On Monday, December 10th at 6.30 p.m., Galleria Marie-Laure Fleisch will inaugurate a double solo exhibition of the artists Etti Abergel and Yael Balaban entitled Anima / Viscera and a Project Room by Ofri Cnaani. This is the last appointment of the project About Paper. Israeli Contemporary Art, that will be concluded with the presentation of the same titled book (Postemedia Books, eng/ita) on Tuesday, December 18th at 6,30 pm at the Sala Cinema of the MACRO Museum, Rome.
The gallery has been divided into two different spaces for this exhibition; in one, Etti Abergel's large installations which almost take over the entire area with their inherent power rendering them more like self-standing sculptures. These works, one of which site-specific, have been constructed from materials gathered during the artist's stay in Rome and are presented in the form of diary documenting an inner voyage. The artist hoards objects, words and images and then subjects these to various actions; she binds, piles up, paints, wraps, hangs and drips them. All these actions applied to the objects obfuscates their previous existence, transforming them into something else; rather like the artist's personal reinterpretation of the object in another form. With her hanging sculptures, Abergel appears to seek some form of detachment from the concrete and tangible dimension of space to become lost in the viscera of an inner dimension.
In the remaining part of the exhibition space we have the Yael Balaban's drawings on paper, inspired by the Michelangelesque Ignudi of the Sistine Chapel. Here, Buonarroti's muscular, shapely bodies intersect and become one with sensual vegetable forms to give life to new, hybrid organisms. The artist has created images of headless male bodies that vaunt their nudity like objects of desire. Balaban's figures are meticulous defined with very dense pen strokes creating an almost chiselled effect in contrast with the surrounding harsh whiteness; an emotional marriage of strength and rigour.
Ofri Cnaani's works are exhibited inside the Project Room; she places the female figure, represented in her prints and cyanotypes, at the centre of her creative research. By measuring these figures against objects and machines, she is able to create images in which their inherent eroticism harks to controversial aspects of femininity and the relation between man and woman; almost the negation and opposition to a patriarchal culture. Her performance YES YES YES, which accompanies the exhibition event, is both an intellectual and physical journey which draws the artist's creative research to a close and which can be interpreted as the passage from a two dimensional representation to three dimensions.
Etti Abergel (Israel, 1960) lives and works in Jerusalem. She teaches Drawing, Sculpture and Art Education at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design and at the Kerem Institute. Among her awards are the Janet and George Jaffin Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation in 2005. Her last solo shows were: Between Chapters, Dvir Gallery at Hangar 2, Old Jaffa Port, Jaffa-Tel Aviv (2011); Cracks in Naked Walls installation, Gallery of the Center for Art, Science and Technology of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa (2010). Among the group shows: Mini Israel, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2006); Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On, Chelsea Museum New York Week of Israeli Art (2005); Clandestini, Venice Biennale, curated by Francesco Bonami (2003).
Yael Balaban (Russia, 1958) lives and works in Haifa. Amongst her solo shows: Making Order. Yael Balaban / Drawings, Municipal Art Gallery, Rehovot, Israel (2012); Lost Time, Artist Wall, Janco-Dada Museum, Ein Hod (2011); Kapusta, Shay Arye Gallery, Tel Aviv (2010); Everybody's Air, Jerusalem Art Center (2008). As for the group shows: Drawing Connection, Siena Art Institute, Siena, Italy (2011); Edges & Curves, Haggus Society, Los Angeles, USA (2011); Salame 008, Bezalel Academy of Arts (2008).
Ofri Cnaani (Israel, 1975) lives and works in New York. She teaches at the School of Visual Art in New York and at the Transart Institute, Berlin. She was twice the winner of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Award. Her solo shows include: BMW Guggenheim Lab, PS1/MoMA, NYC; Fisher Museum, LA; Twister, Network of Lombardy Contemporary Art Museums, Italy; Kunsthalle Galapagos, NYC; Andrea Meislin Gallery, NYC; Braverman Gallery, Tel Aviv; Pack Gallery, Milan; Haifa Museum of Art, Israel; Herzlyia Museum of Art, Israel.