Past Public Program

Uri Katzenstein: YOU NEVER KNOW exhibition organized by ZAZ10TS and Artis, on display from January 31, 2019 – April 28, 2019

Artis Presents

January 31–April 28, 2019

New York City
Tel Aviv

Thursday, Jan 31, 6-8PM

Links: Press Release ZAZ10TS


The Multidisciplinary Artist Pushed Boundaries and Challenged Genres to Examine and Create Human Connections Through Art


New York-NY—ZAZ10TS, an ongoing cultural initiative that integrates art into the office building, façade and exterior at 10 Times Square in New York City (1441 Broadway), and Artis, an independent nonprofit that supports contemporary artists from Israel, collaborated to present a joint exhibition, YOU NEVER KNOW, celebrating the artistic contributions of the late Israeli artist Uri Katzenstein. The exhibition will launch on January 31, 2019 with a public reception held in the lobby of ZAZ10TS’ office building at 10 Times Square, and remain open to the public and on display at the location through April 28, 2019. This event also marks the first of several commemorative events taking place in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, Israel, as well as New York City and Amsterdam.

New Exhibition
Uri Katzenstein focused his artistic expression on video projects and installations in the latter stages of his career. Using video allowed him to incorporate other elements from his repertoire such as sculpture, performance art and music. His video pieces, including several in the YOU NEVER KNOW exhibition, were often provocative, violent, profane and purposely confusing. Stories he told though video related to the juxtaposition of opposites such as the real and surreal, humanity and non-human objects, and relationships between disparate concepts and experiences.

In the artist’s own words, from a 2015 Haaretz article: “I love to work with the spoilage…These are the things that are incompetent, negligible, like bad roots that grow behind stones, but a lot can come from them like healing plants. Everything that ostensibly has no purpose, but over time can have a very deep purpose,” said Uri Katzenstein. “And this is the concept that is in my work. I am interested in taking you on a journey that is dichotomy, is also enjoyable but also horrible, apocalyptic and primary, and primitive.“

Mirroring the complexities and layers of life, Uri Katzenstein’s videos mixed linear storytelling with bursts of images and vignettes. He created videos to raise more questions than answers, shunning obvious clarity. Uri Katzenstein is also credited with founding a new language called “Backyard font,” developed to depict the English language graphically.

“Uri is an international treasure,” said Tzili Charney, founder and president of ZAZ10TS, and an organizer of the joint exhibition. “He was able to move seamlessly between disciplines and also became a great instructor to the next generation of artists. Capturing his essence in this video exhibition was a priority for ZAZ10TS as well as Artis. We miss him but his art will live on.”

Cross-Border Events
Along with the YOU NEVER KNOW exhibition, ZAZ10TS and Artis will collaborate with groups to produce a series of international events celebrating Uri Katzenstein. Below is the preliminary list of activities; ZAZ10TS will post further information on its website,

  • February 2019 – Tel Aviv Museum of Art will hold a special evening event in the museum’s Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art.
  • April 2019 – ZAZ10S and Artis will present a moderated panel in New York City on Uri Katzenstein’s lasting artistic and cultural impact, featuring noted curators and artists.
  • May 2019 – University of Haifa will hold an event through its Department of Fine Art.

Testing boundaries and forging connections between disparate ideas and concepts became a signature characteristic of Uri Katzenstein’s work. In recognition of his artistic contributions, Uri Katzenstein was honored with several awards, including the Dizengoff Prize for Plastic Arts (2017), and the Dan Sandel and Sandel Family Foundation Sculpture Award (2014), which led to his famous, large-scale solo exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2015 titled Backyard.

“A revered and celebrated artist in his lifetime, Uri’s genre-defying artwork takes on an even greater significance following his untimely death,” said Rivka Saker, founder and board chair of Artis. “Uri took risks in his work in order to make new discoveries. He leaves behind a legacy of curiosity and creativity that will reverberate into the future.”

Uri Katzenstein’s work has appeared at Chelsea Art Museum, Duke University Museum of Art, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, The Israel Museum, and Russian Museum; and at numerous galleries and theatres in Berlin, London, Moscow, New York, San Francisco and Tel Aviv among other global locations. He also participated in several leading art biennials in Instanbul; Poznan, Poland; Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, where he was awarded first prize in 2002. In 2003, Uri Katzenstein was tapped to represent Israel at the prestigious Venice Biennale. He also began teaching in the Department of Fine Art at the University of Haifa in Haifa, Israel in 2003.

The YOU NEVER KNOW exhibition will be on display at 10 Times Square and open to the public Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET, from January 31, 2019 to April 28, 2019.


ZAZ10TS is an ongoing cultural initiative that integrates art into the office building at 10 Times Square in New York City (1441 Broadway). Conceived by Tzili Charney, ZAZ10TS employs the building’s façade, lobby interior and immediate environment to bring art and culture to the building’s community, visitors and passersby. ZAZ10TS takes pride in scouting and showcasing young and emerging talent, as well as special needs artists, as part of its programming. In addition, ZAZ10TS partners with other organizations nationally and internationally to support art. To learn more, visit and @zaz10ts.

Artis is an independent organization that supports contemporary artists from Israel whose work addresses aesthetic, social and political questions to inspire reflection and debate. Artis believes that artists generate transformative experiences and ideas that are essential to local and global culture, and to a rapidly changing world. Artis is dedicated to advancing cultural exchange, fostering valuable connections, sharing knowledge, and creating meaningful opportunities for artists and the global art world through exhibition and residency grants, public programs, curatorial seminars, and research initiatives. To learn more, visit

Uri Katzenstein (1951-2018), is widely known for the inventive performance art, videos, music and sculptures he created such as Backyard, which appeared in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, from 2013 to 2015. Uri also held exhibited at the Chelsea Art Museum and Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam, and at numerous museums, galleries and art biennials around the world. In addition, the multidisciplinary artist—who earned an MFA from the San Francisco School of Art and worked in New York City before returning to his native Tel Aviv—created “Backyard font,” a graphical lexicon of the English language. To learn more, visit

Media Contacts: 

Timi Lewis |
Limei Wang |

Download PDF of Press Release