OCTOBER 8-11, 2015
Stein Rose Contemporary is proud to present selections from Akshav, a survey exhibition of Israeli contemporary painting, originally shown in New York from April 23 to May 3, 2015.
These selections from Akshav, which translates to “Now” in English, features Nivi Alroy, Shai Azoulay, Noa Charuvi, Maya Israel, Meital Katz-Minerbo, Alon Kedem and Elad Kopler and explores a generous cross-section of young Israeli artists working in paint.
Drawing inspiration from orientalism, cubism, the primitive and the surreal, these artists grapple with tropes of rebirth, mythology, archaeology, decay, time, and transformation. Nivi Alroy piles objects into monolithic totems and subjects them to time-based processes, then paints them in sediment-like layers to explore contemporary relic as debris. Shai Azoulay adopts a naïve aesthetic to illustrate the mythical dimension of everyday objects. Azoulay toes the line between figurative and abstract seeming elements, often appropriating ethnic patterns and ritual objects. Meital Katz-Minerbo uses layer upon layer of industrial lacquer to juxtapose iconic design furniture with crystal structures, implying a timeless alchemy of emotions, memory and form. Elad Koppler's frantic metropolises superimpose a multitude of architectural forms at colliding angles, describing humanity's ongoing struggle with conquest, construction and perception. Maya Israel evokes simultaneous child and adult fantasies, blurring the line between innocence and angst. Israel's figures are solitary explorers, often of secondary importance to a surreal and fractured environment composed of dark forests, forbidding abysses, eerie trees, and misty rivers. Sponsored by visionary art patron and realtor-developer Francis Greenburger, Noa Charuvi's most recent paintings document the construction of 50 West. The daughter of an architect, and granddaughter of legendary Israeli painter Shmuel Charuvi, Charuvi channels her inheritance into a unique reimagining of structure and building materials highlighted by abstract patterns of light, shadow and color. Alon Kedem revisits an inevitable fixture in the Israeli quotidian. Reinterpreting security scanners as conveyor belts for still lifes, Kedem flips the human and organic figure to occupy the horizontal format typically reserved for the inanimate. Kedem's paintings are charged with conceptual dissonance.
Today, in an Israel where new media, installation and performance artists occupy center stage, this group of intrepid young painters has taken up the brush, determined to reinvent this most ancient and hallowed art form and perhaps themselves and their subjects along with it.