Past Exhibitions

Invisible presence / Group exhibtion

Curator: Shir Meller-Yamaguchi

A Zen koan asks: “What was your original face, the face you had before you were born?”
According to Zen Buddhism, introspection begins with attention to the body, but expands and grows beyond its known visible boundaries. If we close our eyes we will be able to release ourselves from the sight which we identify with ourselves, and reach an insight beyond the face or the body.

Alberto Giacometti defined his art making as a process of erasure that has not yet reached its conclusion; his sculptures indeed conveyed a deep yearning to refine the figure into the essence of its being. The artists participating in the current exhibition observe the body without clinging to it, rendering it abstract and boundless. Their works do not attempt to pursue the illusion of external appearance, nor do they contain a longing for the body’s sensuous beauty, so prevalent in art history. Their observation is oriented inward, reflecting a body that cannot be delimited by contours. It is an evolving body that contains the space around it, merging with it, undergoing constant metamorphosis; a body that strives to shed off its corporeal quality and single identity.

In Dror Auslander’s paintings the external markers characterizing a specific person are erased. The body becomes a shadow, an abstract entity, through a prolonged process. Part of the visible body is covered in white space, trying to abolish the perception distinguishing matter from spirit, body from space.

Orly Maiberg’s works are based on sketchbooks depicting daily Yoga practice in ink and watercolors. Yoga is an expression of being, breathing and lingering of consciousness in physical postures. The body in her works is weightless, dissolving into itself, taking in the transparency of the space. Enlargement of the image from the sketchbook to its present dimensions enhances the process of abstraction, conveying the sense of a hovering body.

Zvi Lachman’s works address the transience of human existence with power and sensitivity, reflecting on its vulnerability. Via multilayered work in wax, he intermittently wounds and heals the material, exposing apertures and cavities through which the viewer’s gaze may penetrate and sense the skin as a shell, the casing of an active volcano. The dissolving wax attests to mighty inner forces in constant motion between interior and exterior. Traces of the work in wax are cast in bronze, thus freezing time in matter, as he describes it: “I don’t sculpt a body, I sculpt the forming of a body.”

Shahar Sivan grooves sharp lines in the wooden board which strive to breach the visible covering and unearth the traces of a latent figure lost within it. He creates a fervent body whose energy deconstructs the surface, and while revealing itself within it, its vulnerability transforms into power.

Ofer Lellouche’s painted and sculpted self-portraits appear to approach and retreat intermittently. In the featured works, the illuminated part of the body erupts from the darkness, while another part of it disappears therein. In the bronze reliefs, the body likewise materializes only partially, trying to extract its image from its sketched outlines on the board. The self-scrutiny whereby Lellouche attempts to outline his portrait over and over again, countless times, is never exhausted. He delves into the depths of his figure to touch upon the invisible through the visible. His works reflect the reality of the human body being in a never-ending process of becoming and desistance, and it is precisely in this fragility that its beauty lies.

Shir Meller-Yamaguchi