About Artist's Work

Artist statement

2021 Three Verbs

2020 weave

2019 Manganese Dendrites

2014-5 Twilight Zone

2014 Transformations

2013 To Catch The Moon

2008 Crack

2006 Who am I holding in my arms when I'm holding mom?

Dalia Danon/Gal Harmat

WEAVE is a group exhibition that presents decoration, repetition, laboriousness and seriality within the contemporary discourse, which is re-appropriating ornamentation. This is not ornamentation for decoration's sake, but a misleading tool of expression that carries a set of tools- covering, hiding and revealing- all at the same time. The ornamental motif reflects themes of place, identity, memory and nostalgia.

Using the deep set tradition of decoration, themes surface within the artworks: places, cultures and identities are hidden and revealed, interwoven, ingrained. The artists participating in the show experience an aesthetic nostalgia for another time, another place, to which they feel an unmediated connection on an emotional and conceptual level. "The lowering of the 'ornamental screen' births in the viewer a tension between the visible decoration and the desire for the hidden and primal under the screen." (Ornament and Ornamentation, Gideon Efrat's Storeroom)

The value of ornamentation is prevalent throughout art history, although various approaches coexist. At times the decorative motifs have been negatively perceived and taken at face value as meaningless surfaces, attractive objects with no depth or significance. This can be linked to orientalist thought, the way in which the artistic and cultural canon looked to the East as a place of romance and exoticism yielding low and primitive cultural products (Edward Said, Orientalism).

The Vienese architect Adolf Loos illustrates this idea. In response to the Art Deco movement that took place in the 20s of the previous century, he wrote a paper named Ornament and Crime. In this essay he regards ornamentation as a sick evil, and morally opposed adornment.

Sarah Breitberg Semel in her exhibition 'Because the thing is very near you: Arte Povera as a quality in Israeli Art', (1986) she coined the term Arte Povera [in Hebrew Dalut Ha'homer- דלות החומר, poverty of material]. She created a discourse in which fine art is seen as one that doesn't decorate the space but provides an intellectual source only. Decoration, by contrast, is considered hedonistic, delightful and superficial, therefore: lowbrow and unintellectual.

Yet, as a reaction to minimalism and conceptual art, begun in the 70s of the 20th century a movement that called itself Pattern and Decoration. The movement was inspired by African art, meditteranian and Asian art, when the spotlight was shining on ornamentation from around the globe. Artists in the movement expanded the abstract vocabulary, to serve the connection between the personal, political and gendered.

Likewise, it is essential to remember that at the pinnacle of the Israeli art world in Bezalel, inspired by Art Deco and Art Nouveau, decoration and ornamentation were primary principles. In the 50s with the beginning of abstract painting, and later in the 70s "the ornament was ousted from Israeli art."(Ornament and Ornamentation, Gideon Efrat's Storeroom)

The artists participating in the exhibition utilise ornamentation to search for personal identity, as well as historical and political. The story of the works is a story of the meeting between longing for beauty and the pain of personal journeys, between east and west. The drama taking place between the seen and unseen, between figuration and the world, is woven in the exhibition into a story of roots, place and time.

Veronique Inbar works with deconstruction and reconstruction of shapes and samples, that connect with laboriousness into an organised world, balanced, united. Her video work brings to life through formalist acts of deconstruction and union, the building blocks of ornamentation. The spherical forms that move back and forth, return and seek their place, return and attach themselves as summarizing the aesthetic universal process of ornamentation.

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