(b. 1969, Israel; lives in Ein Vered and works in Tel Aviv)
Ruthi Helbitz Cohen is among the most outstanding Israeli artists of her generation. Her work enjoys exceptional success overseas, and in recent years it has been featured extensively in Germany, Netherlands, and other countries. In 2017 she presented a solo exhibition at Haifa Museum of Art, and in 2015—at the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art (Israel). Helbitz Cohen paints on parchment paper, masking tape, and other readymade substances that carry vast autobiographical baggage, images that conjure up psychic contents, whether raw or overly mellow. Her work calls to mind Art Brut, but its aesthetic quality and explicit skill re-infuse it with the necessary distance needed to operate in a cultural field. The viewer's encounter with the work is an encounter with mental contents and wild emotions under controlled conditions; with a sense of sweet horror, the feeling of something good gone awry, of missed youth, missed love, a wilted flower. Her work is haunted and threatened. It conjures up the Aristotelian concept of the work of art as catharsis.