Promised Land / Show at Tzadik Gallery

In her exhibition "Promised Land", Michal Goldman shifts her attention from her working space and looks outside. 
Opening the windows of her new studio, located near Tel Aviv's central bus station, Goldman observes her neighbors. Outside she discovers the back yards of buildings housing work immigrants and refugees. Goldman observes scenes from the lives of people who came from Africa and Asia to the holy land of promised income.
Unaware of their role in Goldman's art, the neighbors continue with their routine: hanging laundry, eating, climbing the stairs, interacting and falling in love.
Goldman captures scenes from people's lives in tempera as though it were Polaroid. Aware of the brevity of the scenes she documents and of the limitations of her medium (the painting process), she immortalizes the moment which just passed as a souvenir, a nostalgic fragment, a trace of reality. In wood and canvas she weaves the lives of these newcomers bringing some color into the busy drabness of the Promised Land. The pieces of wood she works on make Goldman, known primarily as a realist artist, treat composition, light and reality differently, so that the three-dimensionality of the wood makes the works' edges abstract. The small format impacts the perception of motion: buses, cars, trains, birds and people, trapped together sometimes on one square inch of almost journalistic painting. 
Goldman observes and while painting, remembers the work of two precursors: David Roberts and Hokusai.
David Roberts left Scotland in the year 1839 to paint Zion as a form of reportage. By way of his lithographs Europeans could see the biblical landscapes they were familiar with.
Hokusai, working in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, represented landscape and the everyday life of Japanese of all walks of life.
In the twenty-first century the antennas, solar water heaters, garbage piles, skyscrapers and the omnipresent  noise and confusion erase all memory of that Promised Land. The presence of   these foreigners and their documentation in her work make one new perception of this concept possible.
Hana Koman