09.12.2016 – 27.05.2017 Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Curator: Ruti Director / The works in the exhibition reflect the vitality and effervescence that motivate Africa today, as well as the chaotic, brutal and at times tragic African reality, and its never-ending changes. Thus the exhibition not only denotes the futurist African direction, but also moves along the axis between an optimist and a pessimist perception of the continent, decades after its gradual liberation from colonialism. The works were created during the post-colonial period: the earliest date to the 1960s and 1970s (Africa’s “Decade of Independence”) and should be viewed as individual cases , as well as expressions of colonialism and its ramifications, through a redefinition of the African body, landscape and culture.
Works created in Israel reflect Little Africa—the growing community of immigrant workers and asylum seekers from Africa in south Tel Aviv. They express various aspects of the Africa–Israel connection, and of the way Africa has assimilated into the Israeli imagination, fantasy and reality.
…A cleaner also appears in a painting by Anna Lukashevsky (Cleaner, 2015): she is depicted from behind, standing against a wall of white-and-yellow tiles, holding a red rag. The square grid that is the wall, with the recurrent red patches of rag, bucket and hosepipe, almost expropriate the painting of its narrativity, until it becomes a surface of forms and colors that invites us to view it as some abstract composition. When the painterly values again become an African cleaning woman against a background of a tiled wall with a faded modernist esthetics, the figure’s loneliness is enhanced.
The dichotomy in depicting Africans in Tel Aviv, on the range between alienation, belonging and acceptance, can be seen in Lukashevsky’s works. In a painting titled Neighbors (2015), two men are depicted on their balcony: one is leaning against the balustrade and speaking on the phone, the other is seated on a chair; washing is hanging on an improvised line stretched between the walls. Trees surround the balcony and the neighbors (the very title exudes warmth) are assimilated into the street as if they were a natural part of the urban being, pastoral in its own way…