Looking Back, Looking Forward: Highlights of Artis’ Work 2021

Published by Artis November 2021

Lecture-performance with artist Dor Guez in New York, 2021.


In 2021, Artis presented 7 public programs exploring the practices of contemporary artists from Israel. Highlights include artist Dor Guez presenting a lecture-performance in New York (pictured above) on the occasion of the presentation of his work in, “Afterlives: Recovering the Lost Stories of Looted Art,” a group show at the Jewish Museum in New York (8/20/21-1/9/22), which is supported by an Artis Exhibition Grant. In his lecture-performance, Dor shared archival material that explores the relationship between art, narrative, trauma, memory, and displacement through personal stories. The program marked the first in-person gathering for Artis since the start of the pandemic; Ecologies of Collaboration, a virtual talk with artist Ofri Cnaani in conversation with curators Roxana Fabius and Patricia Margarita Hernández about the intricacies of working collaboratively, and deepening professional relationships through art practice; and Visible Bodies and the Beauty of Aging, a conversation on gender, feminism, and women in the arts and aging with artist Elinor Carrucci and curator Tal Dekel, moderated by independent curator and Artis Board member, Maya Benton.

Ben Hagari, The Back Side, 2021, installation view, Fundación CALOSA, Guanajuato, Mexico, curated by Artis Curatorial Seminar alum, Omar Lopez-Chahoud.


In 2021, Artis doubled its exhibition grantmaking from previous years, awarding 35 Exhibition Grants to international museums and art institutions spanning 29 cities in 6 continents for significant solo and group exhibitions that feature work by artists from Israel. Highlights include a comprehensive presentations of work by Noa Eshkol as part of the São Paulo Biennial in Brazil, and in a traveling retrospective at Oslo Kunstforening in Norway and Norrköpings Konstmuseum in Sweden; the presentation of work by Nevet Yitzhak in a major group exhibition at Kunsthaus Baselland in Muttenz, Switzerland, exploring the history of large scale video works from the 1970’s to today; Ben Hagari’s first solo exhibition in Mexico at Fundación CALOSA in Guanajuato (pictured above), where he presented a new video installation created while in quarantine in New York; a video work by Yael Bartana presented in a group show at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA, which explores feminism through art practice and received notable press; the presentation of work by Alona Rodeh in a group exhibition at La Casa Encendida in Madrid, Spain, on techno culture and related socio-political power relations; and significant presentations of work by Naama Tsabar in a group exhibition at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, and in a comprehensive and interactive solo exhibition at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami, FL.

In an effort to ease planning challenges due to the pandemic, Artis welcomed applications on a rolling basis in 2021, and encouraged proposals for new forms of exhibition-making that are responsive to the moment. The application period is now closed, and the next open call for exhibition grants is scheduled for February 15 - March 31, 2022, for exhibitions taking place in 2023.

Artist Lihi Turjeman in her studio during a residency at the Fountainhead in Miami, FL, supported by Artis (2021).


In 2021, Artis awarded 18 Residency Grants to artists participating in international residencies, spanning 9 cities on 4 continents. Following a long period of travel restrictions and social distancing in 2020, we are delighted to see independent international travel return, allowing for new residency experiences, professional connections, and creative projects to form.

Highlights from Artis’ residency grantmaking this year include Lihi Turjeman’s residency at Fountainhead in Miami, FL (pictured above), where she developed a new work for an exhibition and symposium on contested public monuments at the Fundación Pablo Atchugarry in Miami; Gil Yefman’s residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn, NY, where he developed an ongoing series of works on felt and shared his practice in an artist talk following the residency; Michal Worke’s residency in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, organized by Addis Fine Arts, that concluded with a group exhibition; and Leor Grady’s residency at Cité internationale des arts in Paris, France, where he conducted site-specific research towards a new project that will be presented in a solo exhibition in Tel Aviv.

Curating on Shaky Grounds, curatorial workshop and symposium organized by Artis in partnership with OnCurating and held at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin.


