dov abramson - selected work

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Dov Abramson, Jerusalem-based artist and designer, showcases slected artwork from his portfolio. More at: www.dovabramson.com www.flickr.com/dovabramson

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  • w w w . d o v a b r a m s o n . c o m

    DOV ABRAMSONS e l e c t e d W o r k

  • Dov Abramson Bio

    Born in the US in 1975, Dov moved to Israel in 1983. Growing up in a Modern Orthodox environment, he made a turn at Hesder Yeshiva, and went on to serve for three years in the Intelligence Corps of the Israeli army. Pursuing his life-long fascination with form and color, and his even greater fascination with Israeli society, in 1998 Dov enrolled in the Graphic Design department of the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem.

    Upon graduation in 2002, Dov opened an independent design studio in Jerusalem, where he and his team explore the tensions in form, color, language and type in modern Jewish & Israeli society. His clients include the Avi Chai Foundation, Gesher, PresenTense, and independent musicians such as Ofer Golany and Yoram Getzler.

    In his studio, Dov combines classic graphic design work (for clients) with independent artistic work that deals with Jewish and Israeli identity. Dovs innovative projects have been recognized internationally and have been featured and published in Zeek Magazine, Forward, Maariv, Haaretz and Makor Rishon. His art has been on exhibit at The Jewish Museum in New York as well as at Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

    Selected Group Exhibits

    2009 - Symmetry, Black Church Print Studio, Dublin, Ireland

    2008 - Broken Vessels, The Leiber Center, Bar Ilan University

    2007 - Ritual Repetition, The Jewish Museum, NY

    2007 - One and All, The Artists House, Jerusalem

    2007 - Tolerance of Belief, Black Walnut Gallery, Chicago

    2006 - Lights, Israel Museum, Jerusalem

  • Ner Mitzvah (Candle of Commandment)

    For the commandment is a candle / The Torah is a light - Proverbs 6:23.

    Since the Gaonic period, the 613 commandments that the people of Israel were commanded at Sinai are found in the form of various lists which contain directives replete with glory and splendor (I am the Lord your God), prohibitions which seem integrated in mans soul and in the ethics of mankind (You shall not murder), laws which if not odd, are at least not self-explanatory (Let them serve as a symbol on your forehead) and everyday matters (You should make a railing for your roof).

    Ner Mitzvah offers a graphic alternative to a list of commandments and presents the commandments not only as spirit but as matter albeit illuminating matter. A uniform series of the 613 commandments, which at first glance seems straight off an assembly line, the only distinction being individual labels. A closer look reveals that each label has icons that classify the commandments according to type, like washing instructions on clothing. Upon whom is the commandment incumbent? Where and in what time is it in force? What is the punishment for transgression?

    The piece raises questions concerning the connections between the commandments, what separates them and what unites them, the choice to deconstruct a Torah of life into 613 items, and how the observer sees himself vis-a-vis this structure of light and matter.

    Ner Mitzvah 613 Yahrtzeit Candles (Wax and Aluminum) Labels Digitally Printed on Paper Total Dimensions: 50x200x100cm

  • Do We Have a Minyan?

    The sexton stands outside the door of the synagogue, in the city street, and asks each passer-by if he has recited the Afternoon or Evening Service. He does this, not to satisfy his curiosity, nor to take a survey on the prayer habits of the denizens of his city. Rather, he wants to assemble a minyan, ten male Jews above the age of thirteen, the quorum required to recite the public congregational prayersbarchu, kaddish, kedushah. He gathers the people, one by one, and begins to count. But he does not count One, two, three, for fear of the Evil Eye, as is found regarding King David, who refrained from counting the Jewish people by means of ordinary numbers. Rather, the sexton points in turn to each of the people he has gathered: SaveYour People, echoing the majestic and prayerful verse in Psalms 28:9, "Save Your People, and bless Your heritage, tend them and elevate them forever, which, in the original Hebrew, contains ten words, equivalent to the number required for a minyan.

    He counts, not with mundane numbers, but with holy words. When the sexton has finally collected forever (the tenth person), only then do the ten worshippers break out in prayer to God on high. The piece Do We Have a Minyan? suggests an alternative minyan, more heterogeneous and less selective. In this work, ten very different individuals are assembled, who, together, comprise the prayer quorum.

    The work examines the tension between the vast universalism of the Biblical verse which is used Save Your People, all of them, great and small, male and female, kippah-wearer and bareheaded Jewand the selectivity which characterizes that sexton, as the tries to gather his minyan. Are the diverse people in the photographs suitable to form a minyan? Are they eligible for the salvation that we all desire? In short, Do we have a Minyan?

