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TO THE CATALOGUE OF PICTURES OF BORIS LEKAR

 

About Artist Boris Lekar
 

See also "Boris Lekar's Picture"

BORIS LEKAR

Born In 1932 in Kharkiv, Ukraine, In 1950-56 he studied pictorial art and architecture. Between 1959 and 1989 he lived in Kiev, worked in the field of pictorial, monumental, plastic arts and architecture. Since 1990 he has lived in Jerusalem (Israel). His pictorial works are exhibited in many private collections in various countries, including Ukraine, the United States, France and Japan as well as the collection of the Museum of Israel. Boris Lekar is a laureate of the Mordecai Narkis prize (1996) and the prize of the Israeli Absorbtion Ministry (1998).

Main exhibitions held in recent years:

1991 personal exhibition in the House of Zionist
Confederation in Jerusalem and exhibition in the Tova
Ossman Gallery in Tel Aviv;
1992 personal exhibitions in the Jerusalem Artist's
House and the Nora Gallery in Jerusalem;
1993 personal exhibition in the Jerusalem Theater;
1994 personal exhibition lsraeli Views in the
Architect's House in Kiev, a personal exhibition in the muse
um of the Artists' Village in Ein-Charod; participation in the
exhibitions Artist Inviting Artist in the Jerusalem Artist's
House and Nisayon in the Kiev Artist's House;
1995 exhibitions New Art from Israeli Galleries and
Art Expo in New York, a personal exhibition in the kibbutz
Ein-Gedi;
1996 exhibitions "Landscape - Before and Now, the
State Museum, Nikozia (Cyprus) and StiII Life, the gallery
of the Village of Artists, Jerusalem;
1997 personal exhibition in the gallery Binyaney ha-
Uma Jerusalem, a personal exhibition in the Jerusalem
Artist's House;
1998 personal exhibition in Beit-Gabriel, Kinnereth,
personal exibition in the Museum of Rami and Uri, Ashdod-
Jaeob, Israel;
1999 exibition 100 years of the israeSy water-colon),
Museum of Israel, Jerusalem.
 

M. PETROVSKY. PREFACE

M. PETROVSKY. PREFACE
For artist Boris Lekar the whole world, while preserving its integrity, is clearly divided into material objects and spirituality, which is contained in them and emanated by them. His attitude to materiality is skeptical, while he is in love with spirituality. His pictures reflect matter's destructive conversion into a spiritual power. We witness some strange artistic spiritualism: spiritual essence, which, in the artist's opinion, is contained in all things, is breaking through the material shell.
With light, water-color strokes, with the persistence of a Barbizon School student, he constantly engraved Kiev landscapes seen outside his house, sunsets and sunrises, seasons, instant changes of light. And water in which he dipped his brushes, mixing with the water of the painted Dnieper or rain, washed out the momentary objectiveness, revealing some eternal meanings in it. In the series of the Kiev water-colors he has reduced color to an unbelievable degree, so that ten steps away it seemed like the papers are blank, five steps away - that there is something, and onl
Boris Lekar. Portrait of Janusz Rorczaky coming very close you could discern the objects of the landscape. And the remarkable thing is: when looking closely, you were impressed by their colorfullness because though the brightness of colors was reduced, their correlation was preserved. Thus, one and the same music tune can be played in different octaves, and moving further and further to the left or to the right, go beyond the limits of the keyboard and even beyond the limits of the human hearing. But there, beyond these limits, in the zone of non-hearing, the correlation of notes (at least theoretically) will remain the same. Taking the image onto the verge (almost beyond the verge) of human sight, beyond the limits of its keyboard, Boris Lekar challenges materiality for the sake of its own spirituality.
In fact, Boris Lekar resolves the problem which is unsolvable for an artist, at least for an artist remaining within the limits of the mimetic art - to picture the world of pure spirituality. Because the artist of this choice perceives the world only as a visible one, i.e. that of objects, things, matter. However, Boris Lekar insists that he, like Meterlink (remember the Blue Bird?) takes out to the scene of his canvas not bread, but rather the soul of bread, not sugar but rather the soul of sugar, not water but rather the soul of water. His lsraeli Views are, of course, the soul of Israel. Everyone who has ever been to that country will testify to the correspondence of Boris Lekar's views to nature - both in specific details and, first and foremost, in the penetrating blue and yellow colors, which Andrei Bely (for another occasion) has described as gold in sky-blue. Unsolvable problems remain unsolvable, but in solving them, the master makes artistic discoveries.
The same was true in the Kiev works of Boris Lekar, for instance, in his series of portraits. The spiritual aureole of the persons portrayed is expressive on its own - of Mozart or Janus Korczak - but in their portraits you see an aureole rather than a figure, along with apparent similarity and characteristic features.
As in a picture made not in light-waves but rather in heatwaves, the hottest surfaces dominate; in Boris Lekar's portraits, faces are reflected in the heat-waves of shining spirituality, overcoming their own materiality.
We could interpret this constant struggle with spirituality as appealing to a so-called national mentality. The Jewish religious tradition, for several thousand years, has barred pictures of a certain kind: thou shalt not make thee any graven image. Having broken into the emancipated fine arts, Jewish artists (especially those of the turn of the century) began to picture the world using various kinds of destructions, as if trying to avoid the bar but at the same time sensing its pressure. But here is the problem: has this well-known Jewish mentality been shaped as a result of this ancient ban, or was the ban itself born of this Jewish mentality? The answer is probably known to God alone, but, in reconstructing the visible world Boris Lekar is simultaneously making and not making a graven image.
The strange dualism of Boris Lekar's material and spiritual substances may be also explained through his social circumstances, the specific circumstances of Soviet life, which surrounded the artist before his departure.
The material image of this world was too real, its pressure on the artist was too rough, the artist's spirit was chased too deep into the underground. In protecting it, he made his spiritual essence dominant in his artistic world, and attributed to it the extrinsic status of visibility. This may have been the internal dissidence of Boris Lekar. Artists of his generation manifested their social opposition and personal stance in different ways. He did it this way.
When Kievites of the past beheld in their our city another City and called their Kiev - Jerusalem, they also revealed the spiritu-al in the material.

