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Biblical Stories by Israeli Artist Adi Nes on View This Winter

Biblical Stories by Israeli Artist Adi Nes on View This Winter

Tue, Apr 1, 2008

Columbus, OH—The Wexner Center presents 11 large-scale images from Biblical Stories, the latest body of work by rising young Tel Aviv-based photographer Adi Nes. On view February 2–April 13, 2008, this exhibition marks the first U.S. showing of Biblical Stories outside of New York.

On view, Biblical Stories recasts figures from the Old Testament in scenes depicting contemporary homelessness, choosing moments from the original biblical narratives when characters found themselves dispossessed or exiled. Casting ordinary people as the biblical figures, Nes imagines the characters of tribal myth as denizens of Israel’s new urban underclass, “homeless” in the heart of the Jewish homeland. In Untitled (Elijah), the prophet is aged and weary, lying on a park bench, his head resting on his hand. Untitled (Ruth and Naomi) shows two women picking dropped fruit not from a field but an unpaved street littered with refuse. And in Untitled (Joseph), Nes presents the 11th son of Jacob and wearer of the coat of many colors as a wide-eyed young boy, standing alone in the street, bringing to mind the moment when Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. These images are large in scale, several feet high and wide.

Notes Bill Horrigan, the curator of the exhibition and the Wexner Center’s Director of Media Arts: “The striking photographs of Adi Nes are rich and relevant works drawing on issues of identity. By utilizing figures from the Old Testament, Nes inscribes them in a global conversation that touches not simply on Israel but on the universal right for a person to have a home.”

These works were previously shown in New York at the Jack Shainman gallery and in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Nes’s photographs were called “an archaeological site that awaits excavation. Rich in details and references...” by Eyemazing, an international photography magazine.

This exhibition is part of a series of events marking and commemorating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel.

Adi Nes will give a free public talk in the Wexner Center’s Film/Video Theater on Tuesday, March 25 at 7 pm. Dr. Sam Meier, associate professor of history and Hebrew (in the Wexner Center for the Arts The Ohio State University 614 292-3535 1871 N. High St. Columbus, OH 43210 Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations) at The Ohio State University, will discuss Biblical Stories in a free gallery talk Thursday, February 28 at 12:30 pm.

Also on view during winter 2008: Solitaire: Lee Lozano, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Joan Semmel and Kerry James Marshall: Every Beat of My Heart. An Opening Celebration for all three exhibitions will be held Friday, February 1, 5–8 pm.

Gallery admission is free. Visitor info:


Born and raised in Kiryat Gat, Israel, to Jewish parents of Kurdish and Iranian descent, Nes studied photography at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Nes often works in series and draws on past works of art or historical scenes as backdrops for his images, drawing on recognizable visual sources as wide-ranging as Caravaggio’s paintings and Dorothea Lange’s photographs. One of his best-known works is based on Leonardo da Vinci’s famed mural of The Last Supper, but with 14 Israeli youth dressed as soldiers replacing the figures of Christ and his disciples.

Now based in Tel Aviv, he has participated in numerous group and one-person exhibitions since 1993. His work is in the collections of the Israel Museum, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum (New York), the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. More information at


Adi Nes: Biblical Stories is organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University.

The exhibition is presented in conjunction with Israel@60 celebrations in Columbus and funded in part by the Lenore Schottenstein Jewish Arts Endowment of the Columbus Jewish Foundation and Consulate General of Israel in Philadelphia.

PARKING UPDATE: Construction at 15th and High. For more information click here.

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