Israeli Artist (1944 -)
Oil on paper glued to board
25.5 x 39 in.
Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; Stedelijk Museum, Holland
Shaul Shatz: Paintings, Cardo Gallery, 1984
Our Landscape: Notes on Landscape Painting in Israel, Avishay Ayal and Yoram Bar-Gal.University of Haifa Gallery. 2004.
This Neo Impressionist representation of a hill overflowing with vividly depicted, purple irises that bloom for only a few weeks every year on the slopes of Jerusalem, is deeply symbolic and expresses Shatz's spiritual connection to the holy city. A multitude of dense, highly contrasted dabs of vibrant pigment applied in a series of swirling gestural brushstrokes adds rhythmic energy to the pictorial surface and contributes to the radiance of the overall composition.
Born in a kibbutz in Israel, Shatz studied painting at the prestigious Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem, and pursued studies in illustration in the Hague and Amsterdam. His choice of subject matter revolves around landscapes found in the Jerusalem, from the Temple Mount to the Old City, as well as the undulating green hills that surround the holy city. 'For Shatz, Jerusalem is the heart of the world, and forms a geographical boundary between desert and settlement, barbarism and civilization.'
Shatz uses a palette of vivid pigments, and his Neo Impressionist style brings to mind the European influence of Georges Seurat and Camille Pissaro's pointillist paintings. His rapid, bravura brushstrokes reflect a virtuosic command of color harmony, and his use of complimentary hues heightens the chromatic as well as emotional intensity of his composition.