Surface

Ido Michaeli / Surface

opening: 22/03/24  closing: 18/05/24

Installation photography: Lena Gomon
Installation photography: Lena Gomon
Installation photography: Lena Gomon
Installation photography: Lena Gomon
Installation photography: Lena Gomon
Central Park Carpets (D), 2022, 90x60cm, Watercolor on paper
Central Park Carpets (35), 2022, 45x30cm, Watercolor on paper
Central Park Carpets (06), 2022, 45x30cm, Watercolor on paper
Central Park Carpets (25), 2022, 45x30cm, Watercolor on paper
Central Park Carpets (E), 2022, 180x90cm, Watercolor on paper
Central Park Carpets (09), 2022, 45x30cm, Watercolor on paper
Central Park Carpets (11), 2022, 45x30cm, Watercolor on paper
Central Park Carpets (13), 2022, 45x30cm, Watercolor on paper

Noga Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Ido Michaeli’s first solo exhibition at the gallery and at Artport Gallery,  Tel Aviv.

 

The exhibitions feature an ambitious project that Michaeli has been working on for the past few years, conjoining images of the West with techniques from the East.

 

Four large scale carpets woven in Afghanistan according to the artist’s instructions depict Central Park in New York. Each carpet represents a season: winter, summer, autumn and spring. The carpets are rich in details from the park depicting gardens, lakes, paths, bridges, statues and nearby buildings, in the style of a Persian carpet.

 

The exhibition at Noga Gallery will feature drawings that were the base for the creation of the Central Park carpets.

Prior to the production of the carpets, Michaeli translates the map of Central Park into detailed symbols and images which are then transferred onto grid paper, where each square marks a location. From there, the paintings are sent to traditional carpet weavers in Afghanistan.

Michaeli’s work is rich with symbols and images taken from past and present cultures. It aims to bring closer the boundaries between art and craft.
In long-term projects, he collaborates and works with professionals and traditional artisans from around the world: Afghan carpet weavers, Chinese tailors, Palestinian tailors and Ethiopian embroiderers, people with whom the situation in the world prevents him from meeting directly. He builds partnerships, weaves traditions and brings together eastern and western cultures that have grown apart. By combining different historical traditions, both in the process and the product, Michaeli raises questions about Orientalism, identity politics, economics and globalisation.

In a quote from his website, Michaeli says: “Born to an immigrant family, I grew up on the seam of conflicting identities: The Eastern traditions of my family versus the Western environment we were living in. This cultural split made me constantly juggle between different cultural codes; an experience that deepened even further a decade ago when I moved to the United States and became an immigrant myself. My main motivation as an artist is to challenge cultural, racial, and political stereotypes, and to bring together clashing worldviews. I believe that art enables us to find the common ground where it seems as if there is none.”

“…I come from a tradition of iconography designed to mediate stories for those who cannot read and write in signs and symbols. My way of working is similar to a graphic designer or an architect in terms of creating an outline and sending it to execution. But I try to stretch it to a critical point: an artist is expected to raise questions and be critical while infographics are meant to give answers, similar to missionary or religious art…”

 

 

Ido Michaeli, b. 1980, Petah Tikva, Israel is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Connecticut, United States. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in art, from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.

His work is on the seam between art, craft, textiles, stained glass, ceramics, digital painting and painting.

He is the winner of the Kolliner Award for a young artist from the Israel Museum for 2017, the Young Artist Award 2015, the Artport scholarship for the years 2013-2014. Michaeli has exhibited in many exhibitions, in Israel and world wide.

Michaeli’s works are included in private and public collections  such as:  The Israel Museum, The Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art Collection, the “Haaretz” Art Collection, the Igal Ahouvi Art Collection, and the Serge Tirosh Collection.

 

 

The Central Park Carpets project was made with the support of the following organisations:

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Artport,Tel Aviv

Pioneer works

Turquoise Mountain

Outset

Back Mind

Anat Betzer / Back Mind

Opening: 15/12/2023   Closing: 03/02/2024

Untitled, 2022-2023, oil on canvas, 30x30 cm
Untitled, 2022-2023, oil on canvas, 40x40 cm
Untitled, 2022-2023, oil on canvas, 30x30 cm
Untitled, 2022-2023, oil on canvas, 30x30 cm
Untitled, 2022-2023, oil on canvas, 30x30 cm
Untitled, 2022-2023, oil on canvas, 30x30 cm
Untitled, 2022-2023, oil on canvas, 40x40 cm
back mind, exhibition view. photo by elad sarig
back mind, exhibition view. photo by elad sarig
back mind, exhibition view. photo by elad sarig

Anat Betzer, Noga Gallery of Contemporary Art, 2023
(The text was written before the Oct 7th attacks and ensuing war)

 

“With the wreath’d trellis of a working brain” (John Keats).

 

The central image in my new exhibition is a woman’s head painted from behind. The back of the
neck, the less familiar, vulnerable, hidden side. Long months of painting a portrait that is not a face,
a hidden face (“hester panim,” if you will). A topography that turns back, charting with 0 and 00
brushes the details of this “no-face coming towards me” (Abraham Chalfi).

