The “New Horizons” group was founded with the establishment of the state in 1948 by 15 of the best artists in Israel. The three founders of the group and the artists most identified with the group are Yosef Zaritzky, Yehezkel Streichman and Avigdor Steimatzky. In addition, the members of the group include the well-known artists Arie Aroch, Yochanan Simon and Pinchas Abramovich. The years of activity of the group were between the years 1965-1948. The group has brought international influences to local art and also the group has advocated the trend of abstraction. The style of the group ranges from local to universal. It was New Horizons that introduced abstract art into local art in the 1950s and early 1960s. The prominent artists in the group continued to create and influence in the field of art and the teachers in which these transferred their artistic influence in teaching. Streichman, Zaritzky and Steimatzky are considered the founding fathers of modern art in the Land of Israel and generations of artists have been educated on their artistic style. Over the years the group has gained an established canonical status as one that has established and represented modernism in the history of local art.
Avigdor Steimatzky does a lot of painting in watercolors in light pastel shades and in light and transparent oil paints. In his works over time, figurative painting gave way to abstract painting until complete abstraction. Steimatzky has won many awards for his work, including the Dizengoff Prize for the Art of Painting and Sculpture (1941, 1956), the Sandberg Prize for Israeli Art on behalf of the Israel Museum (1976) and more. Yehezkel Streichman is one of the fathers of “lyrical abstraction” in Israel, which connected Israeli painting with global trends and with the Paris School in particular. During the 1930s, Streichman painted mostly traditional and figurative subjects, and later painted many portraits of his wife, Tzila. In his works, his search for abstraction and the sharp and expressive brushstrokes are evident. Streichman won the prestigious Dizengoff Prize three times (1944, 1954 and 1969) and in 1990 Streichman was the winner of the Israel Prize. Yosef Zaritzky is the leading artist among the members of the “New Horizons” group and in 1959 won the Israel Prize. Until his death he continued to create in the lyrical abstract style mainly using watercolors. Over the years, Zaritzky has stood out not only as a successful painter but also as a roadmap thanks to his talent and dominant personality. He is considered one of the artists who most influenced Israeli painting.
In the book ‘New Horizons: The Birth of Abstraction in Israeli Art’ from 1980, Gila Blass wrote: “Indeed,” New Horizons “appeared in the 1950s as the flag bearer of universality and modernism and exacerbated the controversy over the contrast between universality and localism, whose buds appeared in the 1930s and 1940s [… This group has a clear trend towards modern art, influenced by French painting, but at the same time it strives for an original style, rooted in our reality. The general exhibition The painter can not discover all his self, and in a solo exhibition he can not give only his best. Painters, who are close to each other in spirit, when they present together – they can give the best they have and express their trend in the audience. It has great educational value for the audience and also for the artists themselves. The group sees itself as a “ensemble”, there is great unity, And although each of its members has its own clear character, there is a gradual transition from post-Impressionism to abstract painting, and just as they move away from dry academicism, so they are wary of distorted modernism, but jointly strive to discover contemporary artistic truth. This group claims that only it works that way, because it knows hi A. There are other painters who go this way. And the group is not closed, although on the contrary, it strives to expand its boundaries. ”
For almost ten years it was possible to buy paintings by Zaritzky, Steimatzky and Streichman at relatively low prices. In 2014, the island’s art collection was put up for sale in Tirosh. enough. In the framework of Nochi Dankner’s debt settlement. A large painting by Zaritzky that was for sale at a starting price of $ 80,000 doubled its price and set a record price of $ 160,000 for Zaritzky. In 2016, the painting ‘Yehiam’ by Yosef Zaritzky was for sale, selling at a record price of $ 210,000. Indeed, in recent years we can see an increase that the trend has also permeated Steimatzky and Streichman prices that are enjoying a recovery in their market prices: for example, a painting by Steimatzky from the Gabi and Ami Brown collection bought at auction in 2011 for $ 18,000 has already reached $ 37,000 in 2018. Ezekiel Streichman’s work, Tzila, was also sold in 2018 for $ 45,000. As a result of rising prices you can see more and more good paintings by new Ofakim artists going up for auction. There is no doubt that when good paintings by these important artists go on sale, the collector audience appreciates the hysterical importance and quality of the works and therefore the prices go up during the bidding process and achieve exceptional prices at the auctions.