The text by Rina Genussov for Lena and Oded Zaidel exhibition "I Had Dream...Janco", 2019

Janco DaDa Museum, Ein Hod


The Dream about Marsel Janco 1, 2018, Dry pastel on paper, 85X151

I Had Dream...Janco / Rina Genussov

As a tribute to and inspired by the works of Marcel Janco in the permanent exhibition and as part of a new project, artists Lena and Oded Zaidel were invited to create works especially for the museum space.

The painting A Dream about Marcel Janco 1 depicts the artist Lena Zaidel dozing in her Jerusalem studio, her arm embracing a cardboard mask of Tristan Tzara, one of the founders of the Dada movement. In Zaidel’s painting this three-dimensional mask, which was created by Janco and is on exhibit in the museum’s permanent exhibition, has been turned into an expressive two-dimensional image cut off from its original context. Zaidel also draws inspiration here from the works of other well-known artists, such as Man Ray and Brâncuși.


The Dream about Marsel Janco 2, 2018, Dry pastel on paper,95X240

The painting A Dream about Marcel Janco 2 contains images from Janco’s painting Imaginary Animals that Lena Zaidel took apart and put together again. In her painting Zaidel inserts figures taken from her personal archives of images and from the geographic region where she lives. The wolves express a personal motif of purification, liberation and a call for renewal. Her painting also features houses built of Jerusalem stone as well as the Dome of the Rock, referring to the complex political situation. Zaidel adopts the colorful geometric shapes outlined with strong and sharp lines that were typical of Janco’s style in the 1960s and 1970s. She breaks down and rebuilds images from Janco’s works, granting them a new and relevant meaning in her surrealistic paintings.

Oded Zaidel, The Masks 1,2,3,4,5, 2019, Acrylic on carton. 80X110 

Inspired by masks created by Marcel Janco, Oded Zaidel fashioned five large colorful masks from cardboard sheets, forming a carnival of masks that on the one hand is colorful and naïve, with hot air balloons depicting the eyes and cloud shapes describing the hair.  On the other hand, the masks also feature industrial and urban elements, such as antennas, street lamps or roads. In recent years Zaidel’s work is characterized by urban and industrial landscapes through which he engages in dialogue with the founding fathers of abstract geometric painting. His encounter with the automatic poetry of the Dada artists in general, and with the breaking of conventions in Tzara’s poetry in particular, inspired him to look differently at topics that interest him and enabled him to break the rules, celebrate artistic freedom and create masks that are a hybridization of facial lines, landscapes and various objects taken from other contexts. Thus, Zaidel’s contemporary masks reflect the spirit of Dada and Surrealism and are marked by lightness, subversion of what exists, absurdity, humor and childlike innocence.

The exhibition’s name, “I Had a Dream…Janco”, is adapted from the name of the vignette “I Had Another Dream… Crows” in the film Dreams by the famous Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. This vignette, the director’s tribute to the renowned artist Vincent Van Gogh, features a virtual journey through the rich colors and textures of the Dutch painter’s works.

Marsel Janco, Tzara's Mask, 1960, Mix media, 25.5X17.8 cm,  Janco-Dada Museum, Ein Hod

Marsel Janco, Imaginary Animals (Urmuz) 1976, Oil on canvas, 81X116, 
Janco Dada Museum, Ein Hod

The current exhibition is a link in a chain of influences, tributes and quotations typical of the history of the plastic arts and other art forms. The exhibition examines the relevance of exploring art from the past, and shows the extent to which the work of contemporary artists is enriched and enhanced by their tributes to the past artists. The dialogue between the work of Lena and Oded Zaidel and the work of Marcel Janco takes on even greater significance by virtue of its placement within the permanent display as an integral part of the exhibition dedicated to Janco’s work.

Rina Genussov, curator


Gideon Ofrat 2024

Lena Zaidel, 2023

Rina Genussov, 2022

Nava T. Barazani 2022

Michal Shaknai Yakobi 2022

Lena Zaidel, Sasha Okun 2021

House on the Bridge 2021


Lena Zaidel 2020

Barry Davis 2020

Bat-Sheva Dori 2020



Rina Genussov 2019


Yossi Waxman 2018


Shosh Averbukh 2017

Gideon Ofrat 2017

Alejandera Okret 2017

Lena Zaidel 2007-16

S. Ish-Shalom Award 2016

Oded Zaidel 2015

Gideon Ofrat 2013

Albert Suissa 2013

Karine Levit 2013

Yonatan Amir 2012

Zeev Bar-Sella 2012

Shosh Averbukh 2008

Zeev Goldberg 2007

Monica Lavi 2006

Leviathan Group

Measurements are given in centimeters, height × width
All the reproduction photos of Lena Zaidel's artworks in this website,
are taken by Michael Amar, unless otherwise noted.

All rights reserved to Lena Zaidel copyright 2008-2023