Biography

Biography

Since the 1990s’ Ayala Serfaty has forged a unique path in the world of contemporary design, creating and crafting conceptual lights and furniture. Her work has been described by scholars as ‘multi-disciplinary,’ as ‘fusion of art, craft, and design,’ as defusing the line between the natural and the abstract. Her approach focuses on ancient traditions, striving to revive their spirit and energies in unorthodox, unexpected, and innovative manner.

Ayala Serfaty became known for her SOMA, handcrafted sculptural lights named after a Greek term that describes the human body. She chose this name to enlighten the poetic qualities of her objects, which largely reveal the levels of abstractions that nature can project. In her recent Series, Rapa, Serfaty creates furniture made of handmade textile, crafting felt out of fibers carefully gathered by her from all over the world. Rapa is not a departure, but rather reconnecting with textile, the materiality that came to inform her work from its very beginning.

Ayala Serfaty was born in Tel Aviv, in 1962. She studied Fine Arts at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, and after graduating from the Middlesex Polytechnic in London, she settled in Tel Aviv, where she has lived and worked ever since. In 1996 she co-founded Aqua Creations Lighting and Furniture Atelier, acting as the atelier’s designer and creative director, until establishing her own art studio. For over twenty years Serfaty has exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. Her solo shows were held at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and Sculpture Museum Beelden Aan Zee, Den Haag. She participated in group shows in such museums as London Design Museum, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Cooper Hewitt Museum, Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design in Nuremberg, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, just to name a few.

Serfaty’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Arts and Design, the Mint Museum, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Corning Museum of Glass, and Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Education

1984      Fine Arts, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem

1987    Fine Arts, Middlesex Polytechnic, London

Listed  Solo Exhibitions

1994     Artifact Gallery, Tel Aviv, Sculptural Furniture 

1997     Gallery Inter Nos, Milan, Aqua Creations 

1998     Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, Strasbourg Antoine Cicero & Ayala Serfaty une dialogue 

1998    Gallery Blanchart, Milan, Ayala Serfaty  

2000    Meta Gallery, Milan, Evolution 19   

2007    Lorenzelli Arte, Milan, Soma: The Beauty of the Moon through Clouds 

2008     Tel Aviv Museum of Art - Soma light installation 

2009     Sculpture Museum Beelden Aan Zee, Den Haag, the Netherlands, Soma Light Installation 

2009    Cristina Grajales Gallery, Design Miami 

2011    Cristina Grajales Gallery, New York, In Vein 

Listed Group Exhibitions

1991    Artifact Gallery, Tel Aviv, The Next Generation 

1994    Janco Dada Museum, Ein-Hod, Israel, Object Object: A Dialogue between Art and Design

1995    Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen, Germany - Design-Time

1996    Übersee Museum, Bremen, Germany - Design im Wandel

2002    Centre Pompidou, Paris - Carrefour de la Création

2002    The Rockland Center for the Arts, New York, Design show

2003    Neues Museum Nürnberg, Nuremberg - Design Museums of the World

2003    Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg - Nature Highly Artificial

2004    Dot Fifty One Gallery, Miami, Red, White and Blue 

2005     Victoria &Albert Museum, London, Collect 

2005     Triennale, Milan, Promisedesign, New Design from Israel 

2006     Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York Solos: Design from Israel

2006    VIA Gallery, Paris, Surfaces 

2010       London Design Museum - Brit Insurance Design Awards 2010

2010    Chelouche Gallery for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Re-Location 

2011       Design Museum Holon, Israel - New Olds: Design between Tradition and Innovation 

2012       Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya, Israel - Cabinets of Wonders

2013       Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv - Woven Consciousness

2014       Design Museum Holon, Holon, Israel - Gathering

2015       Trapholt Museum of Modern Art & Design, Denmark - Fetishism 

Museum Collections

Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Aqua Regia 1996, acquisition 2001

Museum of Arts and Design, Webs June 2008, commissioned 2008

Holon Design Museum, Primo Bianco 2010, acquisition 2011

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wild March 2009, acquisition 2012

Mint Museum, Joy of Transition, 2012, commissioned 2012

Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Andrea’s Trust 2006, acquisition 2012

Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Once May 2006, acquisition 2013

Corning Museum of Glass, Soma 2015, commissioned 2015

Indianapolis Museum of Art, Memory 2014, acquisition 2015

Awards/Scholariships

1985    America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship 

2006     Israel Minister of Education and Culture’s annual Design Award

Bibliography

Aryeh Berkovitz, “Nighties News,” Hadashot (October 3, 1993)

Esther Zandberg, “A Woman’s World,” H’ir (December 12, 1995).

Paola Antonelli, “Making Waves,” I.D. Magazine (January-February, 1998), 77.

Deborah Sontag, “Where the Fish Watch you Eat,” The New York Times (April 1, 1999), 56.

Dov Kazenelson, “Under the Water,” BVD (May 2003): 94-97.

Meira Yagid-Haimovici, Design Museums of the World (2004), 206-211.

Charlotte and Peter Fiell, eds., 1000 Lights vol II (New York: Taschen, 2005): 446-9.

Meira Yagid-Haimovici, “It is the Light,” Tel Aviv Museum of Art catalogue for Soma Light Installation, 2008

Yuval Sa’ar, “Take your Sleeping Bad and spend the Night at the Museum,” Haaretz, Nov. 2008

Sarit Shapira, “Dewdrops of Light: On Ayala Serfaty’s Light Objects,” Ayala Serfaty, In Vein (New York: Cristina Grajales Gallery, 2011).

Tim McKeohugh, “Ayala Serfaty’s Light Sculptures on Display,” The New York Times (Novemb 2, 2011), D3.

Tali Yaffe, “A Light Touch,” Cultured Magazine (Winter, 2012), 118.

Dafna Kauffmann, “Paludes,” Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Arts website: http://www.herzliyamuseum.co.il/english/september-2012/cabinet-of-wonder/ayala-serfati 

Nava Sevilla Sadeh, “A Subline Vision: Classical Concepts of Sublimation in Classical and Hellenistic Sculptural Goddess Images and their Manifestation in Artworks by Two Contemporary Israeli Artists, Lea Avital and Ayala Serfaty,” in Consciousness, Literature and the Arts 15 (1) (April, 2014). 

William Ganis, “Ayala Serfaty’s Shared Intimacies,” The Urban Glass Quarterly 140 (Fall, 2015), 50-53.

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