Bloodline: The Artist's Family catalog 2021

Page 1


Bloodline: The Artist’s Family Curator: Hadas Glazer December 2021 – February 2022 Catalogue editors: Orit Ephrat-Moscovitz, Hadas Glazer, and Moria Bachar Measurements are given in centimeters, height x length Photography: Youval Hai (Installation images); Shai Halevi (Sara Benninga); Anna Lott Donadel (Michele Bubacco)

Cover: detail from A Piece of Forest, 2020, by Michele Bubacco Inside cover: detail from The Artist’s Wife, 1946, by Avraham Naton

Litvak Contemporary 3 Shvil Hamifal Street, Tel Aviv 66535, ISRAEL +972-3-7163897 www.litvakcontemporary.com © 2021 All rights reserved to Litvak Contemporary, Tel Aviv



Bloodline: The Artist’s Family A group exhibition inspired by the painting The Artist’s Wife (1946) by Avraham Naton Artists: Daniel Enkaoua, Itamar Freed, Michele Bubacco, Mati Elmaliach, Sara Benninga, Youval Hai. Curator: Hadas Glazer The exhibition Bloodline: The Artist’s Family features works by established and emerging artists. The works explore the dual gaze of artists on their families, touching on questions of group and individual identity, childhood and adulthood, innate and acquired behavior, and time and memory. Throughout the history of art family paintings were used as means to proclaim social status, power, and wealth. The evolvement of photography in the 19th century saw a great expansion of the representation of families in visual culture, mostly through portraits and group photos marking major life events. The photographs and paintings presented in this exhibition work together to create an elastic range of familial images in contemporary art – from documentary and processed photography to figurative to abstract painting – all stemming from personal stories, family photo albums, places, and memories. Beside portraying family members and dynamics, the artists raise social and universal issues concerning intimacy, fragility, and attachment. While seemingly idealized, a darker notion resides underneath: familial power struggles, silences, and uncomfortable truths. Together, the works establish a multi-dimensional vision of the “family” and offer a glance into a larger context and complexity that resonates with the viewer’s private memory.





Sara Benninga In Beninga’s paintings, ranging from the figurative to the abstract, figures and patterns compete over the viewer’s eye, drawing attention to the formal structure of the painting. This struggle creates an undetermined hierarchy of the various elements. Tili Visits My Studio depicts an elusive scene of two pairs: in the front, the artist’s mother and her friend Tili visiting the artist’s studio. In the background, two men from a family album. The combination of these two situations, separate in time and place, creates an allusive reality, in which the characters seem to float over geometric plains Cherries is based on a family photograph from the early 1920s taken in Holland. The girls sit by the table and look directly into the camera lens. The work examines the tension between the surface and what lies beneath: The familiarity and closeness between the figures is accompanied by an uncomfortable sensation of strangeness and alienation.


Sara Benninga Tilly Visiting my Studio, 2018 Oil on canvas 200 x 150

Inquire



Sara Benninga Cherries, 2018 Oil on canvas 120 x 160

Inquire




Mati Elmaliach Elmaliach’s archival works, rooted in the medium of photography, emerge from his personal biography and the social collective memory. He revisits family albums photos of people that he does not know personally. His work process involves an attempt to comprehend the figures in the images. He uses the historical images as “raw material” and transplants them in a different context, combining new techniques and materials. Each work examines how material and texture influence the photographed image and form a new interpretation and representations of the past. The photograph becomes an object, the image is redefined and can be examined through different ideas and concepts. The works resonate a familiar mechanism of compassion within the viewer, who encounters an image that most likely resonates with similar photos from their life.


