welcome to the art exhibition
Jerusalem in Odessa or Odessa in Jerusalem?
The spiritual distance between Jerusalem and Odessa is, of course, entirely
different from the geographical distance between two cities. This is clear to those who
are familiar with the development of Hebrew culture in the last generations and know the
importance of the Seaside City in the Soviet Union, in relation to the growth of the
Jewish national movement of revival.
So it was that Michael Matusevich's paintings awakened in Me a special curiosity the minute I became acquainted with their creator.
Naturally, I expected to find in those paintings of the landscapes that our great writers such as Mendele Mocher Sephorim, Ahad Ha-am, Bialik, Schneour and others saw with their own eyes.
However, something I didn't know was that the scenes of Odessa could blend so naturally with the scenes of the country of Israel, in old Tel-Aviv and in certain areas in Jerusalem. Such is the case in many of Matusevich's pictures. For as with all excellent painters, he is faithful to his "inner voice"; however, unlike many artists who came to this country, his firmly rooted art did non give birth to a polarization between "there" and "here" - if one is to use an expression in vogue today - but brought of synthesis.
As though he walks, very often, an invisible path that joins two cities and melts them into one seemingly spiritual unity, even though the artist may appear as no more than a painter bent on recording his surroundings, anchored in reality.
This is obviously only the point of view of one whose lyric interest is based on but a portion of all of artist's creation: Matusevich has other means of expression, demonstrating the richness of his world and his great command of creative techniques.
All this is entirely subjective outlook, and only a personal reaction to what awoke in Me an innermost longing some sort of landscape I had never known.
And in truth, that is secret strength of the paintings in my view: to arouse such a feeling.
By Itamar Yaoz-Kest
the art exhibition