Curriculum Vitae

Esther Naor was born in 1961 in Israel.

She graduated from the department of Civil Engineering at Haifa Technion Institute, Israel, and the department of Computer Sciences at Tel Aviv University, Israel.

Following 12 years of a career in engineering and computers in the high-tech industry, she began art studies at the Midrasha Art School in Kfar Saba and at several artists' studios in Israel. Since the year 2001 she has been dedicating herself to art, working mainly in the mediums of sculpture, photography, and video.

She lives and works in Savion, Israel.

Selected exhibitions

January 2014

I Do Not See the Sky, solo show, Yanco Dada Museum, Ein Hod

December 2013

Ready-Set-Go, group show, the City Gallery, Rehovot

August 2013

Ready-Set-Go 100 Years to the First Ready-made Work, group show, Yanco Dada Museum, Ein Hod

July 2013

Head, group show, Bosi Contemporary Gallery, New York

June 2013

Testing Tools #10, group show, Beit Tami Center, Tel Aviv

New commission for a permanent wall installation, Yanco Dada Museum, Ein Hod

Awakening, group show, Florentin 45 Gallery, Tel Aviv

April 2013

Fragment, group show, A.I.R Gallery, New York

March 2013

Women Creation, video art group show, 4th Epos International Art Film Festival, Tel Aviv Museum of Art

February 2013

Imagination, Group show for the Israel AIDS Task Force, Hapoalim Bank, Tel Aviv

January 2013

Hamangalistim, group show, Hachava Gallery, Holon

October 2012

Side Effects, solo show, Florentin 45 Gallery, Tel Aviv

July 2012

Tempus Arti Triennial 2012, Belgium

June 2012

Summer Exhibition, group show, Royal Academy of Arts, London, England

Night of Festivals, international multi-media festival, Old Market Square, Nottingham, England

May 2012

Fresh Paint 5, the Tel Aviv Art Fair

Hidden Cities, group show, Koza Visual Culture and Arts Association, Istanbul, Turkey

2012 fashionSCAPES, the 7th Festival of Arts and Fashion (FAT), Toronto
Director: Vanja Vasic

2012 Celebrating Kindred Spirits and Strange Bed Fellows, group show, A.I.R
Gallery, New York
Curator: Catherine J. Morris

2012 Hidden & Forbidden Identities, group show, Palazzo Albrizzi, Venice
Curators: Luca Curci, Elis Saint Juste

2011 You Are All Red, and So Very White, installation/solo show, Florentin 45
Gallery, Tel Aviv

2011 A Season in Paradise, group show, Florentin 45 Gallery, Tel Aviv
Curator: Irena Gordon

2011 Video projections weekend, Centro Labicano Arte Contemporanea (CLAC),

2011 Infinite Spaces (part two), group show, Sguardi Sonori festival of multi-media and time-based art, Palazzo Orsini, Bomarzo, Italy
Curators: Carlo Fatigoni, Sandro Cecchi

2011 Inter/National Members Exhibition, group show, A.I.R Gallery, New York
Curator: Susanne Altmann

2010 Infinite Spaces (part one), group show, Sguardi Sonori festival of multi-media and time-based art, Museo della Civiltà Romana, Rome
Curators: Carlo Fatigoni, Sandro Cecchi

2010 Solo show, Berliner Liste Art Fair, Berlin

2010 Open Portfolio, salon and group exhibition, Chelsea Museum, New York
Curator: Elga Wimmer

2010 Houses in the Boulevard, open-air group exhibition, Rothschild Avenue,
Tel Aviv, Israel
Curator: Ilan Wizgan

2010 Reawakening, group exhibition, Lana Santorelli Gallery, New York

2009 Tempus Arti 2009, Landen, Linter and Zoutleeuw, Belgium
Curators: Dirk Lambrechts and Tim Cleuren. Artistic Advisor: Jan Hoet

2009 15th Biennial of Cerveira, Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal
Curators: Fátima Lambert (Portugal), Paulo Reis (Brésil) and Orlando Brito-
Ginório (Spain).

