"Madonna and Child"

a series of oil paintings on screen
and porcelain sculpture

Collection; Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres
This series started in 1998 with portraits of seated women holding empty blankets. The paintings are done in oil on aluminum wire mesh 68" x 44" each.
A porcelain sculpture of this narrative has been produced at the legendary Sevres porcelain factory in Paris

madonna izhar patkin

Judenporzellan 1998-02
enamel on chrome coat paper, sizes variable
Collections; Jewish museums, NYC and Berlin -
Open Museum, Tefen, Israel

Large-scale collages in a technique that involves cutting, folding and weaving stenciled paper. “Judenporzellan” is based on the story of an 18th century law, which forced Berlin’s Jewry, the Mendelssohn family among them, to buy inferior and overpriced porcelain from the king’s failing factory. (catalog)

The Perfect Existence in the Rose Garden 1988
oil on screen,
40" x 64" each painting

Honolulu Contemporary
Museum, Hawai

Paintings of a golden Gothic Hortus Conclusus, in which the Virgin & child inhabitants were replaced by other metaphors. (catalog)

The Exile 1994
oil on screen,
40" x 64" each painting

Guggenheim Museum, NY.

An allegory of the senses as the isolated inhabitants of a golden Gothic garden in a series of eight oil & gold leaf paintings.

Where Each is Both 1994

blown glass sculpture
168” x 84” x 84”

Guggenheim Museum , NY.


14 ft. blown glass sculpture of a dancing God figure combining the legends of Shiva Nataraja, Carmen Miranda and Josephine baker.

The Meta Bride 1983
Enamel paint on pleated illusion (tulle), 9’ x 8’
collection: Whitney museum of American Art, New York

A black bride painted on white tulle curtain was the centerpiece of this exhibition, which closed on Easter Sunday with a live performance in the gallery.

meta bride izhar patkin

Miscellaneous Texts

Some Thoughts on Izhar Patkin
By DAVID ROSS ARTIS Catalogue, March 2008

It may be the nature of our time that those who reveal what we would rather not acknowledge are ignored or worse, expelled. This may seem clearly true in the world of politics and social relations, yet is equally true in art, though the exclusion may be less obvious. The art world, after all, is composed of unarmed camps that manage contest by making invisible all that they feel the need to deny.
Izhar Patkin is an artist who has faced up to the test of critical expulsion, and has survived his time in the wilderness quite well, thank you. Full Story and other miscellaneous texts



The Messiah’s glAss 2007
glass, steel
43” x 85” x 124” (edition 3)

Collection CIRVA glass furnace, Marsailles, France

Inspired by Seffi Rachlevsky’s 1998 controversial best-seller, The Messiah’s Donkey (in Hebrew). The book investigates the new creed of Messianic Judaism in Israel, which views the secular Jew as a donkey. To them, the donkey serves as nothing more than the messiah’s vehicle; ride him, then discard him.
In Patkin’s glass sculpture, the bodies of an ark of covenance and a donkey are merged together, and a crowned donkey head takes the place of the Torah.

don quijote izhar patkin
Don Quijote Segunda Parte 1987

Miguel de Cervantes’ volume one of Don Quixote was published in 1605. After its success, a man by the name of Alonzo Fernández de Avellaneda decided to cash in on Cervantes' success and write a Volume Two. In Cervantes’ 1615 part II, Sancho tells Don Quixote: “ . . . he told me that your worship’s story is already in print under the title of The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha. He says that I’m mentioned too under my own name of Sancho Panza, and so is the lady Dulcinea del Toboso, and so are other matters which happened to us in private. It made me cross myself in wonder, to think how the story-writer could have learnt all that.”

anodized cast aluminum, life size
92 x 75 x 40” (edition 5)

Public Collections: Guggenheim Museum, NY Ringling Museum, Florida
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California

Don Quixote 'reading' The Adventures of Don Quixote Part II, while looking in a mirror. (catalog)


The Black Paintings 1985-1986
a room of wall size paintings in ink and enamel on pleated neoprene, 14’ x 22’ x 28’

Museum of Modern Art, NY.

A grand scale room of painted black rubber curtains based on Jean Genet’s play: The Blacks: A clown show. (catalog)


the characters

Interview with Izhar Patkin
By HERBERT MUSCHAMP Spring 1986, New York City

HM: One of the surprise entertainments of The Black Paintings you showed last spring (at the Limbo Gallery, New York City) was to watch the reaction of the viewer. It was though you took them by the hand over the threshold into the idea of narrative in contemporary art - it was done on such a big scale and with such an explicit literary connection to Genet’s play that they couldn’t miss it - but once they were inside there seemed to be a language problem. it was like watching a group of travelers entering a foreign country and trying to order a meal. There was food all over the place but no Berlitz handbook . . . Full Story

Great Curtains I Have Known

I had the opportunity to watch Izhar Patkin paint his Black Paintings, in a big, filthy, unheated room on Broome Street. I used to visit this studio almost daily while the work was in process. I rarely stayed very long, but the painting changed each day, and I didn’t want to miss a thing. And the painting wasn’t the only thing that changed. Graham Greene once said that the difference between writing a short story and writing a novel is that the person who finished a novel is not the same person who started it. Full Story




back to catalog page 1