Overcraft: Obsession, Decoration and Biting Beauty


About the work Landscape Jigsaw Puzzle, 6,588 Pieces, 2003, in the catalogue: Overcraft: Obsession, Decoration and Biting Beauty (Curator: Tami Katz-Freiman), The Art Gallery, University of Haifa, 2004, p.41.


Tal Amitai-Lavi, Landscape Jigsaw Puzzle 6588 Pieces ,2003,

oil on plywood, 120X240X2 cm (Haifa University Collection)


Another kind of decorative landscape is presented here by Tal Amitai: a realistic painting of the panoramic Haifa Bay as reflected in the gallery window. But the window has been blocked off for the exhibition and the landscape painting is actually a large jigsaw puzzle of 6,588 pieces that can never be played with. As with her previous works, Amitai has created the illusion of a real thing (a puzzle) exposed as a perfect mimesis, meticulous but functionless. As with the Surrealist painter Magritte’s tautological window/picture, there is a deconstruction of the correct relationship between representation and the object represented, between image and reality, between culture and nature. The painting becomes a window overlooking what is hidden behind it while simultaneously posing as a children’s game. Utilizing a technique of concealing and revealing (using masking tape) the artist worked in her studio for many months using a labor intensive, meditative creative process to deconstruct the enormous view into tiny pieces. The painting’s three-dimensional effect gives rise to thoughts about the ways of seeing and of painting as a screen and illusion.



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