Ella Kandel


I am a magnet for objects. I attract small objects, such as utility knives, or larger ones, such as airplanes. They leave me no choice but to get involved with them, sending me on an archeological journey to create something from society’s trash heaps. I work with the discarded artifacts of endless production to create sculptures and installations that examine systems of oppression, shedding light on imbalances pushed to the margins of society and of the mind. I explore these, for example, by investigating walls: walls around hearts and eyes, walls on the land – dividing and separating people and earth. 


I play with the intrinsic function of the objects I choose, exploring multiple readings and the paradoxes within them, such as an object used for safety and the danger it represents, and vice versa. I often find these dualities in domesticated arenas. Whether a boxing gym, a horse training farm, or the performed spectacle of a flight attendant’s safety instructions: I am compelled to dissect attempts to civilize the wild, violent, and unpredictable. This process often leads to questioning of patriarchal logic from a feminist perspective, challenging gender roles, and harmful constructs of power. Overall, I reflect on what I witness as an inhabitant of today’s world, offering quiet propositions for a better future.


Ella Kandel (b. 1985, Jerusalem), makes sculptures and installations that explore the relationship between object and space, the personal and social spheres, participation and observation. Drawing out conflicts that are hidden within the structure of the human spirit, Kandel aims to offer alternative, reparative models of thought around particular social conditions. unique upbringing in Neot Smadar, an intentional community located in the desert of Israel – a community built on values of artistic creation, the study of self, cooperation, relationship to nature, and austerity – majorly influenced her artistic philosophy and visual language. Kandel’s first solo exhibition was presented in 2015 at Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art in Israel, and her work has been shown in galleries including Gordon Gallery, Zemack Gallery, and Alfred Gallery in Tel Aviv, as well as in alternative spaces, art events, the Israeli contemporary art fair, Fresh Paint, and it belongs to numerous private collections. Kandel is a recipient of the Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation Award for unique art projects, a Studio Grant from Tel Aviv Yafo Municipality, and a full-coverage fellowship for graduate study at Rutgers University. She is currently completing her MFA in Visual Art at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of Art, New Brunswick, NJ (2021). She received a BFA in Multidisciplinary Art from Shenkar College, Ramat Gan, Israel (2013), and studied at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany (2012). From 2015 to 2019 Kandel taught art in Studio Adi Lidor – a contemporary ceramics school. She is a founding member of the art collective Anti Mehikon. Kandel currently lives in New Brunswick, NJ, and works in both New Brunswick and Jaffa-Tel Aviv, IL. 

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