Orit Hofshi's (b. 1959; Kibbutz Matzuva, Israel) large-scale works on paper, prints and mixed media installations relate natural phenomena with mass social and political events. Drawing from her own experiences living in Israel, the lasting effects of the Holocaust, and human rights crises across history, Hofshi populates her compositions with family members, friends, and her own likeness. The artist locates these figures in imagined landscapes where history and evolution play out ungoverned by human law. Hofshi acknowledges the staggering magnitude of the natural world, using it as the raw context for her musings on human existence and resilience.
At the heart of Hofshi's work is a preoccupation with the phenomenon of time-from personal experiences of its passing to a broader perspective of its persistent unfolding on a geologic scale. This fascination manifests both thematically in her works as well as in her material process. From early on in her career, Hofshi has maintained a library of carved woodblocks that she revisits and reincorporates into new and current works. In so doing, the artist repurposes imagery of people, structures, and natural landscapes from times past, reconfiguring them into new narratives and enacting the passage of time in her own material process.
Foregoing specific commentary on any one conflict or historic period, Hofshi's multifaceted works offer reflections on the common core of all human struggle. The artist seeks shared experiences that transcend nationalism and sectarianism, often lamenting the frequent loss of a shared sense of responsibility and care for human existence and the natural world. Mining materials and references from across time, Hofshi grapples with the past in an acknowledgement of an unknown future, creating realms that contain both the darkness and complexities of past turmoil, while envisioning potential in the open expanses of eternities to come.
In 2024, Orit Hofshi will present her work in the group exhibition The Anxious Eye: German Expressionism and Its Legacy at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The artist's work is represented in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Art Collection of the German Bundestag, Berlin; and Israel Museum, Jerusalem, among others. The artist has mounted solo exhibitions of her work across the globe, including at Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, Slovakia; Shulamit Nazarian Gallery, LA; Locks Gallery, Philadelphia; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The Philadelphia Museum of Judaica, PA and Hoch+Partner, Leipzig, Germany. Hofshi's work has been included in prominent group exhibitions, including at The Janet Turner Print Museum, CA; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum, Philadelphia; Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK; International Print Center, New York; and Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel, among others. The artist studied at the Neri Bloomfield Haifa School of Design and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, after which she received her MA in Arts from Leeds University, UK. She currently lives and works in Herzliya, Israel.