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.


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