well. While his aquarelles constantly locate human action as part of Nature’s eternal mechanisms, his acrylic paintings decisively emphasize human order, presenting it as an alternative nature. The geometrical pattern of the houses, that in the aquarelles was hidden among rocks, hills, dunes and sky, now dictates the rhythm and the whole configuration of the paintings.

Light decidedly fulfills a major role in Serfaty’s paintings. Yet, while in his aquarelles the light seemed to be diffusing from within the painting, here the white color is thoroughly emphasized. As a result, it seems that the light comes from outside the painting, being absorbed in its radiant hues, enliven and softening them.

Contact: 06-01-04


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