From 29 June 2023
Curator: Elsy Lahner
Exhibition: 29 June – 19 September 2023
Daily | 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday & Friday | 10 a.m. to 9 p.m
Albertinapl. 1, 1010 Wien
Ofer Lellouche Portrait of the Artistwith a Bust of his Father, 2019
Mixed media on paper150 × 105 cm Collection ofthe Artist© Ofer Lellouche Foto: Elad Sarig
29 June –19September 2023
Destruction, decay, mutilated and burned bodies, disfigured faces. Ofer Lelloucheportrays human beings in a way that is as mystical as it is radical. The output of this Tunisian-born Israeli artists brings up the oldest universally valid question pertaining to human existence: Why?
The human being as a stranger in the world, the individual abandoned by God, is a prominent theme of all eras and cultures. But in light of millennia of persecution, it is a question that enjoys a special status and degree of topicality in historical and—unfortunately—present-day Jewish thought. Lellouche also approaches this theme in light of his own multicultural identity: with the “why” always being central. Be it in the Bible or in the Talmud: in Hebrew, this existential interrogative shares the same numerical value as the word for human being (Adam), thus referring to the existing close and eternally valid connection between these two words
Ofer Lellouche Self-portrait with a Sunset I, 2011Woodcut170x 90cm
The ALBERTINA Museum, ViennaPhoto: Elad Sarig© Ofer Lellouche
The self-portrait and the human body are the most important themes in Lellouche’s oeuvre. His bodies are naked and exposed, as God created them, with how or why they were mutilated remaining a Kafkaesque mystery. Lellouche does not offer any ways out, nor does he provide a possible iconography of liberation: his figures, who seem dark and threatening, greet us with blank stares. Despite their passivity, however, the mere presence of these bodies forces us with shocking power and unsurpassed intensity to confront the question of being
Lellouche, who lives in Tel Aviv and Paris, began experimenting with video art and painting in the 1970s and has worked with a wide range of media from drawing to sculpture, etching, and woodcut over the course of his career to date. His works stand out for their unmistakability much as do those of Alberto Giacometti and Jim Dine, the latter of whom is a personal friend.
Ofer Lellouche Two, 2005 Bronze
Collection of the Artist © Ofer Lellouche | Foto: Elad Sarig
Of significant importance to the process behind his works’ creation is the unity of content and form: instead of forcing an abstract idea upon an arbitrarily chosen medium, he deliberately allows the specific characteristics of said medium—be it a woodcut, a metal plate, or a bronze casting—to determine his respective works’ final outcomes
The ALBERTINAMuseum owns several of the artist’s important woodcuts and sculptures, which it has already been able to show in various presentations of its collection. He has now donated a considerable number of his drawings and prints to the current exhibition.
Curator: Elsy Lahner
Ofer LelloucheSelf-Portrait with a Raised Hand, 2012Charcoal on paper 80 × 120 cm
The ALBERTINAMuseum, Vienna –Donated byOfer Lellouche 2023 in memory of Jan Krugier Photo: Elad Sarig © Ofer Lellouche
Ofer Lellouche *1947 in Tunis, Tunesien
is an Israeli painter, printmaker, sculptor and video artist who was born in Tunisia.
Ofer Lellouche was born in Tunisia, 1947. He studied Mathematics and Physics at Saint Louis college, Paris.
In 1966, two months before his final examinations he ran away from home to kibbutz Yehiam in the Western Galilee, Israel. In 1968, during his military service, he suffered severe hepatitis which immobilized him for several months. It was during this illness that he started to paint. He first studied with Yehezkiel Streichman, an abstract lyrical painter, at the Avni Institute of Art in Tel Aviv. He later returned to Paris to study with the sculptor Cesar, At the same time obtaining a master’s degree in Literature. His thesis concerned the work of Stephane Mallarme.
A painter, sculptor, and etcher, Ofer Lellouche lives and works in Tel Aviv and Paris. His work has been exhibited at world-renowned museums, including the Gulbenkian Museum of Modern Art in Lisbon, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art the Israel Museum Jerusalem, the CAFA Museum in Beijing, the Hymalayas Museum in Shanghai, and the Albertina Museum Wien. He has been represented by the Jan Krugier Gallery untill its closure in 2012.
Although he began his artistic career in the 1970s by concentrating on video art, Ofer Lellouche soon felt a need to “get back to basics”: painting. For many years, the painted self-portrait was his consuming passion. Lellouche later branched out to landscapes, the still life, and the nude model. Most recently, this versatile artist has focused on sculpture.
Ofer Lellouche has also published theoretical treatises, including “Reflections on Narcissism”, “The Nude Descending a Staircase”, “Numbers: Thoughts on Diane Michener’s Photography”, and “The Wedding of Narcissus and Echo”.Ofer Lellouche is represented by
Ditesheim & Maffei Fine Art SA Neuchatel Gordon Gallery Tel Aviv