Written By Masha Chinich

..The gallery (which incidentally has jazz and chamber music performances on
Saturdays) is now displaying (to 21 January) works by the artist Neta Dor – classical
etchings and computer drawings, in total about 50 sheets combined in an exhibition
called “Metamorphoses.”

Neta Dor is a well-known artist who has had 37 solo as well as many group
exhibitions, biennials, triennials and others. She has great experience and wide acclaim
as an excellent etcher and can thus allow herself to undergo all kinds of artistic
metamorphoses. These include her fascination with computer drawings and computer
processings of her own, academically strict, tastefully executed etchings which evoke
a gentle, nostalgic attitude to Israeli nature. In these graphics one often encounters
objects such as dried-out trees, single lonely birds, children’s playgrounds with
abandoned toys, representing a true romantic style. These days many enjoy exploring
computer art programmes, yet the seeming accessibility of their “user-friendly
interface” is often delusive. Unwise choice from among hundreds of filters (in
“Photoshop”) or the exhange of soft by luminous colours does not guarantee
interesting results. Dor, however, succeeds in controlling high technologies in an
extremely refined discipline. What distinguishes her computer drawings from her
strict, high quality etchings is their notable spontaneity and freedom.

Behind such different works by the same artist and with such unexpected
transformations from academic to computer drawings there lies an interesting story. In
the artist’s own words, the transition happened when she encountered the biography
of Abad Al-Kashar, a Moslem Arab and former leader of Algeria’s rebellion against
France. When exiled to Syria, he become a socialist, then moved to Israel and was
accepted on a kibbutz. He even changed his name to Dov Golan and became a friend
of Teddy Kolek and Ytzhak Shamir. He was buried in a Jewish cemetary.

The exact connection between that story – related at the opening of the exhibition –
and the artist’s computer drawings is not entirely clear, but Neta Dor is convinced
that the narrative of Al-Kashar’s metamorphoses was the catalyst of her creation of a
series of computer drawings. She began using the technique 3 years ago but when she
showed the current exhibition in Germany it was visited by 11,000 people.

Besides romantic explanation there is more pragmatic one. Dor finds that the
computer allows more options, permits greater creative freedom and spontaneity.
Classical etchings, she says, require tight classifications and frames, minutely detailed
preparations. In contrast, the results of computer drawings are unpredictable. In digital
drawing the effect of the unexpected is powerful…
The exhibition presents etchings from 1994-2000 and a selection of computer
drawings done over the last 3 years.

Horace Richter Gallery in Old Jaffa
27 Mazel Arieh Alley