Background Notes on the Artist
Avi Lehrer paints mainly in oil on canvas and his themes range from landscapes to still life, nudes and portraits. He focuses on color and composition.
Avi's paintings reflect his weltanschauung that life should be full of joy. The fact that there is sadness in the world does not mean that art should be drab and sad. There is also much beauty, both natural and man-made that artists such as Avi Lehrer feel should be captured on canvas. The bright colors in most of Avi’s paintings radiates happiness.
Avi Lehrer was born in London in 1947. When Avi was Barmitzvah, among the presents he received were books on Impressionism and early Dutch artists. That kindled his interest in art and drawing, which already had a basis since Avi’s father, M.C. Lehrer was skilled in pencil sketches and portraits
His parents escaped from Belgium in 1940 which was then under the occupation of the Nazis. After crossing Belgium, France, Gibraltar and Portugal, they ended up on a boat that landed in England. Many of Avi Lehrer’s relations, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins perished in the Second World War. Avi’s parents, in common with other survivors were intent on building up a family that would cherish their Jewish heritage and appreciate the Jewish homeland.
Avi studied at London University and has both a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Law. Whilst a student he was involved in radical student politics. He went to Israel in 1967 as a volunteer but returned to England to complete his studies. He was already active in Soviet Jewry campaigns having been a committee member of the Universities Committee for Soviet Jewry since 1965. He first went to Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in 1970 specifically on a Jewish mission and was there with the late Shlomo Carlebach singing and dancing in the streets outside the main Moscow Synagogue . That was just a few short months before the Soviet government decided to start letting Jewish people emigrate in large numbers. Before emigrating to Israel, Avi practiced as a lawyer in London for 25 years. He is also a member of the Israel Bar.
Avi’s art education started at an early age in his school in London and then took a huge long break until emigrating to Israel in 1997. He has studied art in Jerusalem with among others Eldar Farber and Ben Tritt, the latter two teaching at the prestigious art college known as The Jerusalem Studio School under the direction of Israel Hershberg.
His link with Art. is as strong as his love of Israel. He has toured art galleries around the world, from Australia and Hong Kong, to Alaska, America, Brazil and Chile.
In addition to art, Avi has during his eighteen years as an Israeli citizen volunteered for Melabev (a group that looks after people suffering from Alzheimers), founded the British Israel Group (an information group about Israel) and co-directed and co-produced a documentary film on the state of the Yiddish language in Israel. The film has been shown at Jewish Film festivals around the world as well as on television in America and Europe.