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Intricate Affinities: Recollections of Western Tradition in Local Contemporary Art

Curator: Smadar Sheffi 15.9.2016 - 24.12.2016

Yossi Mark's reading of the present is informed by his perusal of art history, particularly Italian Renaissance. In True Repose he depicts a woman whose posture is inspired by Caravaggio's 1606 Death of the Virgin. The painting was commissioned for Santa Maria della Scala in Rome, but was rejected as a desecration of the memory of the Virgin. The focus on the Virgin's death, rather than her ascension—in addition to rumors that Caravaggio used a sex worker as a model—was considered contemptuous. As in a photographic zoom in, Mark painted the upper body of a woman, possibly sleeping, perhaps dead, creating a dramatic viewpoint at a private moment. The dark-somber tones and the marks on the canvas produce a distant, ironic quality that prevents regarding the work as a mere tribute. Mark deconstructs the image. He scrutinizes the way it was made by using Renaissance-like painting techniques, and peruses the narrative told in the art of the past from the perspective of the present, but without the guise of myth, detachment, and defamiliarization.


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Yossi Mark, True Repose, 2002, oil on canvas, 100x195, private collection

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