Talking Art: artist Michael Kovner

Talking Art: Israeli artist Michael Kovner on his work and life

David Glasser, Ben Uri’s Chair and Chief Executive continues the Talking Art series with Israeli artist Michael Kovner discussing his work and life (event took place on 11 July 2013, 8 pm in partnership with the London Jewish Cultural Centre.

Discussion video


Israeli artist Michael Kovner is most recognised for his rich colours expressing the vitality of his urban as well as landscapes. This will be the first occasion British audiences will have had the opportunity to meet and hear about the life and work of this important artist.

Michael Kovner was born in 1948 in Hadera, Israel, son of Vitka and Abba Kovner who was one of Israel’s leading modern poets. Michael was raised on Kibbutz Ein-Hachoresh, where he connected with the natural landscape as a youngster: “I was deeply attracted to the physical beauty of the world and wanted to give expression to that love through painting.”

After his army service which he served in a select unit which included Israeli Prime Ministers Barak and Netanyahu, Kovner studied with Philip Guston, Jack Tworkov, Steven Sloman and Mercedes Matter amongst others, at the New York Studio School between 1972 and 1975. The experience and influences of this distinguished milieu still remain evident in his work. (1972-1975)


American art critic Donald Kuspit wrote in 2010: “Kovner’s impressionistic-expressionistic rendering of nature [reflects] his aesthetic love affair with nature,” and added that his paintings are “… radiant and intense with light and color … aesthetic delights …”


Kovner’s career includes many solo exhibitions in galleries and museums across Israel including the Museum of Israeli Art (in Ramat Gan outside Tel Aviv) and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and in the USA including the Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco). His paintings are included in major international public and private collections including The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, the Israeli President’s Residence (Jerusalem) and The Jewish Museum (New York). Michael lives and works both in Israel and the USA.