Chana Goldberg






 “When the emotion subsides, the correct poem speaks” (Natan Zach, “The Correct Poem”)

Twenty years passed before I returned to the theme of the difficulties I experienced with the expectations I had of myself as a mother and my passion for creating art  (reflected in the exhibit “Motherhood” and other works).

As a mature woman and artist, the dialogue that I conduct with the seamline between mother and artist is calmer and more accepting.

In my latest works, I pose inquiries about the place of art in my life, as well as

asking how much do I really express myself through my art.

Looking back, I see that many of my artworks through the years have returned to address the very same tension between concealing and revealing, between the covert and overt.

Oil on canvas

My Line


I returned form my artist residency flooded with the intensity of the colorfulness that is India.

Over the next few months, I worked in the studio in black and white only.

I covered large, lengthened surfaces with obsessive drawings.

Lines drawn out of my center were directly drawn by my hand onto the paper, without passing through my critical brain and eye.

Oil on canvas
The Young Women from India
Artists' House, Jerusalem

On my second day in an artist’s residency program in India, I was invited on a trip with a group of young women from the nearby orphanage.

The young women were invited to lunch at the place where we artists were staying.

They presented a play, declaimed poetry, danced for us,

and entreated me, “Paint us.”

Acrylic on canvas, 100x470cm

The Golden Tray

Acrylic on canvas, 100x470cm

The Hidden Face Take 2
Artists' House, Jerusalem

Paintings that were painted following family photographs that were taken just before the holocaust.

Who survived and who did not? Who will die at his predestined time and who before his time?

I painted with the colors of fire alone.

The faces I covered in gold.

Those who wanted their death did not see their faces

Oil on canvas
To the Desert
HaYatsranim Building, Jerusalem

I came down to the desert for a short period of reflection.

How does one find color in such a monochromatic place?

How does one paint the void?

Oil on cardboard, Tar on cardboard, Pastel on paper
The Nature Museum, Jerusalem

This is a series of collagraphs (a type of print) that hint at the things that occur beneath the surface. The sense of calm is deceiving. The history and events that were buried throughout the years continue to sizzle and bubble.

Oil and pastel on cardboard
Are the Waters Abated
The Other Gallery, Holon

The black menacing appearance of the raven repels people. I have seen the human in it. In spite of the good name of the dove as a symbol of relationship, it is in fact the raven that is loyal among the birds, to its spouse and to its family. The raven was sent by Noah from the ark “to see if the waters were abated”, and returned. An atmosphere of “after the storm” dwells in these paintings where the background of their occurrence is liquid and devoid of essence.

Oil on cardboard, Pastel on cardboard and paper, Oil on canvas
The Hidden Face
Artists' House, Jerusalem

After discovering that my grandfather was one of the leaders of the Judenrat in the city of Utrecht in Holland I embarked on a journey to try and discover the truth that was hidden from me all these years. I wandered between holocaust survivors that told me their story and his. I recorded them and drew them as they spoke. I traveled to Germany for a few weeks and interviewed Germans that lived on the other side of the fence. For the first time in my life I felt that art, the painting, is saving me and is separating me from these people and their horrific stories.

Oil on linen, Monoprint
High Tension
Red House Gallery, Tel-Aviv

The tension between human actions and nature. Who will win the competition?

How difficult it is in our urban surroundings to experience nature, even a tree, without poles and electricity wires cutting our view.

Oil on linen
Zion and Others
Red House Gallery, Tel-Aviv

Tzion was my neighbor.

He and his friends used to sit in the front garden of his home to chat and play backgammon.

I asked to paint them and they agreed happily. 

Oil on canvas
Peak of My Blossom
Beit Shmuel, Jerusalem

In this series, I asked myself what would happen if I kept quiet, if I stopped opposing and fighting. Will my voice be heard?

The flowers were removed from their natural context: they are not growing from the ground, and are not in water. I also removed some of their leaves.

The exposed flower was left (which in our culture is also a symbol of femininity) in a mute space.

Will these bones live?

Oil on canvas
Jerusalem of Above
Dweik Gallery, Jerusalem

I drew the place I live in, the Katamonim neighborhood in Jerusalem. Horrible blocks, electricity wires and sun boilers block both the physical and spiritual horizon from the neighborhood residents.

Oil on canvas, Cooking oil on sandpaper
Open Table
Elul Religious Jewish School, Jerusalem

I used images from children’s books and games about Shabbat. I was alarmed to discover that from an early age children are educated to fulfill their role in society: the boy learns Torah and goes with his father to the synagogue, and the girl cleans and helps her mother cook and lay the table. These apparently innocent images I transferred onto white synthetic fiber table cloths that are used to cover the Shabbat table in a typical religious family (25 of these projects were purchased by the Mishkan Museum of Art in Ein Harod and are exhibited in the permanent exhibition about Shabbat).

Mixed media on tablecloth
Modest Exhibition
Artists' House, Jerusalem

For years I covered my head as accepted in the orthodox community I live in. The feeling of suffocation and the understanding that the head covering, as well as the increased birthrate is a way of controlling the religious woman led me to create a series of self-portraits where my head was covered with a plastic bag. The response to this exhibition was severe and crossed all sectors.

Oil on canvas
Tyler School of Art Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, USA

As a mother of four small children I was torn between two strong forces: motherhood and art. This nearly impossible difficulty between these two total forces manifested itself in a series that was exhibited during my studies in the United States and then in Israel. The social-religious pressure to bear many children influences a religious woman even if it is not written verbally.

Oil on canvas