The Rothfeld Collection consists of one hundred and sixty pieces of Israeli art that are being donated by Donald Rothfeld to The Katzen Center for the Arts at the American University in Washington, DC.
Over the past twenty-five years Donald Rothfeld has been actively engaged with many of the artists featured in this book, collecting artworks that vary in style, content, and medium.In many ways this collection mirrors ‘the canon’ that constitutes Israeli art: it includes many of the Israel’s most prolific artists, while inadvertently excluding many marginalized figures, groups, and artistic practices. The Rothfeld Collection is united mostly by the shared identity of their creators: they are all Israeli.
The book’s final form evolved as a response to the diversity of the collection: there are ten different texts, ranging from personal memoir and historical analysis, to academic inquiry and curatorial commentary. I made a decision to select texts that introduce complex questions and issues that many of the artworks in the collection are in dialogue with. My inclination was to include cultural fragments as lenses through which the artworks could be interpreted and re-understood. Printed on trimmed pages that are interspersed amongst the art, the texts resemble islands of history and testimony surrounded by a sea of images.