Take Painting

Artist-curator: Larry Abramson 15.9.2016 - 24.12.2016

Early Netherlandish altarpiece paintings were a devotional object, kept closed and opened for display on sacred days. The act of looking was part of a religious ritual. To keep the viewer engaged, some manipulations were employed: e.g., the painted spaces corresponded with the object's actual frames, oscillating the viewer's attention between the painting's inner reality and the one outside. I try to intensify this optical ambiguity by collapsing the original altarpiece image on itself, multiplying its perspectives, disrupting the conclusive visual array of the original painting and replacing it with one that is still unfolding. Today, the altarpiece may be regarded as obsolete, but in my view, its power as a visual apparatus is not lost. Seeing and believing remain interlaced, and contemporary painting is the perfect site to test their affinity.
Today, our eyes are trained to quickly interpret flickering images. Paintings, however, are not flickering light, but congealed matter. This opposition between the medium's attributes and its current surroundings creates a fertile ground. I do not know if painting today stands "ahead of the camp," as in avant-garde, but it seems to stand a bit outside the camp, where the most interesting things happen.
Painting is a tricky object, constantly slipping between matter and imagination, here and there. Since it cannot prove that there is something beyond its materiality, painting will always ask of its viewer for a leap of faith


Oren Eliav, Transfiguration, 2014, Oil on canvas, 160x215, Doron Sebbag Art Collection, ORS Ltd. Tel Aviv