Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Geometry of Expression

Garibi | Saadya | Toledano

20 December 2019 - 8 March, 2020
EMOZ Museum, Zaragoza, Spain

Ilan Garibi, bracelets
 in wood, silver and brass
This is a sweet exhibition, and it was a pleasure, despite the few bumps in the road, to get to Spain to set it up. EMOZ is Europe's only museum dedicated to origami and one of the few such in the world. It's a privilege to work with the museum professionals there who devote their lives to displaying our art.

With over 200 objects, the show's main theme is how one edge of modern origami is seguing today into the realms of design, fine art, engineering -- and the questions this shift raises. And the experiments,
to address those questions, that we three Israeli
exhibitors are making.
Saadya Sternberg, "Red Bust"
paperfold sculpture

For instance, what happens when the folded material is NOT paper — how is this to be done technically; how does it look; what is the relation with paperfolds; can the results ever be “fashion design” or “fine art; can this
new sort of folding-work start acquiring value in the marketplace and shake off origami's reputation of being a pastime and “sweet nothing” — while not losing all its fun... And so on.

So Ilan Garibi brought his origami-based 
Ynon Toledano,
"Reincarnation series"

jewelry and sculptures in folded steel, brass, silver, wood and glass (there's even paper); and Ynon Toledano brought his “surrealistic” things, and Yours Truly Saadya Sternberg  brought those head sculptures with minimized lines, meant to prompt old art-history questions about surface and line and emerging form. Lots of color and light and life in this space.

I also devoted one wall to some of my geometrical-mechanical discoveries, and especially to recent work done with my students at the Shamoon College of Engineering of Beersheva. There's a video of these inventions that for now I'm displaying only in the exhibition; once the show is down I'll post it for those who could not come.

If you are in Europe, come see the things in person “face to face.”


Rear: Ilan Garibi, Tessellations wall, paperfolds and folded-metal pendants
Front: Saadya Sternberg,  "White Molly", paperfold sculpture

Saadya Sternberg, "Mohawk", paperfold sculpture

Ilan Garibi, origami pendant, gold-plated brass

Saadya Sternberg, face study, wet-folded leather

Ynon Toledano, Surrealist Drama

Saadya Sternberg, Giraffe Head, paperfold sculpture

"Sarcophagus" display:  Ilan Garibi and Saadya Sternberg

Saadya Sternberg, "Sheet Lion", paperfold sculpture

Saadya Sternberg, "Classical Head"

Ilan Garibi, Tessellation in folded steel

Origami Robot by Dor Elmoznino and Ehud Yehiel, 4th-year students of mechanical engineering, Shamoon College of Engineering -- Beersheva

Monday, August 20, 2018

Life Imitates Art

Left: Still from the BBC's 2018-posted video. Right: my photo taken in 2007 of Roman Diaz's "Wild Horses"

The packages started arriving at my house, more than ten years ago, for the big Tikotin Museum exhibit. The mailman would ring at the gate and I'd leap. I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to get beautiful origami in the mail, gifts it seems like, every few days from some other corner of the world. Canada. Singapore. Spain. Vietnam! I'd cut open the carton, spread the things out on my table and ogle them. And from Roman Diaz of Uruguay--back then in 2007--came six paper horses with flowing manes and a striving look. There was no title; I gave his display the name “Wild Horses” and took the snapshot for my files. --This week I see, the BBC has been so kind as to stage a reenactment. It's a very great honor.


Have a great weekend

Thursday, September 28, 2017


"Ashurbanipal", by Saadya

in the “Paper Heroes” exhibition
Jaffa Museum, Israel
October 5 – December 30, 2017

Curator:  Ilan Garibi

Strap your sword upon a hero's thigh...” (Psalms 45: 3)

This king is not my hero. He is, however, the hero of my hero.

My hero is a Jewish poet who lived in the 7th century BCE in exile in Babylon, then moved to Jerusalem: one of the early Zionists. The poetry he wrote in both locations was to shape Jewish religious experience down through the ages, and many of his verses, whole and in fragments, have made their way into central portions of the Hebrew prayerbook. In their own day too they influenced contemporary Hebrew literary productions such as the Book of Jonah. Yes: a hero of mine, all around.

