In the exhibition “Shadows on a Mountainside”, the artist Shai Yehezkelli presents a new body of paintings that expands the visual lexicon associated with him. The Jewish-diasporic or Orientalist motifs that characterized Yehezkelli’s previous works, give way to an engagement with the painting’s interior spaces. These extend down a sinking ship, up a mountain, or along an arm buried in the ground; they stretch across screens and doors swarming with ghosts or protrude towards the viewer, a single image on a treated background. Among all these, moving shadows dissolve the solidity of the image into restless activity, forever trapped between the painting’s four sides.
The exhibition’s title, which can suggest invisible danger as well as a small comfort on a hot day, resonates in this exhibition as a comic-tragic undertone. For Yehezkelli, the shadow, that same primordial painting technique for achieving the illusion of depth, allows him to engage in whispers and eavesdropping; that is, to listen to the painting.
Text: Keren Goldberg
Shai Yehezkelli (b. 1979, Jerusalem), works have been exhibited in major museums and art galleries in Israel and around the world, his solo exhibitions include: “Art after Chagall – The Breakthrough Century”, The Jewish Museum of Switzerland, Basel; “Slippery Slope”, Beit Uri and Rami Nehoshtan Museum (2021); ”The Great Siesta” Chelouche gallery, Tel-Aviv (2019); ” Maarava”, Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami (2019); ‘Nothing Went Wrong to Write Home About”, 2025 eV, Hamburg (2018); “In Praise of Avalanche”, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Curator: Anat Danon (2016); “Space C”, Haifa Museum of Art, curator: Einat Ziv (2012); and more.
Yehezkelli holds an MFA from the Bezalel Academy, Tel Aviv (2010), and a BFA with Highest Honor (”Summa Cum Laude”) from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem (2006).
Yehezkelli was awarded the Lottery grant for publishing the catalog for the exhibition “In Praise of an Avalanche”, Tel Aviv Museum (2016); The Rappaport Prize for Young Israeli Artist (2015), Lottery grant for the publication of an artist’s book “It’s a wonder that all this evil is not decorated with a mustache” (2014); The Encouragement of Creation Award, on behalf of the master’s degree program in art, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Tel Aviv (2010); the Bank Leumi Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievements (2006) and the Arieli History & Theory Department Prize for excellent achievements, Bezalel academy (2006); and more.