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.
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, 2022 - Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
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
1985 - America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship ; 2006 - Israel Minister of Education and Culture’s annual Design Award
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