The search for localism and abstract expressionism in israeli ceramics in the 1970s

Orly Nezer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At the end of the 1970s, the ideologies that emphasized the centrality of the rootedness, localness and ancient Hebrew origins of ceramics were promoted by curators. They had access both to the broader field of Israeli art and to financial resources. They favoured art that reflected the process of its creation and demonstrated temporality and expressiveness, and linked these qualities to the concept of ‘Israeli authenticity’, which, in their mind, embraced both intuitiveness and the absence of self-limitations. I argue that other ideologies that encouraged similar styles in Israeli ceramics, influenced by trends in international ceramics, were neglected and eventually excluded from the dominant narrative on the history of Israeli ceramics. While there were other ideologies that encouraged new styles in Israeli ceramics at the time, the search forlocalism became the central narrative on Israeli ceramics, leaving the next generation of makers and writers with a reduced legacy to react to and debate with. This article proposes a pluralistic perspective on the history of Israeli ceramics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-90
Number of pages22
JournalCraft Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Abstract ceramics
  • Ceramic art
  • Craft
  • Hebrew art
  • Israeli art
  • Vernacular art

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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