International 2009 Archives
Maya Gold, Wake
Mike Weiss Gallery, New York (USA)
Mike Weiss Gallery presents Wake, an exhibition of new oil paintings on canvas by Israeli artist Maya Gold. This is the artist's first solo exhibition in New York and at Mike Weiss Gallery. Her use of a combination of soft, nearly see-
This series of paintings is greatly influenced by the artist's time spent living in Israel and her proximity to the sea and urban landscape. In some works, a female figure dressed in a bikini the colors of the Israeli flag stands alone in a vast empty field of muted gray or blue. She is throwing a life preserver out into the empty space or crouching on the shore arranging the seashells on the sand in futile exercises to call for help. In one work the same figure holds a large beach umbrella, attempting to pierce the ground with its tip seemingly unaware that she is standing on a brick walkway. In some works the figure is unrepresented and its presence, either male or female, is completely obstructed by open umbrellas that play across the surface of the canvas like a bag of scattered marbles. The artist composes the works so that they are a visual trick to behold, undefined, offering a several meanings at once.
Exhibition 29 October 2009 -
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2012. All Rights Reserved
The title of the exhibition, Wake, is meant to conjure the same curiosity as to which particular meaning it denotes. All at once, Wake is a reference to the shape of water when it parts behind a boat after it passes, the time after dreaming when we slip into present consciousness, and the services that are attended by friends and family after the passing of loved one. The viewer, hovering, peering down ghostlike above the world below is left to guess from where they are supposed to be viewing this world. It is the ambiguity of the moment, the uncertainty of the time that the artist captures on the canvas.
The surface of the canvas, although rich with detail are surprisingly flat. The artist begins by laying in a translucent wash of color over the white canvas to indicate the sky, water or brick. Each element, the background shadow or figure, is painted from start to finish in one sitting to keep the texture of the paint and the canvas even and flat. The figures or subjects are painted in last with delicate and almost photographic realism. The artist does not however take her subjects directly from photographs and instead works from various imagery and is most reliant on her own memory. In the end, what we are given is a composition that is contrastingly different in its apparence and meaning, at once minimal in its imagery but also riddled with the clues to a deeper story and symbolism.