|Tamar Kadari, polyester (photographer: Yaki Assayag)|
If you’ve visited the Cinemateque and seen the exhibit on Teddy Kollek, it is but a few steps up Hebron Road to the Jerusalem House of Quality where the current exhibit is of sculptures by a group of artists who work directly from a shared model in “Body/Human.”
It is worth exploring the building which itself is a conservation site and destination. Built originally as a hospital annex, Ben Gurion gave his approval for its use in the 60's to be used for artist workshops. Today it houses a number of crafts and artisan workshops of varying levels, including excellent silversmiths. With its beautiful courtyard, the gallery space hosts short-term art exhibits for groups and individuals.
The differences between observational figurative sculpting and figurative painting are fairly obvious: painting is two dimensional, deals with color, tone, light and composition within a fixed format and tries to convey three-dimensionality. Main issues for painters are costs of supports, paints and dry storage space to stack the finished works. Sculptors work in three dimensions, requiring circling the model and the sculpture to see both the model and the work from all angles. Sculpting is not the end of the job (unless from stone or other one-process material) and the results generally requires baking in a kiln or casting into some more permanent form, often very costly and technically demanding. Additionally, sculptors need lots of storage space and strong backs to lug their heavy works around.
Rodin said, “Sculpture is the art of the hole and the lump.” For painters, this reduction of the medium puts them in foreign territory, being accustomed to working in lines, stains and tonal or color masses. There is little doubt that painters who, at least for some time in their careers, turn to sculpting can find it a very absorbing battle in their examination of the body. Firstly, those who sculpt in clay, which is the generally preferred entry-level material, find that the tactile sense of being hands-on in the wet clay and physically building the form are aspects that they gain over painting; secondly, observing and working from all angles is a different exercise, one must have new takes on proportion and an understanding of viewing the work in the round, from above as well as below. It is a multi-sensory and physical experience which ratchets up the act of observation.
This exhibit combines the efforts of a group of sculptors (some also painters, some from other fields, artistic and otherwise) who have been sharing the services of a model from between two and up to ten years together. The aesthetically-arranged exhibit was curated by Anat Teitelbaum, an architect by profession. The group has received direction over the years from the late Henia Abramsky and currently from participant, Tamar Kadari, regarding technical challenges, both of whom worked in the prior studio of Danny Grossman.
I found this modest exhibit to be a straight-forward and unpretentious examination into the practice of looking and responding to what is seen. There are, inevitably, pieces which echo influences of the greats; such as Giacometti, Moore, and Matisse. While the exhibit has its low points, there is plenty to consider, including various busts by Regina De Pino-Sereni, and some paintings shown by Naomi Schreibman which make a nice juxtaposition for the sculptures. Other pieces, which exemplified the act of looking without pre-conceptions, were able to bring about another take on the human form, each feeling like a fresh small discovery (ends July 31).
|Hadassah Berry, white cement|