Mati Elmaliach Untitled #1, 2019 Photography and Prayer Carpet 75 x 50

Inquire


Mati Elmaliach Untitled #2, 2019 Photography and Prayer Carpet 100 x 80

Inquire


Mati Elmaliach Untitled (Abuhatzira), 2019 Inkjet print on archival paper 80 x 50

Inquire




Daniel Enkaoua Blurry like unfocused photos, Enkaoua’s paintings depict his children with a fluidity that inheres in nature and marks the human condition. In his practice, the artist returns to similar topics (the human figure, landscape, still life) and compositions. He portrays his children as they grow, painting them year after year in similar positions, clothing and colors. Although the works are figurative, the static moment is absent: time is not composed of discrete moments but is a continuous flow. The reality of the figures is one of constant transformation and movement. The young figures are vulnerable, as reflected in the ambiguity of their facial expressions and body language. The process of identifying features of the children within the paintings is evasive and may suggest the indetermination of identity. Yet, this indeterminateness is also what makes Enkaoua’s subjects universal.

Daniel Enkaoua Natan, les cheveux ébouriffés, 2016 Oil on canvas mounted on wood 20.2 x 18.7

Inquire



Daniel Enkaoua Aure en capuche bleu marine foncé, 2017 Oil on canvas 65.7 x 50.7

Inquire


Daniel Enkaoua Liel au sol, 2018 Oil on canvas mounted on wood 19.9 x 27.1

Inquire




Itamar Freed This unique cyanotype work, manually printed on six sheets of paper, merges digital photography and traditional print techniques. The resulting work juxtaposes several contemporary issues that stem from the recent pandemic and internal issue regarding domestic affairs. Following the pandemic and the havoc it introduced into everyday life, Freed started taking photos of his newlywed wife in their home, every day, from the same point of view--creating similar-but-different images. These photos were processed digitally into a fragmentary panoramic image, which was then used as a large negative for a contact print that was printed on light-sensitive paper, using direct sun light; At the last stage, Freed hand painted the photograph with pigments and colors. The result is a fractured, seemingly old image, ruled by blues with hints of yellow and orange. An image that holds the duality of the artistic process and evokes a sense of a daydream, instability and incomprehensibility.

Itamar Freed Just Before Dinners, 2021 Photography, cyanotype and Japanese pigments on Awagami handmade Japanese paper 154 x 198

Inquire






Youval Hai Rooted within the tradition of documentary photography, Hai uses his analog camera as an apparatus to disclose and isolate intimate moments from his life. The gaze of the photographer at his daughter, at the very moment in which he places a pair of scissors on her forehead is thrilling and somewhat disturbing. The contrast between the foreground and background echoes the infant’s innocence in contrast to the mature manly arm. As the father takes the role of the photographer, and in the light of the formal structure of the image, the daughter becomes an archetype of a girl.

Youval Hai The Haircut, 2019 Analog photo, pigment print on archival paper 100 x 70

Inquire


Michele Bubacco The diptych A Piece of Forest reflects the notion that we know ourselves through others. It is inspired by Greek Mythology Stories by Homer, the artist reads bedtime stories to his son. The dynamic composition creates symbiosis between different elements, abstract and figurative, in a dance of closeness and distance. The fragments are linked, mixed, merging with one another, as if in a game of pass the baton: the transformation and process of a feeling or experiences through the other group members, in a movement that finds support, comparison and compassion, so that the narrative remains in constant metamorphosis.

Michele Bubacco A Piece of Forest #1 + #2, 2020 Oil and Collage on Cardborad 60 x 50 each

Inquire



Michele Bubacco The Large Family in Landscape, 2010 Oil on canvas 141 x 141

Inquire




Avraham Naton (1906-1959) The Artist’s Wife, 1946 Oil on cardboard, 32x45 cm Avraham Naton was born in Serbia and immigrated to Israel in 1935. At the Academy of Art in Bucharest Naton studied classical painting with its emphasis on compositions based on painting from models. Only after his arrival to Israel did he consider himself an artist. The Artist’s Wife portrait on show in the exhibition is one of Naton’s well-known works. The figure of his wife, Riva, is rendered with emotion, love and intimacy. Her subtle demeanor evokes icons of Mary. The portrait was painted before the establishment of the New Horizons group in which Naton was a central and influential member. The group members, among them Zaritsky, Stematsky, Streichman, and Aroch, leaned toward abstraction and adopted an avant-garde and universal artistic style. While Naton’s style became more and more abstract, his wife remained the object of his many paintings and drawings.

Bibliography: Hadar, Irit, Avraham Naton: Retrospective, Published by Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 2008