Photographed by Ami Erlich
Summer group show:
Edgar Orlaineta, Yael Balaban, Guy Goldstein, Lihi Chen, Toony Navok, Gabriella Klein, Ania Krupiakov, Jakob Roepke, Guy Shoham, Irit Tamari
Curated by Orly Hoffman
July 11 – August 23, 2013
The exhibition “Come Closer” presents small sized artworks, offering a unique observation while creating an intimate viewing experience, inviting to tarry and linger in front of each artwork.
The artworks’ small size was consciously selected by the artists, and is an integral part of their artistic statement and work, acting as a catalyst in the artists’ search for innovative visual and conceptual avenues. The small format does not indicate a formative thinness or ideological minimalism; rather, the artworks are rich in material, color, and information, and, as a form of action, they enable a different new channel for the artists.
The works in this exhibition presents: unexpected combinations of materials, expressive movement of line and spot, broad drawing gestures, clipping of photographs and papers, substrates, textures, and personal connotation, all together exhibiting a variety of content worlds, interests, and proportions.
The eclectic abundance compacted into small space invites viewers to stall on every artwork, redefining and strengthening the interpretation process and the connection between sight, absorption, and containment.
Pushing the limits creates a sense of intensity, requiring logical thinking patterns, adequate planning, and precision in order to deliver each artwork’s idea, course, and thought. The size limitation challenges the artists to overcome the boundaries of time and space, and acts as a search engine for alternative representation methods.
‘Storing’ plentiful information, condensing ideas, and presenting them in limited space are the core of all artworks in this exhibition; these characteristics carry an inevitable resemblance to the processes related to the creation and development of the computerized memory, and the way information is stored and maintained. The artworks are condensed and presented in small scale, raising multi-layered maze reflections: between points in time, personal story vs. public space, glimmering advertising boards, consumer products and cultural icons. The artworks evoke reference to traditions of using substance, art history, contemporary practices, and digital media.
Fragments of reality are presented alongside thoughts, ideas, criticism, and political and social statements that appear in the same hierarchical order of importance, offering various viewing and interpretation possibilities.
The Berliner artist Jakob Roepke spent years collecting, documenting, and constructing an atlas of images, from which he creates his miniature, colorful, and highly detailed collages. Each collage represents a universe, with social structure and relationships. Roepke shifts between childish and naive imageries, and a gloomy feeling of menace and obscurity that arises and violates the grinning idyllic life. Roepke’s attention to details and deep commitment to his art, guide each of his work; viewing each work as a part of the continuous sequence of his artwork, they join together to create the holistic oeuvre, deciphered by personal code. Roepke creates a world of symbols, comprised of paper cutouts, photographs, drawings, and paintings acting as unique landmarks to his perception and work.
Gabriella Klein presents a series of collages, composed of textile drawings, models, and textures – a continuous topic in her work. A personal collection of photos, home-brought fabrics and reproductions of her oil on canvas paintings, were scanned on paper, cut, and re-attached, resembling a pressed-together, multi-layered, geological chart. It merges body parts, pieces of sheets, towels and clothing particles that are hung, stretched, rolled, and folded, creating mountain ranges, gorges, and landscape formations. The connection between two and three dimensions, different time periods, artworks, and fabrics from the personal space, and inspirations and tributes to art history, creates for Klein a new, stimulating, exiting, and intriguing syntactic platform.
Irit Tamari using the places she tours and photographs as the raw materials for her work. The eye of the camera capturing the moment is the starting point and infrastructure to the actions of cutting and reconnecting. Tamari does not simply staple, but rather weaves paper cutouts together, using them as sculpture raw materials, like spinning thread in a loom. Tamari creates new compositions, placing them between material and form, volume and surface, taking viewers on a journey to a different and healthier civilization.
Toony Navok presents a series of action drawings; using thin or thick contour line, she draws a comprehensive stroke, dismantling and assembling new formations. Living spaces, work environments, interior sketches, and functional home objects are the source of inspiration, attitude, and the research topic of her work. Navok lingers on the fissures, spaces, and empty cavities created by the junctions of the lines in her colorful drawings. She captures the time moving, just like sound waves, creating sentences of rhythm, and defines the meaning while working on the drawing. Her work subverts the classic conventions of predetermined hierarchy, alongside an engaging conversation that focus on the place, society, and art history.
Guy Goldstein’s drawing pencil moves between intensive surface of lead and airy, gentle contour lines. Goldstein uses papers from children workbooks, which turn into an adult board-game. At times, the imageries in his work collide with the background, but often break from the background, like positive and negative in black and white. He draws and slashes images of childhood heroes, puppets, game-animals, and figures, all participating in a gruesome, threatening shadow theatre. Each artwork reveals an image of rotten, abusive, pornographic, and distorted mechanisms, while touching the exposed nerves of man and society, life and death.
Lihi Chen presents digital prints, which she creates in tremendous proficiency, while keeping an associative diary from her personal bank of imageries. After a period of large-scale artwork, Chen chose the route of convergence on the one hand, and liberation on the other, freeing herself to engage in the most concealed emotional materials. Chen is chanted with the world of fairytales, myths, and stories, while burrowing in her well kept treasure box. She pulls out a sword, or a dancing doll from a music box, presenting a world of images in a foreign language. Chen continues to create an enigmatic experience of an uncertain place, a distant place that is nowhere, with blurry lines between reality and imagination, childish world and criticism on society and consumerism.
Edgar Orlaineta, a Mexico-based artist, presents a series of numbered production and design sketches, with parts of assembly models and intense colors background. Orlaineta masters the digital medium, crossbreeds and unites imageries, subtracts and adds volumes, creating layers of content between two and three dimensions. The artwork exhibits a variety of mechanical and automotive particles alongside flying objects and butterfly wings, representing shift, voyage, wandering, migration, and transition of body, knowledge, and historic load. The objects control and monitor all movements, as they together represent all mobility options, covering the entire aerial space. Orlaineta enhances his hybrid creatures with their usability and soars between political forces of society, consumerism, capital, and government.
Ania Krupiakov’s work projects a strong sense of alienation, of another place and time. The photographed portraits are printed on oval ceramic reliefs, and appear as Cameo carvings on shell, echoing historic traditions. They fuse into the material and remain as a fading contour, losing their individual identities and turning into a portrait model. Krupiakov hybrid of contents, materials and photography practices, creates a diversion, influencing the point of view and the ways to decipher her work. Krupiakov’s work examines pathos and models of beauty; her work disrupts the ability to define and associate a being on a social and geographical basis, or on a national and international level.
The virtuoso pencil sketches of “The Lovers of Michelangelo” in Yael Balaban’s work only leave the heads. The rigorous and toiling drawings are inspired by ancient world while emphasizing the tight connection between the architectural details and the drawn portrait. Balaban knits and weaves classical art with plant images from old botanical books, engaging in a profound discussion with cultural echelons and the human memory. Her work emphasizes the importance of the small details, as their repetition creates her unique signature style.
The steep move between Guy Shoham’s large oil painting and his current decision to draw on small canvas portrays the diversity of his work and thought process. The ratio of large to small resets the relationship of space, setting, image, theme, content, and figurative practicality, representing a new mindset and challenge. Shoham presents a series of fountains moving between traditional classical imagery to huge Hollywood billboards, with tenuous light. Shoham refers to national monumental landmarks, their role as historic and western cultural assets, calling for a critique social discussion. Delving into art history characterizes Shoham’s work, along with the “kitsch” used as a repetitive motive and a subject matter for his research.
Orly Hoffman, July 2013