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The Door to the Secret Garden / Ruth Dorrit Yacoby at the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art

The exhibition provides a close encounter with the subtlety of the works produced by Ruth Dorrit Yacoby (1952–2015), one of the most interesting female
Israeli artists of her time. Yacoby, who lived and worked in Arad, was viewed by the local art scene as an outsider. She left behind one of the most enigmatic bodies of work in the history of Israeli art. The totality and intensity of her studio practice in Arad reflected the obsessive nature and individuality of her artistic practice. The exhibition reexamines Yacoby’s oeuvre from two main perspectives: a feminist viewpoint (engaging with issues such as motherhood, femininity, and care) and her living and working conditions in the periphery of the country.
Yacoby exhibited widely, both in Israel’s major museums (including an exhibition at the Herzliya Museum, curated by Yoav Dagon), and around the world – in Europe, South America, Asia, USA, and Canada. However, in contrast to the acclaim that she received overseas, she was considered by many in the local art scene to be an outsider artist. This was possibly due to her work being at odds with the prevailing trends of the Israeli art discourse, as an artist living and working at the geographical fringes of the country and centering on feminine themes.
The current exhibition – the first major presentation of Yacoby’s work since her passing – offers a renewed contemplation of her work.
Tapping into the artist’s inner voice, the exhibition is attentive to the delicate resonances of her work, which were often muted by her own opaque artistic lexicon. The intimate viewing layout, comprising a series of rooms dedicated to key themes in her output, enables the viewer to engage with Yacoby’s artworks on a one-on-one basis. In addition to the main display in this gallery, the show also includes a screening room, where the film The Woman of a Thousand Voices (by Amram Yacoby, 2007, 66 min) is on view, presenting a hidden world of souls and voices, metaphysical places and journeys, through the artist's poems and work.
Hadas Kedar, curator of the exhibition, is the recipient of a curatorial research scholarship from the House of Israeli Art, Academic College of Tel Aviv–Yafo.

Curator: Hadas Kedar
Assistant Curator: Julia Yablonsky
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