Skip to content
Yael Bartana - Artists - Petzel Gallery

Yael Bartana (b. 1970, Kfar-Yehezkel, Israel)

Yael Bartana’s films, installations and photographs explore the imagery of identity and the politics of memory. Her starting point is the national consciousness propagated by her native country of Israel. Central to the work are meanings implied by terms like "Homeland", "Return" and "Belonging". Bartana investigates these terms through the ceremonies, public rituals and social diversions that are intended to reaffirm the collective identity of the nation state. In her Israeli projects, Bartana deals with the impact of war, military rituals and a sense of threat to everyday life. In 2006, the artist worked in Poland to create projects on the history of Polish-Jewish relations and its influence on the contemporary Polish identity. In 2011, Yael Bartana represented Poland for the 54th International Art Exhibition in Venice.

Inspired by a Jewish custom in which sins are cast into the sea, Tashlikh (Cast Off) (2017) serves as a platform for both perpetrators and survivors of various genocides or ethnic persecutions to confront their personal material links to the horrors of the past.

Bartana has had numerous solo exhibitions including Cecilia Hilllström Gallery, Stockholm (2022); Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (2021); the Jewish Museum, Berlin (2021); Galleria Rafaella Cortese, Milan (2020); Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam (2019); Volksbühne, Berlin (2018); Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture (2017); Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne (2017); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2014); Secession, Vienna (2012); Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2012); Moderna Museet in Malmö (2010); the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2009); MoMA PS1, New York (2008); the Kunstverein in Hamburg (2007) and the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (2006). She has also participated in such prestigious group shows at James Cohan Gallery, New York (2020); the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2018); São Paulo Biennial (2010 and 2006); documenta 12, Kassel (2007); among many others. She is a winner of numerous prizes and awards: Artes Mundi 4 (Wales, 2010); Prix Dazibao (Montreal, 2009); Nathan Gottesdiener Foundation Israeli Art Prize (2007); Dorothea von Stetten Kunstpreis (Kunstmuseum Bonn, 2005); Prix de Rome (Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, 2005) and the Anselm Kiefer Prize (2003).

She has works in the permanent collections of Tate Modern, London; The Jewish Museum, New York; The Guggenheim, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen, Switzerland; Van Abbe Museum, Netherlands; and Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands, among others.

Press Highlight

“’s about mythologies and trying to create new mythologies and trying to undermine the familiar narratives of a holy place, of a geographic place of redemption.”

Yael Bartana in conversation with Alexander Forbes, “Portfolio: Yael Bartana,” Modern Painters, 2014

Complete Article

Career Highlights

Yael Bartana - Artists - Petzel Gallery

Wild Seeds, video (color, sound), 2005

1970 Born, Kfar Yehezkel, Israel

2002 Trembling Time, Museum Beelden aan Zee, Scheveningen, NL

2003 Kings of the Hill, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York

2005 Wild Seeds, Museum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, CH

2006 Kunstverein Hamburg, When Adar Enters, Kings of the Hill, Trembling Time, a.o. Hamburg, DE

2008 Mary Koszmary, Jewish Museum, New York, US

2009 Mur I Wieza, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, PL

Yael Bartana - Artists - Petzel Gallery

Installation view, What if Women Ruled the World, Manchester International Festival, UK, 2017

2011 And Europe will be stunned, 54th Venice Biennial, Polish Pavillon

2012 Wenn Ihr wolt, ist es kein Traum, Secession, Vienna, AUS

2013 Inferno, Pérez Art Museum Miami, US

2014 True Finn – Tosi suomalainen, IHME Contemporary Art Festival, FI

2017 What if Women Ruled the World, Manchester International Festival, UK

2018 And Europe will be Stunned, Philadelphia Museum of Art, US

What if Women Ruled the World, Volksbühne Berlin, DE

2021 Redemption Now, Jewish Museum, Berlin, DE