“Ten Plus” group – innovation in Israeli art
The Avant-Gard made it to the front stage in Israel when Ten Plus group began to work here in 1965. The group members: the founder and spiritual father – Rafi Lavi, Beni Efrat, Mati Basis, Amnon Wienstein, Sergio Sagra, Aharon Vitkin, Eitan Kaufman, Gila Zur, Ziona Shimshi, Yosef Gatenyo, Buki Schwartz and Moshe Givati and others.
The Avant-Gard made it to the front stage in Israel when Ten Plus group began to work here in 1965. Ten exhibitions colored the Israeli art through the group’s eyes in a unique and different light from what was known until that time.
The group members: the founder and spiritual father – Rafi Lavi, Beni Efrat, Mati Basis, Amnon Wienstein, Sergio Sagra, Aharon Vitkin, Eitan Kaufman, Gila Zur, Ziona Shimshi, Yosef Gatenyo, Buki Schwartz and Moshe Givati, Efriem Kidron, Pinhas Eshat, Dani Schwartz, Uri Lifshitz, Aharon Doctor.
The spirit that guided the group didn’t challenge any activities, persons or attitudes in the country. The Ten Plus group wanted to display exhibitions that focus on different artistic management and challenge, both in the technical level and philosophical-literature level. They sought to break art routines and change the work in this field. The group members wanted to freshen up the automatic point of view and artistic routines in different ways, so they initiated meetings with other artists from music and film industry, poetry and writes, enriching their world and receiving broader inspiration.
The group worked with a certain standard that specifies activities, meetings and exhibitions’ character. The first exhibition was presented in the artists’ house on February 10th, 1066, and it was named Ten Plus large Works, and it was very impressive and detailed. The exhibition included 17 out of the total group members and its goal was to present not just another exhibition but a unique, young and one of a kind one. That exhibition was a far more significant landmark than what they thought it would be. It turned the group to a brand that made waves in following years; however it was the first and last one in the same form.
The funding means were poor and the exhibition’s catalog was printed according to that. The freedom of action was defined with one limitation and it’s the exhibition theme. Each member could have used any material and method he wanted and Rafi Lavi’s direction was to go as far as they can with their artistic work. His goal was to create extraordinary pieces that put a smile on the observer’s face. The humor he intended on creating was some kind of gimmick for him, but apparently the encounter between this idea and the artists’ general line of thought was somewhat different.
The exhibition artists referred with seriousness because beyond the will to generate the kicking spirit he intended on, they also wanted, naturally perhaps, to gain recognition for their pieces. Some of them maybe didn’t want to hurt their already established good reputation. By the way, Rafi Lavi himself “ended the life” of most of his creation from that exhibition, a fact that raise a question regarding the products’ quality. Nonetheless, the freedom of expression in all the group’s exhibitions allows each artist to present his wild creative imagination. The group worked for about four years (December 1965 – September 1970) and after that it scattered.