The Michel Kikoine Prize
The Michel Kikoïne Prize – a gift of the artist's daughter, Mrs. Claire Maratier-Kikoïne of Paris – is given to encourage and reward Israeli artists. The prize is awarded annually since 2008 in the month of May, shortly before Michel Kikoïne's birth date (May 31, 1892).
The members of the Prize Committee are Prof. Mordechai Omer, Curator of the University Art Gallery; the art collector Doron Sebbag; the journalist and art critic Angela Levine; the artist Ofer Lellouche; and Dr. Catherine Supé- Kikoïne, who represents the Kikoïne family.
The prize ceremony is one of the events attended by Tel Aviv University's Internationsl Board of Governors, in conjunction with the French Friends of Tel Aviv University.
The prize is given to fund an exhibition at the Michel Kikoïne Foundation, and the Genia Schreiber University Art Gallery.
Michel Kikoïne (1892–1968) was born in Belarus and lived in Paris, and was one of the best-known artists affiliated with the School of Paris. Michel Kikoïne and the other members of the School of Paris occupy an important place in the history of 20th century art.
A rich collection of his works, donated by his daughter, Mrs. Claire Maratier- Kikoïne, Kikoïne is on permanent display in the Michel Kikoïne Foundation gallery. The foundation, which has also been donated by Mrs. Claire Maratier- Kikoïne, is an integral part of the University Art Gallery.
Ruth Dorrit Yacoby's art is rooted in the depths of a personal emotional experience, in which suffering is perceived as a continuous, primeval state of existence. Subjective events, just like natural phenomena, are experienced as an expression of magical powers and as an embodiment of a spiritual force that appears to unify the entire world. This mode of existence is closely affiliated with religious, mystical experiences and with the ancient world of myth, and is thus interpreted as a journey: a transformative subjective and spiritual process, much like the journey of mythical heroes to the underworld and back to the world of the living, or like the soul's journey towards redemption and eternal life. In Yacoby's art, this journey unfolds between the polar extremes of birth, death, and rebirth, in a cyclical movement that heralds the resurrection of life from within death.
The containment of a spiritual journey of such epic dimensions requires a total, religious form of artmaking, in which painting, found objects, and various bodily actions are perceived as conductors of magical forces, as vessels whose purifying and healing powers are only activated when they are brought together in the same dwelling place. As such, they offers a transcendental experience - appearing as an all-inclusive installation that covers the walls and floor, and forging various connections between different things, paintings, and objects. Each detail appears as a powerful and autonomous ritual object, while the proximity between them gives rise to a sense of religious unity. This space embodies Yacoby's journey from the heart of private existence to a spiritual being assumes the form of the Great Mother - a being that enables her to reconcile personal and public concerns in her role as the mother of life and death, as a weeper lamenting the loss of life who simultaneously gives life and promotes healing and redemption.
In honor of Ruth Dorrit Yacoby winning the prize, her exhibition Ruth Dorrit Yacoby - The Woman of the Thousand Voices opened on the 12th of May 2011 at Michel Kikoïne Foundation.