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Yonatan Geron

Curator: Ori Carmely

22.7.21 - 22.8.21

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The exhibition presents for the first time a series of abstract works created from discarded paintings by the late artist Uri Stettner (1935-1999, Tel Aviv). In an ongoing process of subtraction and addition that continued for nearly a decade, Geron reimagined remnants of Stettner's archive that were left on the sidewalk in South Tel Aviv.  Geron, better known as a sound installation artist, presents another stage in his research and action in the genealogical space of the local art scene. Four works comprise the series: three individual paintings and a diptych consisting of two reworked parts of a larger painting. Stettner's semi-figurative weathered, discarded paintings are energized and reborn. Supercharged with movement and expression, the new vibrant paintings are free from the constraints of a frame or figure, rather they are dominated by elongated brush strokes, torn paint, and re-exposed-cracks and stains. Geron, who had previously worked in mural restoration, masters the slow subtraction. Using a screwdriver he traces Stettner's earlier brush strokes layer by layer, gesture by gesture. Through these small intimate acts, he splits the layers of the late artist's painting, opening up a space for himself to paint - diligently, by listening and maintaining a continuous balance between Stettner's voice and his own. A previous exhibition at HaHanut gallery in 2011 entitled Pesach Slabovsky involved a series of works made in response to a piece of advice offered by the late artist Pesach Slabovsky, who suggested that Geron deepen his knowledge of the Israeli context in which he finds himself. In an act of extreme, literal adherence, Geron produced and exhibited a body of work that served as “a continuation of Pesach’s own work” as Geron once put it, encompassing in his homage aspects of opposition and subversiveness, respect and admiration, all at once.  Over the past decade, Geron's pictorial and conceptual position has matured and deepened, as has the pictorial thread that for him serves as a cultural ecology that regulates respect, authority, and awe, by way of subverting, taking, and erasing. Although the conceptual layer of the act of re-appropriation is immanent to the pictorial material itself, the paintings themselves are transcendent and above all wild and wondrous abstract paintings from which the gaze refuses to detach.  ​ ​ Geron / Credits ​ Curator: Ori Carmely Graphic Design: Avihai Mizrahi Photography: Tal Nisim Text Editing: Ido Eitan English Translation: Amy Sapan Arabic Translation: Elham A Hamedeh Set up: Valery Bolotin Production: Yaniv Lachman

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