Shai Azoulay / Providence

Sep 17 – Nov 12, 2022

Shai Azoulay’s unique and bold paintings are full of art historical references and have an almost sculptural presence. With a gentle and humorous, sometimes ironic touch, Azoulay deconstructs modernist and national mythologies, creating colorful and vivid images that show a world with distorted proportions and absurd dynamics. Animals are in power, nature is overwhelming, humans are lost. His interest and intense studies of Jewish mysticism are evident in his work, while he moves along a narrow thread stretched between historical narrative and personal stories.


Azoulay has a Spanish mother and a Moroccan father. When he was eight years old, the family moved to the Negev desert. He later depicted these landscapes in his works. The desert is “so active, but under the surface,” he says, it is “working from the quiet.“ Likewise, his work is situated between the quiet, inward reflection and the loud, outward expression.


The exhibition presents works that span the past decade of Azoulays career, giving a first introduction to his oeuvre outside Israel.


Shai Azoulay (born Israel, 1971) lives and works in Jerusalem. He received both his BFA and MFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design Jerusalem. In 2011 Azoulay had his first major museum show at the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art. Azoulay’s work has been exhibited in solo shows in New York, London, Tokyo, Vienna, Chicago, Cleveland and Beijing. In 2018 Azoulay had a major solo show in Herzliya museum of contemporary art. Azoulay was awarded the “morasha” from the Tel Aviv Museum art, Mozes Prize from the Jerusalem Artist house, Award for extra ordinary artistic achievement, The Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Tel-Aviv, The Ministry of Education Grant for Artist Teacher Projects , Artis Grant, New York, The Minister of Education Prize. Azoulay is also the recipient of the prestigious Landau Prize for 2020.


This exhibition is participating in the first “Zurich 1 – Galleries around the Kunsthaus” weekend, launched in 2022.