Tal yerushalmi


Feb 2020 - Call My Name (Main Gallery)


Exhibition - Call My Name / Tal Yerushalmi


I watched the fantasy film ​The NeverEnding Story innumerable times. The protagonist is a boy who fights against The Nothing, a dark, abstract force threatening to overtake a dream world called Fantasia. The only way the boy might save this world is with his heart's wishes: the more he will enunciate new dreams, the more he will endow them with a name and form, Fantasia will continue expanding and will defeat The Nothing.

Sometimes I think that the act of painting is a way of enunciating my heart's wishes, a way of naming them. Any image I will endow with form will come into existence; any color I will lay on the canvas will become a creation that will save the painting, the earth and the world, from The Nothing that seeks to annihilate them. All that is required is for the image to be new, to present an invention and express my heart's wish.

I light a flame in the dark of The Nothing. What will I see in its light? Who is asking me to call it by its name? Is it a dove, a spider or a flower? Is it a rock, a necklace, a knife or a rope? Soil, water, the Judean Desert, the State of Israel? Anything that I will wish for, big or small, will be there; anything I will imagine and paint will come into existence and will be present in the painting.

But The Nothing refuses to yield. It has its cunning ways of sneaking back in, to prove to me that this is only an illusion, that no matter how many shapes or colors, animals or objects, countries or universes I will create – they will not be real. They are mere paintings. The three-dimensional rock that I chiseled in matter and paint is completely flat. The scythe threatening to harvest the objects in the painting is an empty space. A ghost of a scythe. The taut leather is only paper. The star lighting the skies of the Judean Desert is The Nothing incarnate. Everything is falling apart: the painting, the desert, the sky, place and time.

I do not let go. Maybe if I cut the objects out of the paintings they will become things in the real world: hanging, laid down, present. I cut out a drawn rope and place it in space. I paint a match so I may rekindle the fire. I burn a painting, and make a real hole in it. You can pass your finger through it.

But everything collapses once more. The magic of the art of painting is lost, the illusion gone: the rope looks like a snake's slough, the net becomes a shell; the painting is riddled with burnt holes. What will I do with a burnt painting?

A line emerges from the burnt hole. Who is it? A snake? Are you sure that I called your name?​ ​The snake crawls toward the burnt holes, swallowing them one by one. Perhaps the snake was hungry and came over to eat a few eggs. I can paint a bird that will lay a few fresh eggs instead of the ones devoured. Perhaps this time a snake will not appear, maybe I will not light another fire. I will draw water just to be on the safe side.

With a heart and brush I will return to yet another round in this lost battle.

I paint a bird.

* The film ​The NeverEnding Story is a cinematic adaptation of Michael Ende's German fantasy novel produced in 1984 and directed by Wolfgang Peterson.

Copyediting and translation: Orr Scharf


Tal Yerushalmi

Biographical Notes



1978 Born In Netanya, Israel         



2004-2006    MFA in Fine Art, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design; and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem

2001-2004    BFA (with honors), Bezalel, Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem

2000-2001    Fine Art, Hamidrasha School of Art, Beit Berl College

2000            Fine Art Studies, School of Visual Arts, New York


Solo Exhibitions

2019    Call My Name, Maya Gallery, Tel Aviv

2018    Neither Day nor Night, Artists House, Jerusalem

2017    Sand in the Eye, Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel Aviv

2013    Ruach Ruach (Jointly with Orr Hertz), Barbur Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel

2011    New Paintings, Kiriat Tiv'on Gallery

2008    Har Manoah, Janco Dada Museum, Ein Hod, Israel Massada and Gravestone, Tavi Dresdner Gallery, Tel Aviv

2007    Blow Wind, Artists' House, Tel Aviv                                 


Group Exhibitions

2019     Ministry of culture awards exhibition, Ashdod museum

            No Body No Land No Blood No Country, Bar David Museum, Kibbutz Bar Am

2018     Up to the First Touch, Atelier Shemi, Kibbutz Kabri

2017     Dynamism, Idris Gallery, Tel Aviv

2016     Take Painting, Petah Tikva Museum

            Sticks and Stones, Braverman Gallery

2015     Within Reach, Ashdod Museum, Israel

            Local Pulse – Mix and Match, Artists' House, Tel Aviv, Israel

            Beuys, Beuys, Beuys, Binyamini Center, Tel Aviv, Israel

2012     Open Gallery on buildings, Tel Aviv, Israel

            Random, BAAD gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel

2010     In Between, Ashdod Museum, Israel

            Face to Face, Beit Michal, Rehovot, Israel         

2008     Neues Sehen, Young Israeli artists, Syker Vorwerk, Bremen, Germany

              Fresh Paint Art Fair

2007     Alon Segev Gallery, Tel Aviv

            Artic 9, Genia Schreiber University Art Gallery, Tel Aviv

2006     Goods to Declare, MFA International, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design Graduates Exhibition, Terminal 1, Ben Gurion Airport

2005     Lost in translation, the 9th Istanbul  Biennial, Turkey

            New faces,  Noga Gallery of Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv

           Would I Lie to You, Baby?, jointly with the Glasgo School of Art,




2019-20        Residency at Bezalel MFA Teaching

2016-           Lecturer at the Multidisciplinary Art School, Shenkar Academy, Israel

2010-           Teacher at Thelma Yellin School of Art

2007-2009    Artist-Teacher Project at Ironi Zain, Jaffa


Scholarships and Awards

2018             Ministry of Culture Creative Encouragement Award

2016             Lottery Council for Arts Support for production of a catalog

2008             Lottery Council for Arts Support for production of an exhibition

2007-2009     Ministry of Culture Artist-Teacher Scholarship

2006             America-Israel Foundation Scholarship

2005             Rich Foundation Scholarship               



2018             Baskets Diary, Artist Book

                     Bar Yerushalmi, Artist Book Text,On Rocks and Treads

                     Tali Ben Nun, Neither Day nor Night, Exhibition text

                     Shaul Setter, Haaretz, Review on Sand in the Eye

                     Iris Mendel, Erev Rav, Review on Sand in the Eye

2016            Sagi Refael, Erev Rav, Review on Take Painting

                     Iris Mendel, Within Reach, Exhibition text Ashdod Museum

2010            Chen Lev, Haifa Time, Review on New Paintings

2008            Liav Mizrahi, Neues Sehen Exhibition Catalog

                     Yoram Marek Reich, Yediot Haifa, Review on Har Manoah

                     Dudu Bareket, Achbar Haifa, Review on Har Manoah

2007            Orly Hoffman, Blow Wind, Exhibition Text

2005            Smadar Shefi, Haaretz, Review on New Faces

                    Joseph Krispel, Time out Tel Aviv, Review on New Faces

                     Irena Gordon, Time out Tel Aviv, Review on New Faces