 

The different hairdos in the paintings are like a shroud, a curtain or a veil, which cover, conceal, and
illuminate – a woman, femininity.

 

The head that grows from the bare back seems to emerge from a nebulous background, like an
infinite cosmic space. Pictorial surfaces, brush strokes or splashes of paint seem to unfold from an
indeterminate realm. The ball of hair is in sharp focus with realistic specificity and characterization,
which is paradoxically also abstract and almost indistinct, like an obsessive realization of the
decorum, the ornate, the trifling.

The pattered or chaotic arrangement, the regular or irregular construction reveals how the “tangle”
on the back of the head is the X-ray image of a structural paradigm, method, thinking. Conversely,
these can also indicate eclectic modes of seemingly disheveled disorganized order, piled and tossed
back in a rush, like examples of chaos theory (a paradoxical expression), like the movement of the
clouds in the sky, their shape and transformation, which are not logical and cannot be replicated.

 

Metaphorically, one can think of a hairdo as the pet scan/reflection of the brain, of electric circuits,
the exploration or attempts to pattern the mysteries of the unknown. A network of synapses that
carry information, thoughts, an emotional labyrinth as thick as the depths of the forest – continuing
my early forests paintings and those featured in this exhibition. The twists of the paths in the forest
disappear towards the dense darkness or a source of light, towards the unknown.

 

In the painting, a polyphony of interlacings that intertwine one on top of the other, sometimes
interwoven separately, or as a flower and foliage arrangement that emerges from the purple-green
darkness – this is a dark (and enchanted) metaphysical nature that appears as a disturbed, mysterious
mutation, like the back of the neck that remains hidden from view. The painting heightens the
concealment, veils the veiled.

The woman that appears in the paintings, who turns her back to the viewer almost defiantly, is
“nature.” This is a seductive and thorny, embellishing and wounding, floating or captured “nature.”
The beauty erupts from within it or disappears into it like a miraculous grafting, like a parasitic plant that climbs a body, a human head, above the timeline of the mind. This is a dark forest lit by flickering fireflies.

 

The beauty, which I insist on, is a deceptive mask. Underneath its meticulous aesthetics, this series of
paintings can be read as an echo of an ongoing struggle, which also reflects the cardinal dramatic
conflicts of this time. Behind the curtain of beauty, unfolds the drama of undoing orders, of
challenging the “method” to the point of unbearable conceptual chaos.

 

“…the Impressionists, were perfectly right in electing domicile among the scrub and stubble of the
daily spectacle. As for us our heart throbs to get closer to the depths…. These oddities will
become…realities…because instead of being limited to the diversely intense restoration of the
visible, they also annex the occultly perceived portion of the invisible” (Paul Klee, quoted by
Merleau-Ponty in Eye and Mind).

 

Anat Betzer

To Draw a Breath

yonatan zofy / to draw a breath

opening: 09/02/2024   closing: 16/03/2024

To Draw a Breath, White glue and acrylic, 50*70 cm, 2023
Sand Rabbit, White glue and sand, 53*79 cm, 2023
Rock, Pin holes on paper, 35*42 cm, 2023
Cloud, White glue and acrylic on glass, 12*20 cm, 2023
Sand Crown Daisies, Sand and white glue, 70*100 cm, 2023
exhibition view, photo by elad sarig
exhibition view, photo by elad sarig
exhibition view, photo by elad sarig
exhibition view, photo by elad sarig
exhibition view, photo by elad sarig
exhibition view, photo by elad sarig

No more art in sand, no sandbook, no more masters.

Nothing gained by dice. How many
Mutes?
Seventeen.

Your question – your answer.
Your song, what does it know?

Deepinsnow,
eepinnow,
e-i-o.

Paul Celan / 
Translated by Karl S. Weimar

Yonatan Zofy’s works are deceptive in their complexity. His images transmit a thin silence, but allow restlessness to rise to the surface at the same time. They are full and compressed, yet contain emptiness and lack of grip. The silence seeks to reveal a secret emotional charge.

Through exploration and experimenting, Zofy gives special attention to the sensitivity and complexity of the materials.

The materials are basic: white glue, sea sand, glass, one shade of acrylic pigment.

The images he uses are simple: stone, sand, sky, cloud, hand, line.

The line of horizon between the sea and the sky is elusive, difficult to grasp.

 

The surface and the image above it – whether it is concrete or abstract – merge into each other, forming an enigmatic new being.

 

The world depicted in the exhibition is clean and calm and at the same time it contains loneliness and emptiness. It is a void of humanity, like before/after civilization. All that remains is sand and sky.

 

 

Yonatan Zofy, born in 1983, lives and works in Ramat Gan.

Graduated from the fine art department in Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem (2010).

Winner of the Osnat Mozes young artist Award (2017), an artist-teacher scholarship from the Ministry of Culture (2019) and an award of excellence for his studies at Bezalel (2011).

Participated in museum group exhibitions, “Truths and Swords” (2020) at the Israel Museum, “Code against Code” (2019) and “Vahid Roshem” (2018) at the Tel Aviv Museum.

 

His works are featured in the collections of the Tel Aviv Museum, the Israel Museum, the Knesset collection and other private collections.