New Horizons Group
The founders of the group were Yosef Zeriski, Yechezkel Shtreichman and Avigdor Stimatchki.
New Horizons group was founded in 1948 and navigated its actions in order to increase the influence of international art on visual arts in Israel. It should be noted that the visual art in Israel at the time was composed of known and traditional local arts, and art that was influenced by elements in the field that were prominent in Europe and USA. The main products of this group lyrical paintings and sculptures characterized by elements of abstraction which express artistic values such as texture, composition and shape.
The group founders, Yosef Zeriski, Yechezkel Shtreichman and Avigdor Stimatchki, also invited to the circle Aharin Kahana, Moshe Profs, Chaim kiwa, Yechiel Shemi, Zvi Meirovich, Pinhas Abramovich, Mordechai Arieli, Avshalom Okshi, Marsel Yenko, Dov Feigin, Robert Baser, Avigdor Louizada, Yaakov Veksler, Moshe Castel, Arie Aruch, Yitzhak Denzinger, Yohanan Simon, Ruth Zarfati, Moshe Shtranshos and others.
Even if artistically there was an international sense in most of the creations made by the group members, many of them still reffered to the country’s scenary and adopted the Canaanite sculpture. This kind of sculpture characterized the Canaanites group which was founded before New Horizons, and put on the exhibitions shelves sculpture creations influenced by the Fertile Crescent Art, meaning art in a primitive style.
The reasons for New Horizons Group’s founding
The group worked until 1963 and was founded due to the will to artistically express a unique Israeli style the draws its inspiration from European Modern Art, a goal that wasn’t in line with the painters and sculptors association in Israel that worked at the same time.
The actual catalyst for the group’s founding was a decision made by the chairman of the painters and sculptors association, Yosef Zeriski, to invite certain artists to an international exhibition in Venice and not invite others. This decision was his alone and he didn’t counsel anyone. Zeriski was removed from the association and in light of this event some of the artists decided to withdraw from the association and asked to found an independent body.
Israeli at flourishing in the desert
The group included 15 artists who chose to boycott the general exhibition of Israel artists, and they founded a new artists’ center (The Artists House) in Tel Aviv. The first exhibition they presented (1948) was named “New Horizons” and it expressed the need to change the artistic spirit in the country with a clear tendency to create Israeli art. After two years, the group created its creed to which it operated. According to the creed the group strived for high quality visual art in the spirit of contemporary art. During 1949 they presented two other exhibitions.
Gideon Ofrat told about New Horizon group that he found similarities between its painting and sculpture, and creations of the Canaanites group. The increasing interest in sculptures that reflect the Israeli spirit and scenery could be also felt in the international symposium that was performed in 1962 in Mizpe Ramon, in the desert. This subject received another reinforcement in Yona Fisher’s research, that emphasized the art of the 60’s, and was interested, as many others, in scenery sculpture, especially Israel desert. However, most of the group members managed to create an abstract art, though not “absolute and pure”; they created abstraction with a connection to the Israel scenery. Examples for creations from those years painted by Yosef Zeriski: “Techiam” – 1951, “Naan” – 1950-1952″, in which a formative abstraction of scenery texture can be visible.