Take Painting

Artist-curator: Larry Abramson 15.9.2016 - 24.12.2016

We live on an island, sea on one side, and fences, walls, and barriers on the others. We wish to gaze afar only to bump our nose into the concrete surface of the wall. What point of view can we establish under these conditions? What horizon can we find in a wall that covers the sky?
My recent paintings take the wall as a given, as a support without depth, other than in its own layers. Like a house painter, I work with a spatula and masking-tape, spreading the layers of paint, covering and uncovering them, dreaming in the narrow gap between layers. At times I gather images and "attach" them to the surface, trying to make sense of them and to momentarily break loose of the wall of painting. In the Bauhaus paintings, it was an assembly of fragmented forms and images which once upon a time carried utopian ideas. In Price Tag III (How Beautiful the Nights) I projected Stars-of-David into the layers of paint, hateful racist graffiti sprayed on real walls by anonymous "painters," creating a frightful, but also consoling, link between the cruel and violent wall of reality and the pleasurable wall of painting. In Composition (after Avraham Naton) I piled, on top of contemporary Arabic graffiti calling to free Gaza, a geometric composition painted by Israeli artist Avraham Naton in 1951, when he dreamt of finding comfort in the universality of abstraction.
Painting is a wall whose layers contain both the political and the aesthetic. The wall is the image of our world.


Larry Abramson, Composition (after Avraham Naton), 2016, oil on canvas, 240x184