Miron Petrovsky (Kiev)

G. OSTROVSKY. PREFACE

Boris Lekar is an extraordinary person in the creative world. A recent architect in Kiev, even here in Israel he found ways to exercise his abilities and knowledge in searching for and academic study of ancient Jewish architectonics, and with this purpose in mind he visited Germany, Turkey, India and other countries. His services have been well rewarded. But Lekar's significance as an artist is no less important. His personal exhibitions took place in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, othe cities of the country, and lately some of his works supplemented the modern art collection of the Museum of Israel (which is extremely unusual if not an exception among newly repatriated artists). Lekar is not an artist of an experiential school of thought (l sing of what I see), but rather of a philosophical one, fastening his eyes on the depths of the entity, which are hidden from the eyes of a superficial and indifferent spectator; open not so much and not only to the sensual tangible images of this world, but rather to the emanations of the superior forces, invisible to the eyes. His pictures cause one to think not of everyday life, but rather of the being, of the concentrated meditation far from the worldly bustling;
Boris Lekar. Portrait of Mozartyet, at the same time, this is not abstract mysticism, but rather visual images, embodied in color and form of the fine arts. These works have to be seen, while any copy gives only far away and rough impressions. You will never pass quickly by them as a vacuous spectator, you have to stand before them, peer deliberately, and then your work of mind and feelings will be rewarded.
In his pictures from the lsraeli Antiquities* cycle, architectural monuments appear as if from the depth of the infinite and very rich space, perceived through a graphic metaphor of the historical space . The artist's eyes penetrate through the thick veil of ancient times, drawing out of almost cosmic distance objective evidence of the life of our ancestors of the biblical epochs. Lekar, if I may say so, actualizes archeology, links museum antiquities with the modern mind, making us sense consanguinity with this land, with the history and culture of its people. The same task has been set before the water-color series, and it is carried out in very peculiar, almost monochrome, landscapes of Israel, painted in one tonality. Fata morgana, mirages and visions appear in the sand vagueness, in whose hardly discernible profiles a careful viewer will recognize the walls and towers of the ancient Jerusalem, the waters of the Kinnereth and the Dead Sea, the hills of Zfat, the Negev desert...
One unique characteristic of Lekar's works of art is light. Not the light which illuminates an object or a picture from the outside, but the light emanating from the picture itself, coming from its unapproachable depths. Is it mysterious light of gone-out stars, spiritual light of the people, once buried in the sand, dispersed and then risen back to life? There can be many hypotheses and interpretations; I would guess that even the artist has no exhaustive answer to all the questions. Arts are arts rather than exact sciences because they appear in an inseparable composition of knowledge, feelings, and intuition, conscious and subconscious; if we try and separate them in an analysis, we run a risk of destroying that which turns a canvas or a sheet of paper with colors on it into a masterpiece of fine art.
The artist's palette is recherche lapidary, color characteristics are hidden in hardly discernible tinctures. These are not sights, but a landscape of soul, not pictures of the land, but mirages shaping on the verge between the real and the unreal realms. Lekar's landscapes are a kingdom of silence and loneliness: a man stays one on one with the original greatness of nature and neither rustling leaves, nor a flying bird, nor a running animal breaks the eternal original silence. These pictures are to be seen and listened to - not to the sound, but to the silence penetrated by an untouchable thought and feeling of the artist, his reverence before the perfection of the being. Sometimes it seems like this is the nature of the first days of creation, and only in a few compositions do silhouettes of a house on a rock or a yacht in a bay bring us back to today.
Pictures and words cannot be equivalent to each other, even less so when the essence of the picture is not in the materiality of its object, but rather in the intangibility of its mood. Descriptions leave room for a miracle of transfiguration of form and color into pure spirituality. Boris Lekar's works are of this kind.

Grigory Ostrovsky (Jerusalem)
 


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