2009 Contemporary Expressions, international photography group exhibition,
Pen & Brush Gallery, New York
Curator: Daile Kaplan

2009 The 8th A.I.R. Gallery Biennial, New York, USA
Curator: Lilly Wei

2008 International photography exhibition on the theme of "Violence against
Women", Queen Sofía Center, Valencia, Spain

2008 Home, installation, Rothschild Avenue, Tel Aviv, Israel
2007 Bread and Roses (Group Show), Minshar Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
Curator: Nir Nader

2007 Mask – Identity (Group Show), Gebo gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
Curator: Nurit Tenne

2006 Urban Tales, time based installations on Rothschild Ave., Tel Aviv, Israel
Curator: Ilan Wizgan

2005 100 Artists for A Museum (Group Show), Casoria Museum of
Contemporary Art, Casoria, Italy
Curator: Antonio Manfredi

2005 Unclaimed Luggage (Group Show), Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain
Curators: Klitsa Antoniou, Panayiotis Michael, Melita Couta

2004 OPENASIA (Group Show), Venice Lido, Italy
Curator: Chang Tsong-zung

2004 Nomadifesta / Pack Your Suitcase (Group Show), Nicosia, Cyprus
Curators: Klitsa Antoniou, Panayiotis Michael, Melita Couta

Luce Irigaray based her feminist theory on the corporeal body and on its sexual specificity as consciousness and as an entity, both of which go beyond cultural discourse. Esther Naor relates to Irigaray's philosophy and at the same time expresses the manner in which she experiences her body as a woman and as an artist. Her work deals with the duality of control and the loss of it, with the beautiful and the abject, with the logo-centric white and the spreading passionate red, with the pure and the blemished and the inherent tensions between them. The duality presented by the work is both a trap and an introduction to another repressed and ambiguous world, centered around threat and fear, sexuality and eroticism. In Naor's work, expressiveness meets the limitations of clean aesthetics to create a space in which everything is turned from the inside to the outside. The resultant effect evokes an experience of the suppressed, of the “Other” - an “Other” in a continuous search for her own voice.
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“Side Effects” - Esther Naor – Solo Exhibition

Thu Nov 22, 2012 20:05 - Sun Jan 06, 2013

Tel - Aviv, Israel

“Side Effects”
Esther Naor – Solo Exhibition
Florentin 45 Gallery
Opening Thurs. 22 November 2012

“Side Effects” – Esther Naor’s solo exhibition, opening at Florentin 45 Gallery, will present a new body of work created during the last year with the gallery’s specific spaces in mind.

The exhibition addresses the body’s betrayal, its aches and illnesses, and offers a poetic and nuanced view of the complex ways of coping, physically and emotionally, with slow and often Sisyphean healing processes. This is Naor’s most personal exhibition so far and is the culmination of an artistic journey that began some two years ago. It began with an installation and apparently abstract sculptural works which made use of white gauze dipped in red wax. Following these works, Naor produced a body of more figurative works comprising wounded wax heads, with generic and identical features, each of which nonetheless bore its own expression and “character.”

The current exhibition, the third part of the trilogy, will present installations, video works and sculptural objects. Heads and facial features are on show here too, but this time they are of the artist. Her self-portrait gazes at us as if through fragments of mirror, loaded with new content and context in each work. The works range from somber to humorous, from personal to universal, from realistic to fantastic, and are charged with irony and sharp criticism aimed at, among other things, the seductive-commercial aspect of the drug industry.

In one of the central works, “Be a Good Girl,” the artist’s face is replicated a number of times on yellow heads which appear like ducks at a funfair shooting range. These heads/ducks are set on a black board and revolve endlessly as they try to avoid the rifle aimed at them from just a short distance away. This violent situation is given a twist when we discover that the rifle is loaded with pills (in Hebrew this is the same word as bullets): antibiotics and pain-relievers. The medication and the shot get mixed up, exchange roles like in a role-playing game, in a way that sharpens the duality and complexity which characterize our relations with modern medicine. At the same time, Naor turns the spotlight on the mutual relations between medicine and gender and investigates them from a feminist perspective.

In another central work, “How Can You Contribute to the Success of the Treatment?,” which even more strongly evokes a twisted funfair atmosphere, we see a horse rising and falling to the muted music of a carousel. The horse is upside down, perhaps to prevent anyone sitting on it, perhaps fighting for its life, while the operating mechanism is exposed to the viewer as if to shatter the illusion and enchantment. This horse has one horn, bringing to mind the vulnerable mythological unicorn, but in this case the horn grows on the side of the head, reminding us of the location of the wounds on the wax heads. The up-and-down motion loses its associative validity, and the image of joyful riding breaks down before our eyes like a sudden, accelerated process of growing up.

