STICKS & STONES
Oren Eliav, Gilad Efrat, Jacob Mishori, Tal Yerushalmi
Dor Zlekha Levy
12.11.16 – 12.9.16
Opening event: 20 September, 8pm
Curator: Adi Gura
For the artists included in this group show, painting is a site of meaning, which is created through the construction of signs. These are not linguistic signs, but rather the basic elements of painting: lines and surfaces; sticks and stones.
A writing is a sequence of letters, preceding marks on paper, a code which awaits the deciphering of the reader. The linguistic rules, according to which letters form words, sentences and paragraphs, will always aspire to remain concealed. The action of reading turns the letters transparent, and even abolishes the paper, in order to incorporate what is written – the meaning. Thus, in reading, our eyes mask themselves with a kind of temporal, partial blindness. The painting, however, always seeks visibility; it demands the eyes to see through, to see deeper. The lines and marks on the painting’s surface are not mere points of departure for the journey towards meaning, but also the meaning itself. Whether the signs accumulate into a representation of our apparent reality or not, they always stand in front of us, with us, testifying to the canvas on which they are laid. They are here, and they are in action.
The eye follows the reddish patches in the painting Eight Necklaces by Tal Yerushalmi. These marks lead the gaze along the length and width of the canvas, which can be also seen as a quilt. The patches join one another to form ancient necklaces. In contradiction to linguistic grammar, which operates as a system of rules hidden behind the scenes, the painterly grammar of Yerushalmi is active, and operates before our very eyes; it is the painting itself.
The painting’s ability to create its own grammar, without the need for external rules, enables an action on various levels of meanings, as well as the option for contradictions. While stepping away from Oren Eliav’s painting, it reveals itself as a stone plate covered with writing made by stakes. The writing, which is unclear to us, is forever locked inside its painterly meaning – lines and shapes. We look at the painting and see text, but an attempt to read this text will bring us right back to straying at the painting. The various possibilities of deciphering merge into one another, leaving Eliav’s work in an interpretational limbo.
Gilad Efrat, who lays layers of thick oil paint only to engrave within it or the subtract from it, functions much like that ancient writer, who imprints marks by stakes onto a soft mortar plaque, hurrying to affix meaning onto the surface of the material before it will harden. In his previous works, Efrat’s engraving and subtracting accumulated into figurative images: moon craters or the face of a monkey, among rest. In his current works it seems that Efrat is letting go of the responsibility to describe anything. However, his paintings keep on describing; only now they are clearing a path or a way of thinking, as the titles of some of his paintings. It is a painting which is drafting in its own surface the pendulum movement rocking between thought and action, while revealing its own mechanism of creation and erasure. It is a painting that describes itself, in its own language.
Jacob Mishori presents two works, one from the beginning of the 2000s and the other created four years ago.
Oren Eliav (b. 1975). studied at the School of Art, Cooper Union, New York (2003); he was awarded a BFA with honors from the Department of Art, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem (2004), and an MFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Tel Aviv (2009). Solo exhibitions include: Suzanne Tarasieve Gallery, Paris; Braverman Gallery, Tel Aviv; The winning exhibition for 2010 Rappaport Prize for a Yong Israeli Painter, Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Ashdod Museum of Art; Givon Gallery, Tel Aviv. Selected group exhibitions include: Petah Tikva Museum of Art; Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY; Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice; Haifa Museum of Art;
Liverpool Biennial; Museum of Art, Ein Harod; Bat Yam Museum of Art; Genia Schreiber University Art Gallery, Tel Aviv. Eliav is the recipient of the LIA Prize (Leipzig International Art Program); Rappaport Prize for a Young Israeli Artist (2010); The Young Artist Prize, Israeli Ministry of Education and Culture (2008); the Excellence Award, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem (2008); and the America-Israel Foundation Prize (2004).
