Guy Avital R|O|O|M Invitation
At his first solo exhibition R|O|O|M Avital will present new acrylic and collage, large and smaller scale works on canvas.
Reflecting through the grated windows of the rooms in Guy Avital's paintings in this exhibition are collapsing buildings. These are images of controlled demolitions, premeditated destruction for the purpose of rehabilitation. Inside the room Avital places vases, some bring to mind modernistic still life painting and others appear Egyptian, Canaanite, Greek or Roman; they are reminders of ancient cultures that passed through this area. The vases hide and conceal, restrict and deform one another. Inside the room, floating and deconstructing in midair are carpets and plants, color stains and geometric elements, windows open up and the outside invades, blurring the borders between what is inside and what is outside.
The artwork in this exhibition refers to a traditional theme in painting – Interior Still Life with Window. They conjure a modernistic treatment of the theme and utilize formal ideas from the first half of the 20th century. Avital constructs surfaces of form and color, sometimes applying color directly from the tube on the canvas creating sketch like outlines; they slice through the objects and imagery and create distance between the act of painting and the act of sketching. The room image is explored trough abstraction, collage and the deconstruction of shapes and everyday objects. The clear room and window structure collapses. The familiar, Mediterranean looking window grates unsuccessfully attempt to separate what belongs in and what belongs out of the room. Their failure allows premeditated destruction to enter the seemingly safe space. At the same time what occurs inside seeps outside, effecting and transforming it as well.
Still life holds a promise for calmness and quietness, something that stays put and waits without change. Painting traditionally exposes these promises as empty and false, exposing the movement, changes and rustles in what is seemingly still. Avital's paintings confront these promises with the reality on the canvas and while doing so invalidate them completely. The relationship between the elements change, they shapeshift, objects and ideas anchored in history and geography are sliced in a violent struggle; they shatter and merge in the working process. It seems that a new and unique language is created while they look for their distorted identity in the tumult.
Avital illuminates a complex and ambivalent reality; it is being surfaced from the work and points to a rejection-attraction relationship between different social stands. He develops a unique formal lexicon that corresponds with the tradition of western painting and its local influences. Placing the elements together on one surface emphasizes their differentiations, yet simultaneously succeeds in creating new contexts and settling some of the contradictions.
Guy Avital (B.1973), Studied at Chelsea College in London and the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. He is a graduate of the Bezalel Academy MFA program. Avital has participated in solo exhibitions in galleries and museums in Israel, including at the Haifa Museum of Art, Chelouche Gallery for Contemporary Art, The Artist Studio Tel Aviv, Inga Gallery for Contemporary Art. He has taken part in many group exhibitions in Israel and Europe. Avital's work is in public and private collections in Israel and Europe.
Link to Hebrew text
Link to Panel talk