Ruth Dorrit Yacoby (1952-2015)

A groundbreaking painter and poet whose works have an inimitable personal style and possess a unique and all-encompassing artistic vocabulary, linked together inner truth and a universal life vision. “Yacoby’s work is unique and highly profound, possessing the rare qualities of great art. Aware of fashions and trends and versed in a range of techniques, her art is innovative, original, uncompromising and trend-setting, and yet inherently ‘classic.’ … (There's) a unique union of matter and spirit in her artistic oeuvre. … The colors and elements of earth and light, the desert light and sea salt, and the sense of sky and wind – all these assume real, material representation in her works. … The diverse Jewish sources to which she is exposed in her studies are also infused into her creative consciousness, often lending the works their figurative, symbolic, or even sacramental orientation” (Prof. Haviva Pedaya, “From Earth to Heaven,” in Gate of Tears, Rain of Roses, Vatican, 2001). Yacoby lived and worked in Arad – far from the power circles of the art world in Israel. Despite this, she won impressive acclaim and recognition, both locally and internationally: her work featured in over 130 exhibitions (67 of them solo exhibitions) at major galleries and museums in Israel and around the world, most under the sponsorship of the Israeli Ministry of Culture, the Foreign Ministry, and Israeli embassies. She won numerous grants and awards, and her works can be found in important private and museum collections in Israel and abroad. In 2008, Yacoby presented a permanent exhibition titled Art and Creation Center: The Woman of the Thousand Voices. In its center, she placed a powerful installation that offered a spiritual journey of healing and empowerment, including a transition from the “Land of the Dead” to the “Forest of Life.” It suggests a bridge of reconciliation and a prayer for peace through encounters of individuals and nations, as well a personal process of transformation and growth. Since its opening, the Center has served as an educational and cultural arts hub (with the support of Mifal HaPayis, Israel’s national lottery), and as a venue for intercultural encounters and development and empowerment workshops for visitors from Israel or other countries. After her untimely death, Irit Tal, curator of the Genia Schreiber University Art Gallery at Tel Aviv University, wrote: “The work of the late Ruth Dorrit Yacoby is one of the most important of the Intermediate Generation in Israeli art, authentic and unique… Her creative process, which took place in conditions of virtual detachment and physical isolation in the heart of the desert, gave rise to an exceptional and complex artistic oeuvre in terms of its substance, its working practices, and its transcendental, religious, and mythological approaches. As such, it constitutes an original and unique stream within the history of Israeli art, and offers a decisive contribution to the local culture, which must be preserved” (Ha’aretz Supplement, February 9, 2016). Read More