A Year of Art & Imagining: Highlights of Artis’ Work 2019 – 2020

Published by Artis August 2020

Michal Helfman, Edition of X, 2019, video still from Dear A.S.A/P, video installation at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 2020.


Over the past six months, and in response to the challenges of the pandemic, Artis has adjusted programming to engage artists, curators, writers, scholars, and supporters that are part of our global community. In this spirit, Artis awarded Emergency Grants to 10 artists whose projects were cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, addressing immediate financial insecurities and work uncertainties that artists experienced.

In order to stay in touch with artists about their practice in these uncertain times, Artis published a new series of in-depth interviews with artists from Israel. The series includes written interviews and recorded conversations with artists about their experience of social distancing, quarantine, and delving into current topics in contemporary art and culture that they address in their practice. In addition, Artis organized virtual studio visits online with artists from Israel for curators and collectors, in an effort to continue building critical connections that support artistic processes and advance artists’ careers, at a time when we cannot share a physical space.

Naama Tsabar, Work on Felt (Variation 22) Purple, 2019.


In 2019, Artis marked the inauguration of a special fund devoted to deepening partnerships with museums and supporting acquisitions, research, writing, and curatorial projects that situate the work of artists from Israel at major art institutions worldwide. Through this initiative, we have inaugurated a major Acquisition Grant and Research GrantProgram.

Through the Acquisition Grant Program, Artis partners with leading international museums to provide support for the acquisition of work by artists from Israel into the institution’s permanent collection. Artis’ Research Grant Program that provides support to institutions for the development of public archives and research materials on contemporary art from Israel. This year, Artis awarded 4 Acquisition Grants that provide support for the acquisition of artwork by Guy Ben Ner and Roee Rosen into the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France; and 2 works by Naama Tsabar into the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in Los Angeles, CA (pictured above).

Artis awarded 3 Research Grants to develop, and provide international access to, significant artist archives at the Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Center for Digital Art, Holon, and the Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions (AWARE) in Paris, France. Through these grants, archival material about artists from Israel will be made available to the public online, and for in-person research, as part of an effort to disseminate the dynamic history of modern and contemporary art practice in Israel.

Guy Goldstein, Freigedank (Free Thinker), 2017, installation view at the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel, 2017.


Artis awarded 14 Exhibition Grants to international institutions for timely exhibitions that include artists from Israel, and 12 Residency Grants for artists to participate in top international residency programs taking place in 2020. Artis has been working closely with grant recipients to help navigate the planning and execution of projects, given new challenges posed by the pandemic.

Highlights from this year of grantmaking include Sharon Ya’ari’s first solo exhibition in Germany at Kunstmuseen Krefeld in Krefeld, Germany, currently on view through the end of the year; a new video by Dani Gal commissioned for the contemporary art festival steirischer herbst ’20 in Graz, Austria; a residency and exhibition of new work by the painting collective New Barbizon at De Appel in Amsterdam, marking the collective’s first institutional show in Europe, which has recently been reformulated as an online exhibition; Naama Tsabar’s participation in a group show at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, that presents new interpretations of Andy Warhol’s 1985 photobook, America ; Guy Goldstein’s residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE, for the development of new work that will be shown in a solo show at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, NE, organized by alumni of our Curatorial Seminar in Israel Program; and Tamar Ettun’s residency at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas.

We are currently in the process of reviewing an unprecedented number of Exhibition Grant applications that we received from international museums and art institutions across Europe, the U.S., and Asia for curatorial projects and exhibitions taking place in the Fall of 2020 and in 2021. In response to the impact of the pandemic on art institutions, we welcomed proposals for new formats of exhibition-making that are adaptive to the moment. Applications are being reviewed by an international jury and the Artis Board, and grant awards will be announced in the Fall of 2020.

Visit to the MoBY: Museums of Bat Yam during the Curatorial Seminar in Israel, summer 2019.


Engaging influential curators in key cities internationally, Artis’ curatorial programming expanded in 2020 to include Curatorial Seminars, Workshops, and Residencies, focused on the work of artists from Israel. Artis’ curatorial programming aims to develop scholarship, build networks, and amplify the recognition of contemporary art practice in Israel.

In June 2019, we hosted our 22nd Curatorial Seminar in Israel, which was our most international trip to date. 9 curators from 7 cities participated in a robust 6-day itinerary, including studio visits with leading artists and curators, visiting cultural institutions, and meeting with museum directors. Participants in this trip have already developed written pieces and curatorial projects from their experiences. The 2020 Curatorial Seminar in Israel has been postponed due to pandemic-related international travel restrictions. This seminar is tentatively rescheduled for May 2021, and we are currently reviewing over 50 applications received for this trip.

Artis hosted 2 Curatorial Workshops in New York and Tel Aviv, which brought together influential curators, from their respective cities, for a day of discussions about relevant issues, focusing on art, politics, and society. Curatorial Workshops engage curators and arts professionals in international hub cities with vibrant arts communities, making connections to the practice and perspective of artists from Israel. Pictured above, Belgium-based performance theorist Bojana Cvejić facilitated a Curatorial Workshop for Tel Aviv-based curators in the Winter of 2020, while Cvejić was in Israel on an independent trip to Israel, supported by Artis.

Most recently, in an effort to deepen our commitment to the creative community in New York City—where the Artis office is based, and where individuals and institutions have been deeply impacted by the pandemic—Artis launched a Curatorial Residency Program for New York-based curators to develop research, writing, and projects that integrate artists and cultural practitioners from Israel. The curators-in-residence selected to participate in the program this Summer are conducting research and virtual studio visits with artists in Israel, while immersed in an international artistic community at the host residency program, the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn, NY. The curators-in-residence will present their projects on Artis’ website in the Fall of 2020.