Sale: Contemporary Art Auction Date of sale: 07.07.2024 Item: 13

Roni Teharlev

Harry, 2023,
Oil on canvas, 90×60 cm.
Signed and dated.

Ronit Taharlev (b. 1964) is a leading Israeli figurative painter. In her work, she focuses on realistic figurative paintings, referencing art history and the Old Masters’ paintings. Her paintings mostly deal with narratives of femininity, gender, and the perception of the female body. Taharlev’s oil painting technique is traditional, but she manages to bring her imagery into the 21st century while providing a modern and contemporary perspective. She often combines charcoal drawing on top of the oil colors, creating a representation of drawing at the base of the painting.

In 2012, Taharlev participated in the prestigious National Portrait Gallery exhibition in London and was among the finalists in the portrait competition. In 2019, she participated in a group exhibition at the Grand Palais Museum in Paris, invited by the Louvre Museum curators. In the same year, she had her first solo museum exhibition, "White Ravens, " at the Herzliya Museum, which dealt with gender complexity.

In 2022, Taharlev was awarded the Schiff Prize for Figurative Art, and as part of it, her solo exhibition "Another Light" opened at the Tel Aviv Museum in June 2023 and was displayed until May 2024. In this exhibition, among other themes, Taharlev delved into gender complexity through the figure of Harry, a young British man she encountered by chance in Paris. His delicate features and the fashionable feminine clothes he chooses to wear attracted her, and she painted his likeness several times. The painting "Harry" is also part of this series. The figure, dressed in a pink blouse with white lace edges, is depicted in a half-profile pose, casting a scrutinizing and secretive gaze towards the viewer. His hands are crossed over his chest in a gesture suggesting defense, while the size of his hands seems disproportionate to the feminine attire of the figure. His crossed legs, peeking under a dark skirt, are presented in an unconventional composition. Unlike most of her figurative paintings, here Taharlev chooses to add a hinted landscape in the background and a table in the foreground with a bowl of ripe and shiny apples. The apples serve as a hint to the original sin, attributed to Eve, and throughout history have been a symbol of women’s guilt in the expulsion from Eden. As gender boundaries are crossed and blurred, it also influences the interpretation of the biblical story.

Taharlev has presented several solo exhibitions in Israel and participated in group museum exhibitions worldwide in recent years. Her works are found in the Tel Aviv Museum collection, the Dubi Shiff Collection, and other important private collections. Taharlev is one of the most sought-after Israeli artists in recent years.

Shlomit Oren

Estimated price: $7,000 - $10,000

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