About the artist:
George Chemeche was born in 1934 and studied at the Avni Art School in Tel Aviv and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. The style with which he is intimately associated, pattern painting, is non-minimalist, sensuous, romantic, rational and decorative. Its methods, thematic material and referents range across cultural and class lines. The style is two-dimensional, non-hierarchical, allover and acentric. Because most viewers respond with delight to patterning, it runs counter to the modernist taboo against a decorative quality in art. Though pattern painting's roots are in modern art, it contradicts some of its basic tenets as it attempts to assimilate aspects of Western and non-Western culture not previously accepted into the realm of high art. Though most people intuitively recognize patterning, it is difficult to define. The most serviceable definition is that pattern is the systematic repetition of a motif or motifs used to cover a surface uniformly. The spaces between motifs are either other motifs or are an integral part of the repeat. Whatever f9rm the painting takes, its flat and pictorial space is at a minimum. What makes patterning in pattern painting different from patterning in the "functional" arts-weaving, mosaics and so on, and especially in the art of non-Western cultures-is partly the use of pigment on canvas, but also, and of greater importance, intention and context. The intention is to make a high-art statement within a contemporary context by referring to, and using what to many still remains within the world of non-art. Pattern painting, unlike abstractionism, has structure. It also has content as it refers to patterns in the real world. Usually, patterning intentionally acknowledges the decorative function of art, reconciling both the decorative and the meaningful. George's work hangs in the lobby of the Hotel Chelsea where many have admired it for years. Last year, we had the pleasure of hearing George read his poems of life and love in the Chelsea at the Bowery Poetry Club. Like many Chelsea residents, George was a long time member of McBurney Y until they moved to 14th St. At left, George's response to their move. Living in the Hotel Chelsea since 1972 has taught George a valuable lesson: never ask Women and dogs about their age. Selected Biography 1934 Born in Basra, Iraq 1947 Fled Iraq with his family 1947-49 Lives and attends school in Tehran 1949 Immigrates to Israel 1956-59 Studies art in Avni Art School, Tel-Aviv 1959 Gets American-Israeli Culture Foundation grant to study art in Paris 1959-1962 Studies at Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts, Paris 1961- Gets two years grant from Lady Francis Fergusson, Scotland 1962 Gets one year grant from Alex de Rothschild, Paris First man show at Gallery Transposition, Paris 1965-72 Exhibits his work in numerous art galleries in Israel including one man show at Haifa Museum 1972 Travels to New York, checks in the Hotel Chelsea 1977-- First one-man show in USA at Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York, followed by other shows around the country and Europe. 1995 Travels to Iceland to publish the Aya Series book. Text by Donald Kuspit; Art Resourses & Technologies, New York, NY 2002 Publishes, Ibejis: “The Cult of Yoruba Twins” 5 Continents Edition, Milan, Italy 2003 Curates a show at Museum of African Art, NYC Ibejis: The Doubly Blessed Twins 2005 Reads his poems at the Bowery Poetry Club, New York 2010 Lectures about Ibeji art and cult at Iowa University 2011 Lectures about Ibeji Art and cult at Neuberger Museum 2011 Publishes, The Horse Rider in African Art” ACC, UK INDIVIDUAL EXHIBITIONS 1978 Goldman Art Gallery, Haifa, Israel 1977 Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York Alexandra Monett Gallery, Brussels 1977 Givon Art GaJIery, Tel Aviv 1974 South Houston Gallery, New York Ray Landis Gallery, East Brunswick, New Jersey 1973 Gala Gallery, Key Biscayne, Florida Art Asia Gallery, Cambridge, Mass. Bertha Urdang Gallery, New York 1972 Selected Artists Gallery, New York Mabat Art Gallery, Tel Aviv 1971 Goldman Art Gallery, Haifa, Israel 1970 Modern Art Gallery, Old Jaffa 1969 Dugith Art Gallery, Tel Aviv 1968 Dugith Art Gallery, Te Aviv 1967 Hadassa "K" Klachkin Art Gallery, Tel Aviv 1966 Rina Art Gallery, Jerusalem The Museum of Modern Art, Haifa 1965 Chemerinsky Art Gallery, Tel Aviv 1963 Galerie Transposition, Paris Collective Exhibitions 1978 Gordon Gallery, Tel Aviv, "Six Artists" Biv Gallery, New York, "Chelsea Artists" Makler Gallery, Philadelphia, Pa. 1978 "FJ.A.C.," Petit Palais Paris Galerie Naire, Paris 1977 Weintraub Gallery, New York, Print Show 1971 OHana Gallery, London "Six Artists", Modern Art Gallery, Old Jaffa 1969 The Autumn Exhibition, Tel Aviv Museum 1965 "Young Artists", TeJ Aviv Museum 1963 Salon de La Jeune Peinture, Musee d'art Moderne, Paris MUSEUM COLLECTIONS Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY The Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Virginia Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York The Jewish Museum, New York, NY Grey Art Gallery, NYU, New York, NY Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel The Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey The William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, Storrs Montgomery Museum of Art, Montgomery, Alabama Tel Aviv Museum, Israel Haifa Museum, Israel The Brooklyn Museum, New York.
George Chemeche was born in 1934 and studied at the Avni Art School in Tel Aviv and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. The style with which he is intimately associated, pattern painting, is non-minimalist, sensuous, romantic, rational and