Ada Ovadia | The Sand Dunes of Rishon Lezion, The Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, curator: Dr. Aya Lurie. (catalogue)

Ada Ovadia: The Sand Dunes of Rishon LeZion

Curator: Aya Lurie


Ada Ovadia’s solo exhibition at the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art brings together a body of work created in recent years in acrylic and varnish on paper. The works reflect a refinement of this talented artist’s unique language. At first sight, Ovadia’s paintings invite us to join her on a magical journey to an unknown land; a realm of wonders, beauty, and fiction characterized by a vivid palette, clear lines, rich textures, as well as sweet temptations and marzipan treats. But do not let yourself be misled. As in any good fairytale, Ovadia sends us to look in the mirror. The overly sweet excess gets stuck in one’s throat, choking like Pez candies in the muzzle of their plastic dispenser, portrayed in many of the works.

Ovadia’s ability to depict physical states of pressure and pain (licking thorns, a man being cooked on the stove, pinching) with direct and unbiased vividness reinforces the dissonance that informs her view of reality. The TV corner in the domestic living room, the garden outdoors, a table dressed with birthday decorations – in all these, the ostensibly safe, familiar, mundane banality masks a dark occurrence bubbling with biting acidity. The title of the exhibition proposes “The Sand Dunes of Rishon LeZion” as an allegory: an established, affluent, safe and proper suburb at the heart of the country, which conceals a lethal potential. By the same token, the protagonist of Orly Castel-Bloom’s novel Dolly City, a veterinarian, goes out to the sand dunes by the beach to bury her dead dog, and finds a deserted baby. Close observation of Ovadia’s works calls to mind a significant affinity with Castel-Bloom’s literary practice, realms in which the artist paves subtle roads of her own.


Works 2015-2017, Acrylic and varnish on paper.

Photographs: Avi Amsalem