Powerful forces have acted in the last decades on Israeli culture, pushing aside and ousting traditions and attitudes that had formerly seemed to be fixtures of local culture.
The culture of rating has become one of the catalysts of change in local art. One such change was an end to the monolithic presence of the most central and dominant trend in Israeli art, a trend that acted under the canopy of what was termed "the want of matter" – an expression coined in the title of a major exhibition curated by Sara Breitberg- Semel in 1986 at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, which referred to the use of the language of lean materials in art. The exhibition and its underlying argument had a significant effect on art in Israel during the eighties. The "want of matter" trend acted within a well defined artistic range and artists aspiring to be accepted to the core of artistic activity at the time were well aware of its "dos and don'ts" ; it was not an easy code to decipher, but its presence was quite tangible.
Alongside this attitude, which favored relative sparseness of representational means, there were also other styles, which included expressions of material richness, polish, seduction and elegance.
"A Rich Seem" seeks to examine several aspects of the new reciprocal relations that have developed in Israel during the last decades of the twentieth century between the systems of economy and abundance and the system of artistic representation in Israeli art; how do they reflect each other and what role is the viewer assigned in their mutual "courtship dance".