While the Artis Curatorial Seminar in Israel Program is temporarily on hold due to international travel restrictions, Artis expanded its curatorial programming in new and exciting ways in 2021 through international Curatorial Residencies and an inaugural, five-day Curatorial Workshop and Symposium in Berlin.

The Curatorial Residency Program, launched in 2020, provides international curators the opportunity to spend three months at a partner residency program. During the residency, participants build contacts with arts professionals and institutions in Israel, and develop a curatorial project informed by the experience. Artis welcomed three curators-in-residence this year, and their projects will be announced on the Artis website in early 2022. David Everitt Howe conducted research with artists from Israel on the ways that normative systems, such as the military, define and articulate gender and sexual identities during his residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn, NY; visual anthropologist Ella Navot conducted research on Voice of Peace and other off-shore pirate radio programs as a participant in the Ocean Fellowship in Venice, Italy organized by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary(TBA21–Academy); and curator Maya Bamberger developed new language to describe contemporary art during a virtual residency at Triangle Arts Association in Brooklyn, NY.

In November 2021, Artis presented its most comprehensive curatorial workshop to date, Curating on Shaky Grounds: Curating in Times of Crisis and Conflict, a five-day workshop and symposium organized in partnership with OnCurating and held at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. Featuring contributions from notable scholars, curators, researchers, artists, and activists, the program considered ways in which exhibition-making can create possibilities for regaining differentiated and nuanced viewpoints. The workshop and symposium were attended in-person by close to 80 curators and art professionals, with over 80 additional participants joining over Zoom. An archive of select lectures and workshops that were part of Curating on Shaky Grounds will be viewable on the Artis website in early 2022.

2020 Artis Curatorial Residency Program participant, Patricia Margarita Hernández, conducting a virtual studio visit with artist Ofri Cnaani during her residency, as part of Hernández’s research process. Artwork pictured: Ofri Cnaani, For her Own Good, 2017, an artist book of 100 xerox diptychs.


In 2021, Artis supported the development and realization of 6 curatorial research projects and publications, expanding scholarship about contemporary art from Israel. Highlights include Interregnum: Between emergence and contamination, an online publication and film series that was developed by curator Patricia Margarita Hernández during her participation in the Artis Curatorial Residency Program in 2020 (pictured above), which is viewable on the Artis websiteIsrael’s Transformative Black Artists, a book of interviews with artists of Ethiopian descent from Israel by writer and curator Charles Moore, developed during his participation in the Artis Curatorial Residency Program in 2020 and available for purchase internationally; and The Dividual: A Reader, a publication exploring the notion of the dividual that accompanies a group exhibition of the same name, curated by Joshua Simon and opening at the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA) in April 2022 (exhibition is supported by Artis).

Additionally, Artis awarded 2 Research Grants to develop, and provide international access to, significant artist archives at the Center for Digital Art in Holon, Israel, which houses an archive of early media and conceptual art in Israel; and the Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions (AWARE) in Paris, France, which is a selective online archive of scholarly texts about women artists and will feature biographies and articles on contemporary women artists from Israel. The first entry published is a biography of painter Sionah Tagger, and new entries will be published on a regular basis. Through Research 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.

Dov Or Ner, Untitled, 1983, documentation photo of a sculpture work in the making. Photo by Arie Satchi. Courtesy of the Center for Digital Art, Holon. This image is part of the Center for Digital Art Archive, digitized and developed with the support of Artis.


This year marks the third year of Artis’ Partnership and Acquisition Grant Program. The program develops long-term, multi-year museum partnerships to support acquisitions, research, writing, and curatorial projects that situate the work of artists from Israel at major art institutions worldwide. Since the program’s launch in 2019, Artis has provided significant grants to the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in LA to support the acquisition of artwork by artists from Israel into the permanent collections of museums. Partnership grants are a collaborative, and developed in tandem with select art institutions. Please stay tuned for public announcements about new partnerships and acquisitions in 2022.