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Michal Helfman, Forgive and Forget, 2013, Etched stone, acrylic, Edition of 10, Price: 1500 ILS (per pair)
Inspired by her sensational installation, “Forgive! Forget!” (2011), Michal Helfman’s limited edition features a pair of works, somewhat like a diptych, that can function separately or together. Having “forget” literally written in stone is an ironic nod to the impossibility of forgetting. Similarly, the artist’s wry humor is seen in etching “forgive” on a rock that can easily be imagined hurled in violence, or in place of a gravestone. The two together act to complete one another, and ask the viewer to consider their inter-relationship.
Helfman is known for distorting and inverting images. Her inspiration spans a vast array of sources, from pre-historic remnants to nightclubs, and Modernism to popular culture. Jennifer Higgie wrote in Frieze about Helfman: “Good artists […] know when to stop and when to start, when it’s interesting to poke around in the dark and when it’s time to let a little light in. Michal Helfman is one such artist. With its unpredictable segues between genres, media and moods, the Israeli artist’s solo exhibition […] could, in a word, be described as nuts, but in the way dreams are nuts.”
Michal Helfman (b. 1973) is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Tel Aviv. Holding a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, Helfman has had solo-shows at the Israel Museum (Bat Dor, 2007), and at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (The Lesson, 2009). She has exhibited in numerous international exhibitions including the 50th Venice Biennial, as well as solo shows at San Fransisco’s Institute of Visual Art and at Cardi Gallery, Milan. Helfman is a recipient of the Anselm Kiefer Award of the Wolf Foundation and was a 2008 runner-up for the prestigious Gottesdiener Award. She is currently a lecturer at the BFA and MFA programs of the Bezalel Academy of Art.