Yellow: Lemon and grapefruit, Ammah dishwashing paste, corn, road signs, mini-croutons, desert, a burning sun.
Pink: Peach, rubber band, what’s under the skin.
The color yellow has a marked presence in Roni Packer’s oeuvre. It is not abstract but an actual surface of industrial yellow paint whose tactility examines the extreme limits of its capacities. Packer contrasts this yellow with pink, which has a radically different appearance. While the yellow is sleek and flat, the “fleshy pink” color emerges like a molted, wrinkled skin, a vulnerable color that has declined.
In Packer’s work, the paint and the color are never equal, but, “are always in negotiations,” in her words. Lacking figuration, the color becomes the main actor, operating as sculptural raw material. The paint undergoes a metamorphosis, as visibility is translated into concreteness. It seems that Packer responds to the fetishistic aspect of color and its physicality. The color is transformed, divested of image, becoming the figure itself.
The preference of color over image plays with the color’s ability to transmit memory. Color is visible to the eye and absorbed through the visual sense organs only when a light source - the “Israeli sun” – hits it. Like the recollection of a landscape moving between the local and the universal, it is connected to the “landscape of one’s homeland.” As such, the color functions as a memory capsule that enters into a “give-and-take” with the landscape’s realistic aspects. The outcome of these “negotiations” is the abandonment of the image in favor of the concentration on representing its color.
At the heart of Three Across are site-specific works made to the scale of the gallery, hinting at the encoded mapping of the architectural space. Across the space, on the opposite wall, Packer slashes the white gallery wall and places pinkish sculptural environments made of Sculpey in the “wound” pocket. The dripped, collapsed vertical forms remind internal organs. Their placement together on a horizontal shelf turns them into a miniature sculpture garden.
Packer places her colors in two positions – horizontal and vertical. The horizon is not only a position but also implies yearning and unattainable landscapes. The abstractions in her works bring to mind a late homage to the New Horizons group. The year before leaving Chicago, Packer had been photographing the sunrises from her apartment window. Sunrise is a horizontal state not identified with specific geography. It constitutes a broad swath and the opening of a perspective. In like manner, this is the essence of the abstraction of local and universal landscape, distilling the experience imprinted on place and the experience associated with home.
Three Across / Credits
Curator: Orit Bulgaru
Graphic Design: Avihai Mizrahi
Photography: Tal Nisim
Text Editor: Shoey Raz
English Translation: Judith Appleton
Arabic Translation: Elham A Hamedeh
Set up: Koby Davider
Print: A.R. Printing Ltd