Israel Art
Gideon Gechtman
Israeli, born Egypt, 1942–2008
Peacock
1994–99
Marble, stuffed peacock
120 x 180 x 50 cm

Purchase, The Boxenbaum Fund for Israeli Art and the Pattiz Fund for Israeli Art, New York
© The artist
Accession number: B08.0165

In 1999 Gideon Gechtman created a large-scale installation – of which Peacock was part – relating to the illness and death of his son Yotam, his own illness, and the ways in which art and commemoration defy mortality. The work consisted of an inventory of beds, hospital carts, test tubes, and other medical paraphernalia – some original sculptures, some readymade objects – together with other images that allude to death and to immortality. One such symbol is the peacock, a bird that renews its beautiful plumage every year and whose flesh, according to legend, never rots. Positioning it on a marble base, which evokes both sculptural art and graveyards, transforms this peacock into a monument to beauty and lost life.

Publications: Zalmona, Yigal, 100 Years of Israeli Art, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2010, Artists' Choices, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2010

Exhibitions: First Show: Contemporary Art from The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Mani House, Tel Aviv, 18/09/2008 - 30/11/2008
Artists' Choices - Yinka Shonibare: Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 26/07/2010 - 08/01/2011

Photo © Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Oded Löbl