Ben Uri ‘Talking Art’:
Israeli artist Michael Kovner
Talks to David Glasser
11 July 2013, 8pm
Michael Kovner was born in 1948 in Hadera, Israel, son of Vitka and Abba Kovner who was one of Israel’s leading modern poets. Michael was raised on Kibbutz Ein-Hachoresh, where he connected with the natural landscape as a youngster: “I was deeply attracted to the physical beauty of the world and wanted to give expression to that love through painting.”
After his army service which he served in a select unit which included Israeli Prime Ministers Barak and Netanyahu, Kovner studied with Philip Guston, Jack Tworkov, Steven Sloman and Mercedes Matter amongst others, at the New York Studio School between 1972 and 1975. The experience and influences of this distinguished milieu still remain evident in his work. (1972-1975)
American art critic Donald Kuspit wrote in 2010: “Kovner’s impressionistic-expressionistic rendering of nature [reflects] his aesthetic love affair with nature,” and added that his paintings are “…radiant and intense with light and color…aesthetic delights…”
Kovner’s career includes many solo exhibitions in galleries and museums across Israel including the Museum of Israeli Art (in Ramat Gan outside Tel Aviv) and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and in the USA including the Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco). His paintings are included in major international public and private collections including The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, the Israeli President’s Residence (Jerusalem) and The Jewish Museum (New York).
Michael lives and works both in Israel and the USA.
David Glasser was born and educated in Glasgow. His corporate career was first at Marks and Spencer where he pioneered the ‘Food Only’ store business and then at the Ward White Group prior to the sale of the company to Boots PLC. He initiated the concept of cartoon character ‘branded’ merchandise stores in the UK and ran a diverse set of commercial enterprises before retiring in 1999, originally planned, he points out, for one year only prior to engaging full time (pro bono) in the renaissance of Ben Uri. Since October 2000 he has been Chairman and led the transformation of Ben Uri from a domestic community based art society into a nationally and internationally respected art museum. Ben Uri today proudly represents the Jewish community in the centre of the country’s mainstream visual arts arena, focusing on Art, Identity and Migration and is actively searching for a 40,000 sq. ft. building in the heart of central London within one of the various national gallery / museum locales.