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Intricate Affinities: Recollections of Western Tradition in Local Contemporary Art

Curator: Smadar Sheffi 15.9.2016 - 24.12.2016

Amir Shefet's series The Opposition addresses the essence of painting via three entities: still life ostensibly rendered from observation, abstract painting, and a combination of still life and abstraction as a general comment on painterly language. The Opposition no. 4 portrays an almost three-dimensional bunch of grapes, which evokes Pliny the Elder's tale about a contest between two artists in the 4th century BCE: Zeuxis painted grapes so lifelike, that birds tried to peck at them; Parrhasius painted a drawn curtain and won the contest, when Zeuxis tried to open it to reveal the picture behind it. The value of art as an imitation of nature was a bone of contention between Plato, who regarded art as a deceiving illusion, an obstacle on man's path to the world of ideas, and Aristotle, for whom imitation of nature was a way of studying the world. Shefet explores this question from a post-photography perspective. His paintings delineate a sphere of balance between the commitment to mimesis of objects and the presentation of an enunciation uncommitted to form or pattern external to it.


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Amir Shefet, The Opposition no. 4, 2013, oil on wood, 30x45, private collection

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