About the Gallery

Horace by Ardyn Halter
Horace was fascinated by people. He wanted to touch the essence of their vitality. He always seemed possessed by the person he was with, to know what made them tick.
Horace was generous to a fault. He was caring and he seemed to care less about himself than about others.
Many are unaware quite how much Horace influenced the cultural style, the taste of Israel. The projects he initiated were innumerable: design projects; exhibitions of established and new artists from Israel and from overseas; shows of art schools; end of year shows; group shows; sculpture; photographs; drawings; eclectic shows (of the galleries of his time he alone disdained the narrow concept of a “kav’, a line; to him it was an absurd notion).
He loved exhibitions and design connected to lifestyle, living habits and food.
He loved food with the passion of a gourmet. For him it was a passion second only to his passion for aesthetics. Indeed the two were interconnected in the presentation of food that for Horace was inseparable from its taste. He was not a feinschmekker but a lover, an aficionado. No one cared more than he about an exhibition opening. His eye caught every detail. Beyond the hanging, the lighting, the space. The gallery, the stairs, the roof terrace, all were whitewashed. Work continued to the very last moment. Everything could always be improved. He was a perfectionist who knew that there was no such thing as perfection. He cared passionately about the position of objects, sculptures, plants, furniture, the gaps between objects, light and form. He interplayed them endlessly and to a degree foreign at the time (and perhaps also today) to Israeli society.
He was ahead of his time in Israel. He brought aesthetic innovations to Israel well before Israelis began to travel and shop the world for new styles, new ideas, taste and aesthetics. Horace imported, adapted, evolved ideas, styles and aesthetics well before their time in Israel. By the time Israel had assimilated what he was doing or enabled to be done, he was insufficiently credited for his achievements. For he not only had ideas – he was also prepared to invest the means to make them happen. The aesthetics truly mattered to him more than the business.
To name but a few projects and exhibitions I can recall:

1) The Perfect Teacup: a great design initiative to stimulate potters and designers (it was open 
     to all-comers) throughout Israel.
The first show of Henry Moore in Israel, co-ordinated directly with the Henry Moore Foundation.
3) The perfect dinner-setting.
The first show of Lucian Freud in Israel – 5 years before the Tel-Aviv museum show – for   
     which Horace was never adequately credited by the Israel art establishment.
5) Bread –a show and celebration.

The list is endless. He was the natural venue for shows that were not museum scale but were much more than gallery shows.

We can all call to mind memorable events at Horace’s that have enriched us.
He gave me my first gallery show in Israel for which I am grateful. He arranged this in a so genial, generous a way that we remained close friends since.
Horace loved music. For years I remember him speaking about the grand-piano his father bought for him back at Mt. Gideon in North Carolina. And when he finally bought one for the gallery concerts it was as if he had linked himself to his home and to his childhood memories and his youth. Yet Horace was not sentimental. He hated illness and loathed funerals and many years back told me that he stopped attending them. He said that the only funeral he would reluctantly attend was his own.
He lived in the here and now and somehow made the present seem a little larger, expanded by his sensory delight, his relish for the present and for present company. 
He loved Israel because he found the people more interesting here than anywhere else. In his youth he complained to his father about the area they lived in North Carolina. He said:
            “The people here are so boring.”
It was, he said, the only time he saw his father angry:
            “You make them interesting!” his father shouted.
Horace laughed: “You make them interesting… I never forgot that. Find what is interesting. Find what is remarkable.”
He loved the variety of people, the tongues, the taste, the characters, the smells, peculiarities, idiosyncracies and styles. Life in Israel, Am Yisrael, for Horace was an endless feast that he enjoyed as much as he enjoyed a night ramble through the Fiorentin quarter tasting bourekas at the different bakeries, under the pretext of preparing for an exhibition opening: spinach; cheese, onion, light and fluffy, heavy and concentrated, each had its merits to be savoured and analyzed.
Horace was a connoisseur of life, a connoisseur with his sleeves half-rolled up.
He once told me that if he could choose a name for himself then Ahad Ha’Am would be it. He relished the name and the idea behind it yet knew that it suited his heart, more than his life. He was less Ahad Ha’Am than a catalyst who has given this land much it should remember him by. Yet such was the nature of his giving and his gifts, that the memory of them will be carried by many, many individuals rather than by institutions – as it might have been had Horace possessed the ego to arrange it. He did not. He was extraordinarily modest and his memory will be carried by each of us in our lives and in our memories and in our deeds. 

"My wife and I lived in our boat {Thalita} for three year. Our plan was to sail around the world.
We began our romance with Jaffa by looking for a place to store my art. One day we wandered into Old-Jaffa we found a run down Gallery overlooking the sea. As we were debating about the feasibility of renovating it we walked into the Richter Gallery. There sat in the far corner this Hobbit with white hair. We came, said hello and he asked "what are you looking for"? I told him about our plans and he said "let me show you something". He took us upstairs to this very quaint little flat {it looked like a palace to us}. It was fully furnished and full of beautifully art. Than this old guy climbed {surprisingly well} up these steep steps telling us to follow we came upon a wondrous roof top with the most astonishing view of the Mediterranean. We went back down to the gallery and Horace put his arms around us looked us in the eye with his piercing blue eyes and said "come live with me" my wife Suzanne said immediately if you bring me here I will make you ten babies. We moved in the next day bringing our toothbrushes from the boat. The flat was cleaned by Vivian and Moshe, with pillows and sheets on the bed and cupboards full of dishes and cutlery.
Horace I want to thank you for the immense gift you gave us. You understood my artist soul and gave me a home and the quiet to return to my art. All of my life I have been a nomad and in Jaffa I have found myself.
You made me a millionaire by showing me there are no boundaries for our spirit.
We lived for three years with you Horace it was a great pleasure and honor to be with you on the last leg of your journey. We miss making food and eating breakfast together, throwing spontaneous parties on your roof, and Most of all receiving critique and talking art in my gallery. Your keen eye for good art and your poetic eloquence were unique to this land. You introduced me to new worlds with your prolific library, catalog's & art magazines. We miss your gentle southern drawl "hello Darlin" and your childish curiosity. Your vision of modern Israeli art at the Richter Gallery was admirable. Many artists speak of you as their mentor. You promoted the art scene in Israel as a visionary and a true Zionist.
Horace my Friend I wish for you that your life work will live on. That the Richter estate will continuing to exhibit and promotes Israeli art."
Love Ayal Suzanne and Jaffa baby Lidya






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