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ABOUT THE ARTIST

Biography

BIOGRAPHY

Born in Jerusalem in 1960, Efrat (Effi) Baler is a New York-based artist with a diverse background. Raised in Israel, Winnipeg, Canada, and Boston, USA, Effi began creating art from a young age with solo exhibitions sponsored by the Jerusalem Municipality Youth Department and participation in youth art delegations to Austria and France.

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She graduated in Sculpture and Painting from the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem (1984), receiving an America-Israel Cultural Foundation grant (1983). Efrat  was recognized as one of the promising artists of the 80s by Philip Lieder, critic and founding editor of ARTFORUM and featured in "PROMISE – Ten Bezalel Artists of the Last Decade" (1990).

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Alongside her art career, Ms. Baler has taught art at various institutions and private schools in New York City, Brooklyn, and Jerusalem and held an administrative role at the Tate Americas Foundation (American Patrons of Tate). She has lectured on her artwork and the history of Israeli Art at several universities, including San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, the University of California, and Berkeley and lectured as a Scholar in Residence at the San Francisco Library (1998).

 

Effi has participated in over 70 group exhibitions and held seven solo shows in the US and internationally. Her works have earned Honorable Mention and critic’s awards, and are in private collections. She devotes herself full-time to her artistic practice and has relocated her studio from Brooklyn to a larger space in Long Beach, NY.

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ARTIST'S STATEMENT

I am a multidisciplinary and concept driven artist, reshaping paintings through the creation of 3D sculptural paintings and reliefs. I create hybrid constructions that challenge the boundaries of traditional painting, blurring the lines between painting and sculpture. I try to expand the spatial presence of paintings by implanting uncommon elements and dimensions, offering a fresh perspective that reimagines their traditional place within the art form.

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The artworks transcend conventional wall displays and incorporate three-dimensional elements that shift on, beneath, or behind the canvas, revealing and using the backsides of the canvas and the canvas stretcher. The artworks are displayed on walls, stands, pedestals, turntables or as floor-standing canvases that people can walk around or rotate, creating a more interactive experience. Forcing a change from the traditional way we view paintings. Recognizing the evolving dynamics of art consumption in today’s digital age, this departure from the accustomed static, contemplative frontal viewing is an attempt to change spectator’s habits. With attention spans dwindling because of overstimulation from immersive technologies, I try to create paintings that challenge and force a change in these habits and reshape the habitual fleeting viewing norms of the modern-day viewer of paintings.

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In my hybrid creations, I blend traditional techniques, mediums, and tools with 3D elements and materials from outside the traditional painting realm, pushing the boundaries of what’s commonly considered painting. I offer insight into the inner workings of the artwork, revealing hidden physical and conceptual layers. Constructing and deconstructing the canvas, I expose pseudo-animations of the artist’s application and process, showcasing evolving forms within the artwork, layered meanings, and the artist’s brushstrokes, planning tools, and techniques. My exploration into blending different dimensions is shaped by my experiences as a transplant in diverse cultures, navigating the challenges of fitting in as a foreigner,  constantly seeking to bridge gaps and find new perspectives. The artworks visually convey the concept of dynamic entities undergoing transformations.

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I draw inspiration for my artworks from various contexts, cultures, and disciplines, encompassing pop culture, current conflicts, cultural trends, gender advocacy movements, and personal and social issues. Using my distinct style, colors, and personal narrative, I embed subtle references that resonate uniquely with each viewer, inviting individual perspectives. Conceptually, my artworks always address the two pivotal components of a painting: application techniques of colors and forms by an artist and the frontal viewing of the outcome by a spectator.

 

Recent artworks emerged from the tragic events of October 7, 2023, in Israel and the Gaza conflict, influenced  by survivor testimonies and media portrayals of devastation—scattered toys, household items, and the remnants of disrupted lives. I explore the hidden narratives behind seemingly ordinary objects, landscapes, figures, and portraits, revealing deeper and sometimes unsettling layers beneath their facades. These silent witnesses evoke broader themes of domestic abuse, gun violence, shattered innocence, destruction, and displacement caused by wars, conflicts, and natural disasters. These artworks highlight the vulnerability and fragility of home and hope in the face of violence and tragedies, speaking to the universal pain left behind for victims, communities, and innocent lives caught in the crossfire of adversity.