The focus on the head and its injuries is like a thread guiding us through the works. In one video work ("Controlled Release ") comprised of three screens, the artist gazes at us from a central screen. A signal writhes like a snake, like the signals typical of monitors in laboratories, twisting round a horizontal axis, moving from screen to screen and thus crossing the head – entering through one temple and coming out the other in an endless loop. The text spoken by the artist is familiar: these are warnings about side effects of medication; but even though it is delivered with the sangfroid of a military spokesman at a time of war, it is in fact a reflexive text that repeats itself again and again. The figure on the screen does not look straight at the viewer, but directs her eyes at the viewer’s forehead, as if she wanted the sound waves to be reflected back to their source instead of being received by the viewer.

In this exhibition, these images of sickness and medication are contrasted with images of childhood, just as the adult portrait of the artist is counterpoised with her portrait as a child. These contrasts characterize the entire exhibition, which draws a complex and crooked line between the innocence of childhood and the imperatives of adult life.

Naor’s works combine a range of mediums, including sculpture, installation, photography and video. In recent years she has concentrated on sculpture and installation, using various items and “ready-made” objects, and materials such as cloth, rice and soft wax. In her work, Naor has investigated feminine, cultural and social stereotypes, and issues pertaining to feminism, identity, belonging and gender. Her works combine the abstract with the figurative, touching on the personal as well as the universal and collective. Among other aspects, they address the feminine present, the consciousness and the body, and offer a sharply critical statement on cultural and social norms and taboos.

In recent years, she has exhibited in solo shows in Israel and Berlin, and has taken part in group shows, fairs, biennials, and international art events in Israel, Canada, New York, Istanbul and throughout Europe.

Curator: Ilan Wizgan

Opening: Thursday, 22 November, 19:00 (closes 5 January 2013)

Florentin 45 Gallery, 45 Florentin St., Tel Aviv

For further information, please contact: Ninel Koren 052-3327637


fresh paint 5

Tue May 15, 2012 20:00 - Sat May 19, 2012

Tel Aviv, Israel

Fresh Paint contemporary art fair is Israel’s largest, most influential annual art event. The fair is held each year in a surprising, new location in Tel Aviv – the beating heart of the Israeli cultural world, and attracts over 30,000 visitors. The fair brings together all the leading galleries and significant forces of the Israeli art scene, collaborates with all the Israeli museums, and enjoys the support of leading international art institutions.

Esther Naor
I Am Forever Fog, 2012
Soft wax, variable dimensions

The new series of works by artist Esther Naor deals with pain and fear through the genre of portrait. She sculpts heads with anonymous facial features, with a special technique that uses soft wax to fake marble. The head sculptures, reminiscent of classic sculpture portraits, range from the perfect to the wounded and bleeding. Several ones are reminiscent of works of art that were made as a reaction to violent events, such as Picasso's Guernica, or Tumarkin's wounded figures. Except that Naor doesn't react to a concrete reality; she relates to a fragile, threatened universal existence, under constant pain and anxiety. Naor wishes to grab these feelings and turn them into physical bodies, a sort of Voodoo puppets whose role has been reversed and aim now to release the body from the pain, to allow an external look at it, to rediscover the sense of compassion and suggest consolation and healing.

The series in question here is a continuation and development of the installation in the Florentin 45 gallery, earlier this year, which used fleshy and bloody images in contrast to pure white gauze sails. The aesthetic aspect was one of undefined internal organs which were removed from the body, perhaps in an act of violence, perhaps in an act of healing. The recent works, however, are figurative and concrete, in black, white and shades of gray in between, unlike the dominant red in the previous installation. Paradoxically, the monochromatic blurring of the facial traits gives each figure its own and unique identity, despite the generic and identical point of start. The unique and generic (hence the individual and public) merge into one multi-faceted identity who wishes to gather the pieces and redefine itself.


Night of Festivals, international multi-media festival,

Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:20 - Sat Jun 23, 2012

London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Night of Festivals 2012 will take place from 21-23 June 2012 with a focused hub of activity in the special surroundings of Nottingham’s Old Market Square – the largest open public square in the UK. The wonderful environment of the Square will be embellished with extraordinary new installations (including the world’s smallest moving image gallery, the ArtReach Nanoplex), a large scale live music stage and Big Screen.


Celebrating Kindred Spirits and Strange Bed Fellows

Wed Mar 28, 2012 13:55 - Sat Apr 21, 2012

new york, United States of America

Celebrating Kindred Spirits and Strange Bed Fellows, group show, A.I.R Gallery, New York

Curator: Catherine J. Morris
March 28-April 21