Nahum Gutman Museum of Art - English מוזיאון נחום גוטמן לאמנות Image Map

Ora Eitan - Illustrator

31.9.12 - 15.7.12

Ora Eitan believes that illustration derives from the essence of the reading experience. In addition to the plot, she pays acute attention to the finer points of writing: the text's structure, pacing, sound and tones. Out of all these she creates a parallel universe in visual language, which interprets and intertwines with the text. Each new book she illustrates therefore becomes an adventure, a quest for just the right kind of style and technique. As one of her students said, she illustrates "as if she's never done so before, as if every work is her very first".



Ora Zandhouse was born in Tel Aviv on 1940 and graduated from Bezalel on 1961. She belongs to the new generation of illustrators that freed the early Israeli illustration from its commitment to national ideology and allowed it to flourish in an array of personal styles and artistic inspirations. During the 1980's she moved away from the traditionally predominant line-based style and developed a stain-oriented colorful language, with a tendency to abstraction and minimalism. Eitan's work from this period emits a very pure kind of innocence and simplicity and her child figure is always smiling and open. She developed specifically two motives: the anthropomorphized bunnies and the character of Hannah'leh with her Shabbath dress. Her illustrations for C.N Bialik's children's poems are a personal tribute to her own childhood and to the poems she grew up with. Her technique is varied and changing, from gouache and acrylic on paper to painting on glass and plywood, as well as collages made of self-manufactured texture paper.
Eitan was awarded some of the most important prizes for illustration, including the Ben-Yitzhak medal from the Israel Museum

(3 times) and the Hans Andersen Award (twice). Her corpus of work includes illustrations for the best Israeli writers of children's literature, as well as American children's authors since the 1990's. Featured in this exhibition, alongside the anthology of 22 of Eitan's books, is the premiere showing of her first animated film. This splendid new version of the legend of King Solomon, the bee and the Queen of Sheba (adapted by Bialik, and was originally illustrated by Nahum Gutman, 1933), was created in collaboration with the animator Noa Chernov, her daughter.



Ora Eitan lectured in Bezalel for more than 30 years and raised many generations of illustrators. The Nahum Gutman Museum is proud to honor her tribute to the world of Israeli illustration with this retrospective exhibition.




Tali Tamir,


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