Marek Yanai: On the Threshold

Jerusalem in Oil and Watercolor
Curator: Amichai Chasson
Beit Avi Chai gallery

For more than fifty years Mark Yanai has been painting the features of Jerusalem houses: foyers and fences, doors and gates, stairwells and windows – not exactly inside, not exactly outside. These liminal, borderline spaces, in a certain sense a little promiscuous, hold a secret that begs to be deciphered.


Thresholds are only part of Mark Yanai's body of work which mostly consists of depictions of the city itself in oil and watercolor. Yanai's Jerusalem is a city of stone walls and bell towers, of sun boilers and ugly concrete housing. The landscapes, the people, the trees, and the objects inside the houses make up a portrait of a city that stands on the border between the heavenly and the earthly – Jerusalem of the Middle. The glory of the holy is intertwined with the everyday, the sublime meets the banal.


Marek Yanai was born in 1946 in a displaced persons camp near the German city of Mannheim and immigrated to Israel in 1957. He studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and currently serves as a senior lecturer there. Yanai lives and works in Jerusalem.