Thursday 08/02 at 20:00
Yair Barak and Matan Oren
Curator: Hadas Amster
Non-profit art gallery in Jerusalem
Black Jars Scarce
Irit Abba Asaf Ben Zvi
Irit Abba and Asaf Ben Zvi have collaborated many times during the last 30 years. Their collaboration is structured around the deep knowledge of each other’s works, their working methods and the internal and external processes that drive the work. In the past the collaborative work was made mutually and signed together: Abba’s vessels became Ben Zvi’s painting space and structure. In this Exhibition the artists are showing works that have been made separately knowing they will be shown together. The artists wanted to work in dialogue without cutting into each other’s work processes. Abba will be showing black jars and Ben Zvi will show paintings made in the last year – form and color.
“Black Jars” is a series of mostly black works created for the exhibition at Barbur Gallery.
On a black cloth spread on the ground the vessels are tightly arranged. They are made of porcelain thrown on the wheel in precise symmetry. The dark black color is an inherent quality of the exposed material, pigment and glazing which create contrasting shades and a clean aesthetic. The accurate work in relation to the varying blacks creates an impression of wholeness in each of the works and a feeling of unicity when seeing the whole series shown together. In recent years Abba has been working with the notion of infinity, the ways in which the space surrounded by a vessel is simultaneously closed and open – empty and full. In the show Abba asks us to encounter the jars from above and see the works contain and being contained as one and as many – “The jars kept surfacing from when I started, filled and emptied”.
Asaf Ben Zvi’s “SCARCE” is a group of works made and chosen to be in dialogue with Abba’s “Blak Jars”. The group spans paintings that vary in format surface and size. His paintings combine expressive painterly gestures and written words or text. Ben Zvi constructs paintings that engage the viewer and demand a complex reading located between the realm of text and image: the viewer’s previous knowledge of the world (words and language) and a concrete encounter with the painting itself. The layers of paint provide a rugged substrate on which the image surfaces in a swirling flow between the ambiguous and the concrete. Into the same surface, occasionally in similar painterly gestures or in contrasting forms of application words are inserted. Their role is to flood the image and enrich it in cultural contexts, while at the same time uprooting it from the surface, gestures and materiality into the realm of concept and the imagination. Beyond the present painting itself and back to it.