Text: John Slyce
Amikam Toren is a self professed “maker thinker” , in part this proposes that a given materiality and physical engagement with those materials and their making and even unmaking , sits the fore and thought and thinking then operates intimately in dialogue with what is made . The relation of idea to materiality or indeed content to form flows through Toren’s rich and historically significant practice with representation as a central concern and irrepressible subject. Amikam Toren often works in series in Reproductions he gathers together and crystallizes much of the making and thinking he has explored in some fourty years of work. these are deceptively straightforward works and seemingly easy to describe, until one attempts to relate their making to the conceptual frame they operate in .Take a readymade painting, remove the painting from its streacher and flatten, revealing the corners and folds then cut two or four corners away, or the columns of canvas that demarcate the side edges and or the top and bottom edges of the painting. Stick the cut out fragments on a newly stretched canvas. The attached fragments will become the frame that will contain the reproduction. Pulp the reminder of the isolated oil painting to remove all pigment, mix this pigment with colorless acrylic to form paint .return the paint to the new supporting canvas in an equalized and complete re – presentation of the pigments and pallets used in the original painting. The complete work refers back to the original through a descriptive title, a storm, a still life or landscape, each either remembered or forgotten. the range of what at first sight announce themselves as monochromes , on closer inspection reveal the diversity of the entire palette first used and is still present – it is determined by each original painting . a complex and powerful act is carried out – a flattening of the flat . The inherent flatness of the picture plane, here accentuated and magnified. all is present in Toren’s reproductions, the painting and the act of making a painting is framed and reframed, the old is made new and the condition of representation over which all meaningful art lingers is not only reproduced but stripped bare, even part X-ray part dissection, these works are also a discourse on if not indeed a critique of the family relations of the photograph to both painting and its reproduction. Amikam Toren’s reproductions are archeology of the act, the medium and practice that explores painting and its object with a rigour unlike any other.