 

My art challenges preconceived notions of how we perceive a painting, creating an experience that goes beyond the traditional passive, frontal viewing of the digital age viewer and fleeting attention spans, challenging preconceived notions of how we perceive a painting, what a painting is, and can be, both within and beyond the confines of the wall.

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RESUME/CV

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EDUCATION

1980-84 Bezalel Art Academy, Jerusalem, Israel. Graduated with a BFA from the Sculpture & Painting Dept.

 

HONORS

2024    Critic's Award, LEONA POST AWARDS EXHIBIT 2024 | Long Beach Artists League

2024     Critic's Award, NATURE, Long Beach Artists League, Long Beach Public Library, NY

2023     Critic's Award, LEONA POST AWARDS EXHIBIT 2023 | Long Beach Artists League

2023     Honorable Mention Award, ASIAN INSPIRED ART | Long Beach Artists League

2022     Honorable Mention Award, 66TH ANNUAL MEMBERS’ EXHIBITION | Art League of Long Island

2021     Members' Choice Award Winner, MEMBERS' CHOICE Long Beach Artists League

1983     American Israeli Culture Foundation Scholarship for 1983-84, The Helena Rubinstein Grant (Keren Sharet)

1977     Artistic Youth Delegation of the Jerusalem Municipality to Austria and France 

1976     Scholarship from the "Black Panthers" to study at the Jerusalem Artists House

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2024     REVELATIONS | Endless Beauty Gallery of Patchogue Arts Council • MoCA L.I. Museum of Contemporary Art, NY

2023     YUPO PAPER PAINTINGS AND OTHERS | Long Beach Historical Society Museum, Long Beach, NY

2017     SOLO EXHIBITION | Tugboat, PLG Arts, Brooklyn, NY­­

1991     SOLO EXHIBITION | Painters & Sculptures Association, Tel-Aviv, Israel

              SOLO EXHIBITION | Municipal Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel

1985     MUTATIONS | Anatea Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel

1976     SOLO EXHIBITION | Jerusalem Municipality Youth Dept., Municipal Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2024     IMAGINATION REVEALED | Westbury Arts Center, Westbury NY

             135th ANNIVERSARY NAWA Annual Members Exhibition (National Association of Women Artists) | One Art Space, NY, NY
             LEONA POST AWARDS EXHIBIT 2024 (Critic's Award) | Long Beach Artists League, Long Beach Public Library, NY

             TOGETHER | Stars in the Arts, Pop Up exhibition, Loft 39, New York, NY 
             REACHING OUT | Moshava Gallery, 45 W 8th Street, New York, NY
             A TIME FOR FREEDOM | Betzalel Gallery, Long Beach, NY
             DAILY LIFE | Long Beach Artists League, Long Beach Public Library, NY
             NATURE (Critic's Award) | Long Beach Artists League, Long Beach Public Library, NY

             WOMEN CELEBRATE WOMEN 2024 | El Barrio Artspace, PS 109, New York, NY             

             67TH ANNUAL MEMBERS’ EXHIBITION |  Art League of Long Island, Dix Hills, NY

             NEW HORIZON | Long Beach Artists League, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY

             WORKS ON PAPER | Westbury Arts Center, Westbury NY

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2023     WINTER EXHIBITION | West End Arts Guild, Long Beach Public Library, NY

             #ARTISTSSTANDWITHISRAEL Art for Peace | KakdelArt and SVIVA, digital projections around the world

             CELEBRATION OF ART | Long Beach Artists League, Long Beach Public Library, NY

             STAV Israeli Artists | Israeli Artist Project, 14th Street Y Gallery, New York, NY

             NEW BEGINNINGS OPEN EXHIBIT | Long Beach Artists League, Long Beach Public Library, NY

             PET PORTRAIT SHOW | West End Arts Guild, Long Beach Public Library, NY

             TRANSPLANTS | Amos Eno Gallery, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 

             SPRING BOUNTY | Betzalel Gallery, Long Beach, NY

             LEONA POST AWARDS EXHIBIT 2023 (Critic's Award) | Long Beach Artists League, Long Beach Public Library, NY

             SENSE Digital exhibition | Arthouse.nyc, New York, NY

             WOMEN CELEBRATE WOMEN 2023 | El Barrio Artspace, PS 109, New York, NY

             61st LONG ISLAND ARTISTS BIENNIAL | Art League of Long Island, Dix Hills, NY

             NEW HORIZON | Long Beach Artists League, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY

             ASIAN INSPIRED ART (Honorable Mention Award) | Long Beach Artists League, Long Beach Public Library, NY

 

2022     CELEBRATION OF ART | Long Beach Artists League, Long Beach Public Library, NY

              66TH ANNUAL MEMBERS' EXHIBITION (Honorable Mention Award), Art League of Long Island | Dix Hills, NY

              FORCES OF NATURE | Long Beach Artists League, Long Beach Public Library, NY

              OCTOBER MEMBERSHIP EXHIBIT | Long Beach Artists League, Long Beach Public Library, NY

              THE BEST OF WEST END ART | West End Arts Guild, Long Beach Public Library, NY

              THE LEONA POST SUMMER AWARDS EXHIBIT| Long Beach Artists League, Long Beach Public Library, NY

              WORDS & PICTURES | Long Beach Artists League Member Exhibit, Long Beach Public Library, NY

             65TH ANNUAL MEMBERS' EXHIBITION | Art League of Long Island, Dix Hills, NY

             ANEW – A New Member Exhibit | Long Beach Artists League Member Exhibit, Long Beach Public Library, NY

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2021     MEMBERS' CHOICE | Long Beach Artists League (Members' Choice award) | Long Beach Public Library, NY

              THANKFUL | Long Beach Artists League Member Exhibit, Long Beach Public Library, NY

              REFLECTIONS | Long Beach Artists League Member Juried Exhibit, Long Beach Public Library, NY

              GOOD NEIGHBORS | Amos Eno Gallery, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

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2019     LIC FEAR III | LIC Arts Open | The Plaxall Gallery, Long Island City, NY

              DIGITAL EXHIBITION | Artbox.Gallery, Zürich, Switzerland

              GIANT STEPS | Open­­ Gallery, Long Island City, NY

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2018     FALL SALON | LIC Arts Open | The Plaxall Gallery, Long Island City, NY

              FROM MINISCULE TO MONUMENTAL | LIC Arts Open Gallery, The Factory | LIC, NY

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2017     THE 5 NAPKIN SHOW | LIC Arts Open | Gallery II, The Factory, LIC, NY

              DEBTFAIR Biennial 2017 | Occupy Museums project, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

              ANIMALIA | Local Project Gallery, Long Island City, NY

 

2016     LIC ARTS OPEN | LIC Arts Open, Long Island City, NY

              DIORAMARAMA | Club 157 | Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

              THE FOOD SHOW | Local Project Gallery, Long Island City, NY

  

2014     THE SELFIE SHOW | MONA, Museum of New Art, Armada, MI

              ANNUAL SMALL WORKS SHOW | 440 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

 

2013     PLG ARTS GROUP EXHIBITION | Tugboat, Brooklyn, NY

 

2012     GO, BROOKLYN ART | Community Curated Open Studio Project, Artist’s Studio, Prospect Lefferts, Brooklyn, NY

              THE INTERNATIONAL ARTIST FAIR | Parallax Art Fair, SoHo, NY

 

2011     GENERATIONS VIII | A.I.R Gallery, Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY

              THE NEIGHBORHOOD | PLG Arts, Brooklyn, NY

 

2008     1ST ANNUAL GROUP SHOW | PLG Arts', K-Dog & Dune Buggy café, Brooklyn, NY

 

2006/07 TRACING SHADOWS | Israel Museum Youth Wing, Jerusalem, Israel

 

1999     THE BEGINNING…A SPACE EXHIBIT | The Space Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

 

1998     GROUP EXHIBITION | The Emerging Collector, New York, NY

              SEND IN THE CLONES | The Emerging Collector, New York, NY

              DIANA FEVER | The Emerging Collector, New York, NY

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1995     NATIONAL SHOWCASE IV | Alternative Museum, New York, NY

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1992     3 ARTISTS | The Red Building, Tel-Aviv, Israel

 

1990     PROMISE,10 Bezalel Artists Most Promising Artists of The Last Decade | Bezalel, Jerusalem, Israel

              ARTISTS PAINTING ON A BILLBOARD | Public Gallery Project, 35 Lang St. Frankfurt, Germany

 

1989     GROUP EXHIBITION | Painters and Sculptors Association House, Tel-Aviv, Israel

 

1988     ARTISTS FOR THE AIDS TASK FORCE | Richter Gallery, Jaffa, Israel

 

1986     CATASTROPHE | Jerusalem Theater, Israel

              FIRST SHOWING | Dizengoff Center, Tel-Aviv, Israel

 

