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About the exhibition in the UN 2017

(only the articles in English)

The Jerusalem Post

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Israeli-Orna-Ben-Ami-seeks-to-bring-attention-to-refugees-at-the-UN-484710

 

 The Tower Magazine

http://www.thetower.org/4648-israeli-sculptors-new-exhibit-displayed-at-un-examines-refugees-and-their-possessions/

 

The Jewish week

http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/israeli-art-exhibit-highlighting-refugee-crisis-open-at-un-delegates-entrance/2017/03/02/

 

The Washington Post

Israeli artist Orna Ben-Ami's one-room exhibition at Hillyer Art Space appears so eager to walk us back in time that the pull is irresistible, and we go... Her sculptural renditions of the stuff of everyday life -- a metal-frame twin bed, a park bench with a shrouded figure lying on top, a baby's cradle -- evoke Robert Gober's neurotic objects from the 1990s. Her materials -- all her forms are made from matte-finish iron -- conjure Richard Serra's forbidding works in lead and steel from the 1970s and 1980s. And her exhibition's tenor, its atmosphere of the uncanny and squelched hopes, harks back to surrealism as practiced by Magritte and Dali

Ben-Ami's remarkable facility with her material compels us to keep looking. She works and welds heavy metal into nearly delicate forms. The leather belt in one work looks supple, the stretched canvas of another piece appears legitimately pliable. You have to look very closely -- almost touch these pieces with your eyes -- to remind yourself they're not really made from leather or tarp.

Such an exceptional capacity to transform metal into something else proves an apt visual metaphor for Ben-Ami's project. In the artist's hands, iron shifts shape as easily as our hopes and dreams. Just as we use fantasy to escape the less tolerable clutches of reality, so Ben-Ami imbues her material with the power of transmutation.

Jessica Dawson

 

 

Charlotte Observer North Carolina

Feb. 2009

Hickory's visiting sculptor, Orna Ben-Ami, makes her art with a welder's torch, bringing a feminine touch to metalworking.

She turns hot iron into what appears to be soft fabric: a ballet slipper, a child's pinafore, a pillow still bearing the imprint of a sleeper's head.

Twenty-nine of her metal sculptures are on display in "The Softness of Iron” exhibit, at the Hickory Museum of Art through April 5.

Ben-Ami, an Israeli, spent a week in Hickory in early February, talking about her work with art teachers, students, community groups and gallery visitors.

Some found it hard to believe the slight woman is a welder, using a torch, grinders and cutters to create her art.

She coaches herself to deal with the metal, to bend it to her vision. "I tell myself it is fabric, not iron.”

Most sculpture is about people, but Ben-Ami focuses on ordinary objects that may tell the viewer something about their absent owner, themselves or the artist.

She wants to make her pieces ambiguous, allowing the viewer to decide what they mean.

Dianne Whitacre Straley

Special Correspondent

 

 

 

Kol Israel (Israel Radio) Channel 2

Commentator Miri Crimolowski:

"Orna Ben-Ami is very talented, and I want to tell you that it is so exciting to see photos of the national emblem of the State of Israel, on a huge banner, in a central place in Italy".

 

her artistic impulses…her works, like the piece titled "The Cradle", communicate emotions in the context of personal and social narratives.

 

Salt Lake City Weekly

She turns hot iron into what appears to be soft fabric: a ballet slipper, a child's pinafore, a pillow still bearing the imprint of a sleeper's head.

Twenty-nine of her metal sculptures are on display in "The Softness of Iron” exhibit, at the Hickory Museum of Art through April 5.

Ben-Ami, an Israeli, spent a week in Hickory in early February, talking about her work with art teachers, students, community groups and gallery visitors.

Some found it hard to believe the slight woman is a welder, using a torch, grinders and cutters to create her art.

She coaches herself to deal with the metal, to bend it to her vision. "I tell myself it is fabric, not iron.”

Most sculpture is about people, but Ben-Ami focuses on ordinary objects that may tell the viewer something about their absent owner, themselves or the artist.

She wants to make her pieces ambiguous, allowing the viewer to decide what they mean.

Dianne Whitacre Straley

Special Correspondent

 

Hickory Daily Record

Feb. 2009

The Israeli artist has had solo exhibitions across the United States and in Europe. In the catalog, Orna Ben-Ami: Iron Sculptures that accompanies the exhibition, Ruthi Ofek, Chief Curator for the Tefen Open Museums in Israel, writes: "Ben-Ami's use of daily practical objects invites personal interpretation, hence the sculptures' immediate dialogue with the viewer."

Ben-Ami's sculptures are symbols, whether of childhood memories, personal experiences or universal meanings; all of which are open to interpretation. Many of her works can be related to her life, which is "still surrounded by remnants of the Holocaust and the current circumstances in modern day Israel."

 

Life, Death, Love, Parting, Memory, Longing . . .

Hana Kofler

The oeuvre of Orna Ben-Ami is one long continuous journey from the invisible to the conscious and the visible. From the beginning, she exchanged the “raw materials” of her soul with iron and focused her gaze and attention on the hidden dimension of this hard substance. Despite the physical effort it entails, Ben-Ami is committed to working in iron, which demands experience and high technical skill. She subdues the stiff metal with her own hands, though her touch differs from that of a male sculptor’s, such as Kadishman, Tumarkin, Shemi, Meller or Dorchin who once referred to himself as a “manual laborer-sculptor.” Ignoring iron’s unyielding nature, she “trains” and “softens” it until its materiality is assimilated into the existential essences on which the whole of her work is founded: memory, life, death, love, parting, longing . . .

 

Her first longing is expressed in the commemoration of the landscape of her childhood—Gedera. She “sketches” the place in a few simple iron strokes—references to a cypress tree, a citrus tree and a water tower: a clear Israeli emblem that can convey a similar melting-pot experience in collective memory. This was the image of the landscape that she took with her from there, the landscape that continued to flicker, even after she moved, when still a child, with her family to another place, and from there to yet another place, until a ritual developed of leaving, wandering and acclimating anew with every transition that was forced upon her. The exhibition begins in Gedera, from where she extracted that first memory that she preciously guarded in her heart.

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Ironic Iron: The Sculpture of Orna Ben-Ami

Alessandro Masi

 

From my acquaintance with the oeuvre of the sculptor Orna Ben-Ami, and as I write this brief introduction to her work, I have but one regret, that I could not follow the evolution of her research from her beginnings as an artist up to the present day. It is widely acknowledged that sculpture has had its ups and downs in the modern era. Since the end of World War II it has suffered a precipitous decline due to the abandonment of sculpture as celebratory and ornamental art, contrary to the important position it had always held as a synthetic element in urban planning and architecture. Relinquishing their worldly role, sculptors preferred to retreat into a series of differentiated narrative modes which we, the viewers, do not always understand, though perhaps only in an anti-rhetorical sense more analogous to our taste.

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