Raphie Etgar (born August 1947, Jerusalem) serves as Curator and Artistic Director of the Museum on the Seam since its initiation and establishment in the year 2000. The exhibitions he initiates and curates deal with issues at the center of public discussion and in the spirit of human rights and civic duties and a commitment to bring moral and social change through contemporary art, and to examine reality and the conflicts it bears in its local and universal contexts. One of the objectives declared by the museum is to create dialogue in face of disagreement. The museum was chosen by the New York Times as one of the 29 leading art venues around the globe.
In 1972, Etgar graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem.
During the years 1980-1995 Etgar was widely considered as one of the most prominent poster designers in Israel. He created over one thousand posters and prints for most of the theater plays in Israel as well as to the main cultural events that took place during those years. In 1995, following the murder of the late Yitzhak Rabin, Etgar initiated privately, for the first time, a poster for the event that eventually became a stepping stone and an icon for his work, and would later open his solo exhibition at the Israel Museum.
In the course of these intensive years of creation, Etgar was invited to lecture and direct projects in academies and art institutions throughout Europe, including:
Akademie der Künste, Berlin \ National College of Art and Design, Dublin \ Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna \ Hochschule der Künste, Zurich \ Akademija Likovnih Umjetnosti, Sarajevo \ Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf \ Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart
During the years 1990-1999, Etgar was invited to serve as an Art Director and Artist in Residence to the renowned S. FISHER publishing house in Germany. As part of his work he initiated a project that incorporates many leading authors and creates art works inspired by their books. Project "Bücher werden Plakate" involved Noble Prize winning authors such as: Nadine Gordimer, J. M. Coetzee and Kenzaburō Ōe among others. His work with these renowned authors created a unique dialogue between the artistic and literary worlds that enriched the reading experience through the visual one.
In 2000 Etgar initiated the exhibition COEXISTANCE: an international project that incorporates many leading poster designers from around the globe. The project was displayed in over 35 cities in different continents and called for mutual understanding between fellow nations and religions. Its global journey was supported by world leaders and thinkers.
- 2005- DEAD END which dealt with the violence within Israeli society.
- 2006- EQUAL AND LESS EQUAL that focused on the issues of discrimination exploitation and humiliation.
- 2007- BARE LIFE about the personal and public consequences of a prolong state of emergency that becomes legitimized;
- 2008- HEARTQUAKE that examined the central role of anxiety in human interactions with their surroundings, thus examining the dynamics of social and political interactions.
- 2009- NATURE NATION that dealt with the complexity of encounters between humans with their natural environment.
- 2010- THE RIGHT TO PROTEST about the obligation that comes with the privilege of protest.
- 2011- WEST END about the clash of civilizations between Islam and the west and the possible consequences.
- 2012- BEYOND MEMORY faces the viewers with works of art that expose images delved from the archives of repression and denial of fears and anxieties from our past experiences, in an attempt to learn from them how to avoid repeating past mistakes.
- 2013- FLESH & BlOOD that calls upon us to look at flesh and blood as a fabric that connects all living beings to one family and to treat it with respect and compassion.
- 2013- EVERYONE CARRIES A ROOM INSIDE that examines loneliness as a major contemporary phenomenon, gaining more and more impact on people’s lives.
- 2014- AND THE TREES WENT FORTH TO SEEK A KING critically examines the complex inter-relationship between leaders and their subjects.
- 2015- UNPROTECTED ZONE about the responsibility and the ability of the individual to alter and influence his own future and his surroundings. The exhibition also deals with the question to what extent does the establishment and society intervenes in restricting the individual and shaping his world.
Solo and Group Exhibitions
- 1990, Cambridge, Harvard University
- 1995, Jerusalem, Israel Museum- Palevsky Pavilion
- 1998, Essen, The German Poster Museum
- 1984, Berlin -Group Poster Exhibition, National Galerie
- 1985, Bonn - Science Centre, International Poster Exhibition
- 1986, Paris - Palais Royale, International Poster Exhibition
- 1986, Osnabruck - the International Theater Poster Exhibition
- 1987, Lahti - 7 international Poster Biennale, Finland
- 1987, Arhus - Music Posters, the Music New Center
- 1987, Copenhagen - National Danish Museum of Industrial Art
- 1987, Orleans - Film Festival Poster Exhibition, France
- 1988, Toyama - 2 International Poster Biennale
- 1988, Jerusalem - Israeli Poster Artists at the Israel Museum
- 1988, Frankfurt - the Opera House
- 1988, New York - 2 Art Directors Club, International Annual Exhibition
- 1989, Lahti - 8 International Poster Biennale
- 1989, Paris - Musee de la Publicite
- 1989, Dublin - The National College of Art & Design
- 1990, Warsaw - 13 International Poster Biennale
- 1990, Brno - 14 Biennale of Graphic Design
- 1990, New York - 5 International Exhibition, Art Directors Club
- 1990, Paris - Deuxiemes Recontres Internationales des Art Graphiques
- 1990, Tefen - 4 Israeli Poster Designers, Open Museum Industrial Park
- 1991, Lahati - the 9 Poster Biennale – Finland
- 1991, Paris - Deuxiemes Recontres Internationales des Art Graphiques
- 1991, Toyama - Museum of Modern Art –International Poster Triennial
- 1991, Essen - Theater der Welt - Poster Exhibition
- 1992, Chaumont - International Graphic Art Exhibition
- 1992, Helsinki - University of industrial arts UIA- International Exhibition
- 1993, Lahti - 10 Poster Biennale – Finland
- 1993, Tel Aviv - Tel Aviv Museum, International Poster Exhibition
- Museum on the Seam website.
- Coexistence Exhibition website.
- Akin Ajayi, Jerusalem Museum Straddles the Line Between Art and Politics, Haaretz, 23 November 2012.
- Robert Fisk, Palestine, Yes, but Israelis Draw the Line at Jerusalem, The Independent, 27 September 2011.
- Art Can Help to Prevent Future Catastrophes, Bloomberg TV, 7 May 2012.
- Coexistance Exhibition is Displayed in the Quad Cities, 31 August 2007.
- Coexistence: Political Art in Auckland's Britomart, Thread-NZ: Culture Latestnews.
- No Boundaries - "Coexistence: The Art of Living Together" Merges Art, Education, & Controversy, River Cities' Reader, 15 August 2007.
- The Hartford Hosts COEXISTENCE on Asylum Hill: Internationally Acclaimed Exhibition Comes to Insurer's World Headquarters in Connecticut, The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire, 11 April 2007.
- The Cycle that Needs to be Broken, Scoop Culture, 31 January 2006.
- Artists Encourage Coexistence Through Art Near Old Main, Arizona Daily Wildcat, 3 February 2005.
- Artists, Writers Call for 'Coexistence' around the World, Business Wire, 20 September 2004.
- 'Coexistence' Exhibit Defaced, St. Petersburg Times, 15 December 2003.
- Arts & Culture Israeli Exhibit on Coexistence Gets Warm Welcome in South Africa, The Global Jewish News, 31 March 2003.
- "Coexistence" Comes to Bern, Swiss Info, 18 April 2002.