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A selection of pages from "Kibbutz Courtyard"

It’s an interior scenic space like the kind of the kibbutz courtyard that Michael Kovner never painted before. He painted expansive landscapes of nature and he has painted urban landscapes as well, as in the series of New York paintings that he produced shortly before he began the kibbutz series. His New York cityscapes, however, appear to be viewed through the windows of an apartment house or a car, observed but not experienced via the body. Not so are his works in the kibbutz-courtyard series—saturated painting that communicates the looming height of the crown of a tree, the changing proportions in motion, the depth of a shadow on the ground, and the flickering of light in space.

Galia Bar Or

From the curator article in the book


Kovner’s first stop was Kibbutz Nahshon. From there he went from kibbutz to kibbutz, eight of them in a five-year period. He drew landscapes, painted them in watercolour and gouache, and employed various techniques as he migrated from the studio to the scenic outdoors. He did not use photography. He sees painting as a transformative process that does not undertake to portray reality in the manner of a realistic image. “The image sinks into the psyche and is created new,” Kovner notes, i.e., it undergoes a transformation whose final outcome is unknowable.


Michael talks about Kibbutz Courtyard book

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