Gilad Efrat (b. 1969). Received his MFA in 2003 while studying at the Hebrew University and Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. In 2004, he became the Core Artist-in-Residence at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX. Currently he serves as an Associate Professor at the Multidisciplinary Art School, Shenkar – Engineering, Design and Art – Ramat-Gan, Israel. Current exhibition - The Genia Schreiber University Art Gallery, Tel-Aviv University. He has participated in numerous groups and solo shows in museums and galleries around the world: Ashdod Museum; The Museum of Art Ein Harod; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Inman Gallery, Houston, TX; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Recipient of the Michel Kikoïne Prize (2016); the Israeli Minister of Culture Prize (2012); the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2007).
Jacob Mishori (b. 1952). Born and works in Tel Aviv. Autodidactic artist. Selected exhibitions include: The Genia Schreiber University Art Gallery, Tel-Aviv University; Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art; Braverman Gallery, Tel Aviv; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; The Museum of Art Ein Harod; Kibbutz Kabri Gallery, Kibbutz Kabri, Nahariya; Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv; Artifact Gallery, Tel Aviv; The Midrasha Art Gallery, Tel Aviv; The 3rd Drawing Biennale, Barbour Gallery, Jerusalem; the 5th Berlin Biennale, When Things Cast No Shadow, Berlin; Helena RubensteinPpavilion, Tel Aviv. Recipient of the Arts Prize, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport; Keren Sharet, America-Israel Fund.
Tal Yerushalmi (b. 1978). Live and works in Tel Aviv. MFA Graduate, Bezalel Academy. Lecturer at the Multidisciplinary Art department, Shenkar Academy. Selected exhibitions: Yanco-Dada Museum, Ashdod Museum, Petah-Tikva Museum, Noga Gallery, Alon Segev Gallery, Contemporary Art Center, Bremen, Germany. Winner of Rich Foundation scholarship, America-Israel Foundation scholarship, Artist-Teacher scholarship and the support of “Mifal-Hapais” council of Culture and Art.
Dor Zlekha Levy
Curator: Adi Gura
The work Magen by Dor Zlekha Levy was commissioned especially for the Bakery space. In recent years, Zlekha Levy works in the space between projected image, sound and performance. The work at the Bakery space originated from a series of photographs, which was taken in Lebanon and was personally handed to the artist.
The photographs depict the synagogue Magen Abraham, located in the heart of Beirut, where the Jewish quarter once was. Since its building in 1925 and up to the depletion and subsequent extinction of the Jewish population in Beirut, the synagogue functioned as a central meeting point for the Jewish people of the city and the country. It was bombarded by the Israeli Defense Forces in summer 1982, during the first Lebanon war. The photographs included in the show were taken ten years ago, documenting the building before the renovation and conservation process it recently went through, founded by the Lebanese government and Hezbollah.
Zlekha Levy processed the various images into static projections spread through the room, as if echoing the space of the synagogue inside the gallery. The movement of the spectator through the space activates the work and charges it with meaning, in a way which produces a concrete place. Zlekha Levy casts the image onto the space, and in turn this image casts itself on the viewer, thus allowing its characteristics, as well as the qualities of the space, to initiate the movement of the spectator inside the work. The narratives present in Zlekha Levy’s works do not delve in the past and in how it is perceived in the present, but rather explore the manner in which the appearance of the ruins of the past, its fragments and pieces form together a coherent, new space.
Dor Zlekha Levy (b. 1990). Born and works in Tel Aviv. Graduated with dean’s honors from the media department in Hamidrasha Beit-Berl Faculty of the Arts. Selected group exhibitions: The Ticho house museum, Jerusalem; Pasaz Gallery, Tel Aviv; Binyamin Gallery, Tel aviv; the spaceship gallery, Tel Aviv; Gebo Gallery, Gross Gallery, ‘Night light’ festival and others. His films were projected in international festivals and screenings, among them are Ars Electronica, Linz; Moyen Orient Express, Paris. ekha Levy is the winner of Zoom 2016 prize for young Israeli artist. In 2014, Dor recieved the AICF Hurvitz scholarship for graduate students in the arts, and Hamidrasha Ruth Schloss award for excellent socio-political artwork. His Projects were granted by the European cultural foundation, The Rabinovich Foundation and Tel Aviv municipality grant for special projects in arts. His works are held in the collection of The Israel Museum in Jerusalem and in private collections.