His hero — so he describes him in a poem written for him in 663 BCE, in Nineveh — was King Ashurbanipal: the last great ruler of the Assyrian Empire, and by his own account the first truly literate one, who

Monday, July 10, 2017

"Press-Origami", by Masha Revva

Origami Tessellations + Press-Prints on Paper
June 20 -- July 4th, 2017

Jerusalem Artisans Gallery 
(Beit Ot Hamotzar Hayerushalmi)
12 Hebron Street, Jerusalem, Israel

This is a fine, understated exhibit by a leading Israeli origami artist, strangely moving given that the works in it are entirely non-figurative. It brings together tessellations—tile-like patterns from folded paper, each built out of minute folds of a single, uncut sheet—with old-fashioned color press-prints.  These too are on paper, made by passing the same kinds of folded objects under a heavy roller after inking. What's surprising is that even though everything here is pattern and geometry, so much emotion manages to be conveyed: even the specific feelings of nostalgia, hope, determination.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Israeli Origami 2: The Designer vs. the Sculptor

         Ilan Garibi | Saadya Sternberg

Hankin Design Gallery    
109 Hankin Street,  Holon,  Israel    
March 29 - May 5 2017
This show combines Ilan Garibi’s fabulous explorations of non-paper materials in his fashion and product design—all based on origami patterns he's invented—with my own efforts make original figure-sculpture from origami, mostly in paper but also in a few other types of material. Both of us think of ourselves as carrying origami into new precincts.
Saadya Sternberg, "Ernestine" (2006)

Ilan Garibi with Ofir Zucker for Aqua Creations. 
Photo: Albi Serfati 

Monday, November 07, 2016

Egypt in Origami

I went to see the fantastic "Pharaoh in Canaan" exhibit now up at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, which is both a historical-archeological show and a display of fine art, zeroing in on the period when ancient Egypt was the administrative power in the land where I'm living now. That was 3600 to 3200 years ago: a period that overlaps the Biblical account of the Exodus, with the two stories not always jiving happily.

What a wealth of forms and images are in this show! with “Canaanites” and “Egyptians” stereotypically depicted in the papyrus art, and the ceramic, stone and metal products of each culture and their cross-influences here. Also on display is the steele with the oldest Egyptian inscription where the name of “Israel” has been found, so far (circa 1209 BCE). It boasts, in reference to one of

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Hana Hertsman

This work is in honor of Hana Hertsman, Managing Director of the Municipality of Holon, and Israel's premier builder of museums and cultural institutions in her city:  the envy, and object of emulation, of other towns here and abroad.  

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

'Bela', by Saadya Sternberg
at the "Paper Creatures" exhibit, Jaffa Museum

I'm just back from the opening of "Paper Creatures" at the Jaffa Museum.  Many magnificent works there (about half origami) and much to think about--it will take me several days to ponder it all.  For the time being here is an unsorted preview of the few things I have decent photos of.

Meanwhile--I have pieces in this exhibition too, which if they do not lower the average level, certainly do not lead the works in it. As a place-keeper I'll just post here the text I wrote a few months ago that's meant to go with my display.

Aviva Green (till October 15, 2016)

If you care about high art--not just in its origami forms--and you like great splashing colors--and just happen to be in New York City this month----may I suggest that you RUN to see Aviva Green's  "Clouds, Canyons and Waterways", a show of paintings at Kenkeleba House.
 (Wilmer Jennings Gallery,  219 East 2nd Street @ Avenue B, East Village, 212 674-3939).

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Smiles of a Summer Night

Saadya Sternberg, "Chinese Smile"

I have Ilan Garibi's "Paper Creatures" exhibit (upcoming at the Jaffa Museum--more on that soon), to thank for getting me back into the origami swing of things. This post's series of wetfolded cuties are not actually in the exhibit but are some of the later products of that swing -- which is ongoing.  Smiles, S

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saadya Sternberg, "Bird from window-ledge"

And here are some more birds from the same series: a little later.  These next ones were shown in the "Folding Squared" exhibit of OASIS, the Origami Artists of Israel, at "Siman She'elah" Gallery in Kibbutz Amir, Israel, December 2016.

Saadya Sternberg, "Woodbirds"

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Bas Reliefs ("Emerging" Series)

These are all from uncut A4 sheets of cover-stock.  And of the A4-- I'm only using the bottom edge, so that three of the paper's edges remain untouched (except of course for the consumed parts).

The aim is to have the face peer out mysteriously from the interior of the sheet.

You get the idea.

Of course there's no law that says these have to be kept in their flattish state:


Saturday, November 02, 2013