Twelve works on canvas will be shown alongside fifteen works on paper.
Since moving to New York in the early 1970s, El Hanani has been meticulously crafting his drawings, fusing the ancient Hebrew tradition of micrography with a contemporary minimalist aesthetic to create his unique body of work. With thousands of microscopic marks made with a Rapidograph technical pen, the artist creates highly detailed surfaces that need to be seen up close to appreciate their intricate patterns and craftsmanship. These complex works often draw on personal and historical references, and can take months or even years to complete.
The exhibition title “linescape” references El Hanani’s interpretation of the theme of landscape. Though at first these works appear abstract and indebted to the aesthetic rigors of minimalism, they also subtly evoke the history of landscape painting. Inspired by Turner’s dramatic sense of light and atmosphere, several of the works are named for the British master, while others draw from Mondrian’s linear grids to achieve a feeling of urban landscape.
For the artist, these works represent a liberation from his highly detailed and rigidly structured earlier series. He explains: “For many decades, I was working under a self-imposed austerity, but many artists, as they get older, release themselves and tend to embrace a freer, more lyrical style. When I start one of these drawings, I don’t know exactly how it will end; they are allowed to evolve on their own.”
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog including an essay by Raphael Rubinstein.