May 10-July 12, 2014
Reception May 10, 2014 5pm-7pm
Shoshana Wayne Gallery is pleased to present Nofim, a new exhibition by Michal Rovner. This is the artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. Working in video, sculpture, drawing, photography, painting, sound, and installation, Rovner begins with reality and creates situations that illuminate themes of change and the human condition.
With imagery taken from Israel, the landscapes and figures are at once familiar and foreign, calming and disconcerting, personal and political. The figures sway and move yet they do not escape the scene. The scenes are ambiguous enough as to refuse definitive identification yet they are familiar enough as to evoke deep visceral connections.
The power of Rovner’s work rests in her ability to evoke visceral responses to her art. Her landscapes are stripped down, fragmented, and homogenized in such a way that they could be almost any mountainside, desert, or ocean. The human figures are abstracted so as to blur distinctions not only between male and female but also between nationalities –humanity in its most essential form. The cypress trees that are central in this particular body of Rovner’s work, have varied and rich cultural significance worldwide. In the Mediterranean region, it is one of the most ancient trees with scholars noting its presence in biblical writings. In Greek and Roman culture, the cypress symbolizes mourning and hope. For Rovner’s purposes, it is not the cypresses inscribed meanings that are significant, but it is the fact that they exist in the landscape. They are tangible and real marks that either cut or mend a particular scene and the ways they move in Rovner’s work insist upon fluctuation and instability.
In the main gallery, there are two projections. On the East wall Current is projected onto a painted surface. On the West wall Broshei Layla is projected onto eleven slabs of black limestone. While each slab is individually cut, the imagery projected onto them connects each piece while at the same time underscoring their separateness. In this way Rovner subtly shifts the viewer’s attention from implications of archaeology to geopolitical divisions/fragmentations.
In the smaller gallery, there are five of Rovner’s screen works each composed of LCD screens, video, and Japanese paper. These works present barren and ambiguous landscapes, cypress trees and occasionally human figures.
Michal Rovner was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. She lives and works in New York and Israel. Her work has been exhibited extensively worldwide in over 50 solo exhibitions, including exhibitions at prestigious venues such as the Israeli Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Living Landscape (2005) at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, the Jeu de Paume, the Louvre, and a mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York. In June 2013, Rovner’s Traces of Life: The World of the Children opened at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
Among many awards and honors, in 2008 Rovner received an Honorary Doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and in 2010, she was honored with the Chevalier (Knight) Medallion of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France.
For more information, contact Alana Parpal at [email protected]