    Do We Have a Minyan? 10 Digital Photographs 20x30 cm each Lambda Print

  • Vidduy (The Musical)

    A Jewish traveler coming to a congregation just before Rosh Hashana inquired who leads

    their prayers on the Days of Awe. They answered him, There is a carpenter among us who

    leads the prayers. The Jew asked, How does he lead the prayers? They said, He chants

    all of the confessional prayers in a joyous melody. The Jew found the carpenter and asked

    him, Why do you sing the confession with joy? He answered, When a man breaks a

    valuable vessel, it is common for him to sing joyfully while engaged in its repair, as there is

    nothing quite like the wonderful joy of repair.

    Vidduy (The Musical) proposes a physical embodiment of the principal tool given by Jewish Tradition designed to repair the rupture that is sin the vidduy (literally Confession).

    Vidduy (The Musical) is a musical instrument made of 22 white keys engraved with the vidduy zuta (Small Confession) composed by Rav Amram Gaon in the 9th century.

    Alphabetically listed, written in plural (We Have Sinned), the Vidduy is recited daily, usually hurriedly, on most days of the year but it is on Yom Kippur that this prayer takes center stage sung, in many communities, in a tune that fuses subservience, happiness and a splash of relief.

    The instrument is played in a manner that brings to mind the beating of the fist on the heart the gesture that accompanies the Vidduy hopefully producing a melody that reflects the wonderful joy of repair.

    Vidduy (The Musical) Aluminum, Wood and Rubber 140 x 40 cm

  • Shaot Zmaniyot (Temporary Hours)

    In the Jewish Halacha, Shaot Zmaniyot (literally means relative hours, but can be translated temporary hours as a play-on-words) are relative hours, the length of which change according to the season of the year, depending on the duration of daylight on the specific day. According to this calculation, the time between sunrise and sunset is divided by twelve, each fraction considered an Halachic hour. In this way, an Halachic hour in the summer can be longer than 60 minutes, and in the winter it is usually shorter than a conventional clock hour.

    These Shaot Zmanyiot have extremely important applications in the life of the Halachic Jew, instructing him or her when to pray, recite the Shma, don Tefillin, or stop eating Chametz on the eve of Passover.

    The piece Shaot Zmaniyot presents a visual expression of this, and tries to provoke thought regarding the labeling and categorization of nature, for the practical-Halachic use of keeping the Mitzvot.

    Shaot Zmaniyot Digital Print on Paper Two Vertical Strips, 45cm x 148cm (17.7 x 58.2) each

  • Shoah: a Table of Elements

    A piece that deals with the remembrance of the Shoah (Holocaust) using the format of the Chemical Periodic Table of Elements.

    Shoah: a Table of Elements Digital Print on Paper 50x70 cm

    H

    Hm Gs

    EnMe

    Hitler

    Table of ElementsThe Shoah of European Jewry 19391945

    Himmler Goebbels

    EichmannMengele

    Wb

    Tk Bb Mk Sb Bw

    GgGring

    AsSpeer

    Notable Nazis

    Communities Destroyed Partially or Totally

    Notable Shoah Films

    Notable Shoah Books

    Notable Shoah Survivors

    Notable Shoah Victims

    Notable Concentration/Extermination Camps

    Righteous Among the Nations

    Asmena Pinsk BiaystokZhetel Vilnius Kiev Tarnopol Budapest Mezhirichi Pozna

    Rovno

    RhHess

    Auschwitz TreblinkaBergen-Belsen Majdanek Sobibor Buchenwald

    RpRibbentrop Warsaw Saloniki Krakw MunkatchNowy SczGrodnoLublin Konin

    HdHeidrich Frankfurt Berlin Breslav Chem Dobrzyn Nowogrodek d Prague

    Du Ch Bz MnTt

    GhGoeth

    RgRosenberg Kotsk LipnoLvov Mir

    LyLey

    Aa Pk Vi

    Wr Sk Kw VkVitebsk

    Ln

    Kv

    Lr SrSatmarLudmir

    Ff Bn Bv Cm Dz

    Tl

    Go

    Os

    Bk Bp Mz

    MuSz Ro

    Pn

    Nk

    Kn

    Kk Lv Lo

    Lz Pg

    Mr

    Bk

    Es

    Lb

    Sl

    Sh

    Jl

    Pn Ee An

    AaAharon

    AppelfeldSimon

    WiesenthalTommy Lapid

    Viktor Frankl

    Elie Wiesel

    Janusz Korczak

    Simon Dubnow

    Shimon Shkop

    Raoul Wallenberg

    Oskar Schindler

    JanKarski

    Nicholas Winton

    Nicolaus Rossini

    Victor BodsonJaap Penraat

    Wilm Hosenfeld Varian Fry

    Albert Gring

    Paul Grninger Frank FoleyCarl Lutz

    Abba KovnerAzriel

    Rabinowitz

    Yisrael Meir Lau

    Schindler'sList

    Jakob the Liar

    Eichmann in Jerusalem

    The PianistEuropa Europa

    Maus

    Life isBeautiful