1985     FIRST LINE | Ein Harod Museum, Kibbutz Ein Harod, Israel

 

VISITING ARTIST LECTURES/PRESENTATIONS

1998     The History of Israeli Art & Artist's Artwork | Scholar in Residence Series, The San Francisco Library, CA

1996     Slide Work Presentation of Artist's Works and Contemporary Israeli Art | California State University, Hillel House, CA                        | Chico State University, CA | Monterey Peninsula College, CA | San Francisco State University, CA | San Jose State                            University, CA | University of California, CA | Berkeley, CA | Congregation Sherith Israel San Francisco, CA

 

AFFILIATIONS

              National Association of Women Artists (NAWA) | The Jewish Art Salon | America-Israel Cultural Foundation | Long Beach                Art League | West End Arts Artists Guild | Art League of Long Island

                 

Artist's Statement
Resume/CV

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

PUBLICATIONS

 

  • Leider, Philip. “PROMISE–Ten Bezalel Artists of the last decade”. Publication in honor of the inauguration of the new Bezalel campus on Mount Scopus. Published by BEZALEL ACADEMY OF ART AND DESIGN. June 1990.

  • Ben-Noon, Yigal/ Cohen Gan, Pinchas/Lavi, Rafi/Dr. Ofrat, Gideon. “SIR LACHATZ (Pressure Cooker)–Young Art in Israel–at the Jerusalem Theater”. (Exhibition catalog). Israel: Published by STAVIT. March 1986.

  • Bar-Or, Gila and Cohen Gan, Pinchas, “FRONT LINE–Group Show. Israeli Artists June–July 1985. Mishkan Leomanut Ein Harod”. Israel: Published by MISHKAN LE OMANUT MUSEUM OF ART EIN HAROD. June 1985.

  • “YOUNG ARTIST’ EXHIBITION Artists House Jerusalem Summer 84’” Israel: Published by STUDIO 106. June 1984.

 

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WEBSITE PUBLICATIONS

 

 

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PRESS & INTERVIEWS

 

  • Weiss, Suzanne “Israeli art reflects pastiche of cultures, artist asserts”. JEWISH BULLETIN OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (Weekly March 1998): Entertainment/Arts/Sports.

  • Photo of a painting. AL’HAMISHMAR (Daily Newspaper). Israel, (1992 Jewish New Year edition): Art and Culture.

  • Director, Rutt “5 Faces of Young Art - Review of exhibition at the Red Building”. MAARIV, (Evening newspaper), Israel. (07.10.1992): Art Review.

  • Photo of a painting, HA’ER. (Weekly Newspaper). Jerusalem, Israel. (09/02/1990): Back Cover

  • Painting on the Front Cover. WELCOME (Magazine of the Israel Airports) published by Israel Airports Authority Ben Gurion Airport. Israel. (Spring/Summer 1992) Cover

  • Vekshtein, David, “Artist Monologue” ARIM (Cities) (Weekly Newspaper). Tel Aviv, Israel. (07/12/1991): Art Section

  • Baler, Efrat. “About Art on a billboard–Efrat Baler in Frankfurt, Germany”. STUDIO (Israeli Art Magazine), Israel. (February 1990 Edition): page 57

  • Photo of a painting from an exhibition, AL’HAMISHMAR (Daily Newspaper). Israel. (03/14/1986): Art Section

  • Reviews and photo of a painting. KOL HA’EIR (Weekly Newspaper). Jerusalem, Israel. (02/28/1986): Art Section

  • Broshi, Oded “No Ideology - First Exhibition of the Year–9 artists”, YEDIOT ACHRONOT (Evening Newspaper). Israel. (01/31/1986): Art and Culture

  • Photo of a painting from an exhibition, HA’ARETZ (Daily Newspaper). Israel. (04/19/1985): Art Section

  • “V” - Painting commissioned by magazine, TATRAMA  (Art Magazine). Israel. (June 1985): International Edition No. 3

  • Levi, Itamar, “Joining the Family. Review of art show - Bezalel Art Academy Art Dept., Graduate Show” YEDIOT ACHRONOT (Evening Newspaper). Israel. (June 1984): Art Section

  • Goldstein, Gary, “Review of 3rd year Bezalel Art Academy Students end-of-year show” KOL HA’EIR (Weekly Newspaper). Jerusalem, Israel, (June 1983): Art and Culture section.

 

Selected Bibliography

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