Yocheved Weinfeld

1947 | Legnica, Poland
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Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Portrait of Yocheved Weinfeld

Multidisciplinary conceptual Israeli artist.

Yocheved Weinfeld (née Ewa Ernst) was born to parents who were both Holocaust survivors and was raised in Wroclaw. In 1957 she immigrated to Israel with her family, spending several months in Tel Aviv before settling in the adjacent city of Givatayim. At the age of 16 she began studying painting with the artist Raffi Lavie (1937-2007), who was impressed with her talent and encouraged her to pursue an artistic career. She continued her studies at the HaMidrasha School of Art (located at the time in Tel Aviv), and later enrolled at Tel Aviv University (1965-1967) and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1967-1969). In 1977 she received a master’s degree from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. In 1967, Y. Weinfeld married the literary scholar David Weinfeld, an observant Jew – a marriage that ended in divorce in 1977. In 1980, she married the American gallery owner Steven Kasher and moved to New York. Her marriage to S. Kasher ended in 1993.

Y. Weinfeld began exhibiting her works in 1967, just before she turned 20 – first in the exhibitions organised by the group Ten Plus, which she was invited to join by R. Lavie. Her first solo exhibition opened in 1969 at Mabat Gallery in Tel Aviv, where she presented paintings concerned with contrasts as well as biomorphic forms. Though the exhibition received negative reviews, Y. Weinfeld continued to explore these concerns. In 1973, following the death of her mother and the Yom Kippur War, she shifted to conceptual works in which she began to “injure” the paper through tearing and sewing, at times adding hair, bits of branches, bandages and doodles. These works constitute a milestone in the history of local body and feminist art. Between 1974 and 1976, she presented a series of solo exhibitions at Debel Gallery in Jerusalem: one of them, in 1974, featured two photographic series of sewn body parts – hands and faces – which situated her as an artist favouring the conceptual over the aesthetic.

In 1975, in an exhibition titled Pains, Y. Weinfeld studied the ability to transmit bodily sensations, hunger and pain by means of visual art. In a groundbreaking exhibition in 1976 she presented an installation titled Performance, in which she offered her own interpretation of texts pertaining to Jewish mourning and purification rituals. In 1979 a solo exhibition of her works was featured at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, focusing on the biographical components of memory, combining text, photographs, paintings and assemblages.

Y. Weinfeld continued to present her works in a number of solo exhibitions until the 1990s. In 2013, after a long period of focusing on art education in Israel and the United States, a solo exhibition of her works was featured at Gordon Gallery in Tel Aviv. This event underscored her relevance and importance to the history of Israeli art in general, and more specifically to the history of local women’s art. Y. Weinfeld’s works are included in the collections of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Haifa Museum of Art, and Hamburger Kunsthalle, as well as in private local and international collections.

Maya Anner

Translated from Hebrew by Talya Halkin.

Partnertship with Artis


© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Yocheved Weinfeld, Stitched Faces, 1976, stitched and rephotographed photographs,20×20 cm each,collection Gordon Gallery, Tel Aviv © Courtesy Yocheved Weinfeld

Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Yocheved Weinfeld, Stitch with Feather, 1973, thread, acrylic and pencil on linen, private collection © Courtesy Yocheved Weinfeld

Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Yocheved Weinfeld, Bunny, 1993-1994, mixed media © Courtesy Yocheved Weinfeld

Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Yocheved Weinfeld, Family Line, 1976, photographs, acrylic and pencil on paper © Courtesy Yocheved Weinfeld

Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Yocheved Weinfeld, Pain in the Eyes, 1975, mixed media, Pains exhibition at Debel Gallery, Jerusalem, collection Haifa Museum of Art © Courtesy Yocheved Weinfeld

Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Yocheved Weinfeld, Performance, 1976, documentary photographs of performance, 11.8 x 8.2 cm each, photos by David Darom, Debel Gallery Archives at the Information Center for Israeli Art, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem © Courtesy Yocheved Weinfeld

Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Yocheved Weinfeld, Stitched Hands, 1974, stitched and rephotographed photographs, collection Tel Aviv Museum of Art © Courtesy Yocheved Weinfeld

Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Yocheved Weinfeld, Stories for Little Children, 1980-1981, mixed media, artist’s collection © Courtesy Yocheved Weinfeld

Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Yocheved Weinfeld, Stories for Little Children, 1980-1981, mixed media, artist’s collection © Courtesy Yocheved Weinfeld

Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Yocheved Weinfeld, Untitled from the series Mother’s Clichés, 1988, mixed media, artist’s collection © Courtesy Yocheved Weinfeld

Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Yocheved Weinfeld, Untitled, 1969, oil and pencil on linen, private collection © Courtesy Yocheved Weinfeld

Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Yocheved Weinfeld, Untitled, 1974, mixed media on paper, 37 cm diameter, collection Gordon Gallery, Tel Aviv © Courtesy Yocheved Weinfeld

Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Yocheved Weinfeld, Untitled, , 1974, mixed media on paper, 51 x 40 cm, collection Gordon Gallery, Tel Aviv © Courtesy Yocheved Weinfeld

Yocheved Weinfeld — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Yocheved Weinfeld, Untitled, 1976, stitched photographs, documentation of a performance during a one-person show at Debel Gallery Jerusalem © Courtesy Yocheved Weinfeld

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