Michal Na’aman, is a Israeli painter. From the point of view of values, her work is characterized as conceptual art and deals with such subjects as the limitations of language and sight, the possibilities for expression, and gender issues. Using the techniques of collage, Na’aman has created works that examine the visual way of thinking as opposed to the verbal way of thinking. In 2014 she was awarded the Israel Prize for Plastic Arts for her work.
Michal Na’aman, Israeli Painter, born 1951, Kvutzat Kinneret. For Her work Na’aman won the Sandburg Prize in painting in 1998 and 2002. On 2014 she got the Israel Prize for plastic arts.
At the end of the 1970s Na’aman began to create an avant garde and conceptual body of work, which included installations and other artistic activities. These works dealt with the expression of the personal and the concept of ars poetica mixed with the public and the political. In addition Na’aman has produced a large body of work using photographs as raw material to paste into collages combined with text. Among her well-known works is a series which combines images of a bird and a fish into an enigmatic creature. In another work, entitled ” Killed a Penguin; A Nun was Killed”, Na’aman points out the gap between image and language by using a play on words and deviation from the standard meaning of words.
At the end of the 1970s, while she was studying in the United States, Na’aman began to return to a more traditional mode of painting. In this period the image of the “Duck-Rabbit”, taken from the Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations (1953), also appeared. The source of this image was the “Jastrow illusion,” which raises the question of the identity of
a visual image and which appears from that time in many of Na’aman’s works.
In the 1990s, she started working on a large series of paintings that utilized abstract geometric structures with sexual, psychological and ars poetic elements. Strips of masking tape recycled from earlier works of hers became an integral part of the work,
a sort of sloughed off skin or peel.
AWARDS AND PRIZES
– American-Israel Cultural Foundation, scholarship for School of Visual Arts, New York, 1978–1980
– Jacques and Genia O’Hana Prize for a Young Israeli Artist, Tel Aviv Museum, 1981
– George and Janette Geffin Prize, America Israel Culture Fund, 1995
– The Minister Of the Arts and Science Prize
– Isracard Prize, Tel Aviv Museum, together with Lillian Klapisch, 1998
– Dizengoff Prize, 2002
– Sandberg Prize, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1998
– Sandberg Prize, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2002
– Israel Prize for plastic arts, 2014
“Professor Na’aman is a revolutionary artist in the field of painting post conceptual art, which has been affected by her insights. Na’aman built an intellectual and passionate world that clashes and unites language and imagery, logic and mysticism. She shaped many students and influenced the development of art in Israel.”
– A statement by the Israel Prize Committee