1995 Message to Friends

Museum House of Art, Bet-Meirov, Israel, 1995

For several years already, Pro. Aryeh Weiss, Tel Aviv, and the writer of these lines have tried to establish an exchange of artists between Isral and Stria, resprectively Austria. Several dozen artists from Israel have since been presented in Graz. Austrian artists have also exhibited their works in Ramat Gan, Bet Tanach, in the Z. O. A. House, near the Dead Sea and in the Kibuz Kfar Rupin.
Both Weiss and the author share the conviction that the secular branch of art cannot cenounce the common spritual roots of Jews and Christians without abandoning the distinctive features of their individual natures. In fact, the socalled Christian occident reposes on the shoulders of Judaism and the Greek antiquity.
In the course of this cultural exchange between Israel and Austria, one of the most active artists’ groups from Austria, the “Gruppe 77″ from the province of Styria, presents itself for the first time in the museum of Holon. The “Gruppe 77″ came into being in 1977, when Gottfried Fabian, one of the founding fathers of modern painting in Austria led a group of committed and highly competent artists out of the stagnating art scene in Graz in order to create a new group of artists open to the latest developments with these secessionists from the “Sezession”. Within a few years, the “Gruppe 77″ became a synonym for uncompromising modern artists in Austria, before long, young artists grouped around the former secessionists. Personal exhibitions and common group projects of great impact gave the group a reputation in Austria as well as in other European countries.
With their first presentation before the Israeli public, the Styrian artists send greetings and a message to the friends in the long-lived country of culture – Israel. This exhibition is intended to bring about understanding and friendship between people who are partly burdened by history.

Text by Rektor Josef Fink, Graz