Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present In Four Acts, a solo exhibition of new sculptures by Israeli-born, Brooklyn-based artist Reuven Israel. This will be the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.
In Four Acts features a series of new works that occupy the floor and walls of the gallery. Each sculpture originates in a flat, compact state, but is modular and has the potential to expand to form multiple variations of itself.
The exhibition title refers to the dynamic state of the exhibition. During the course of the show, the works gradually unfold from minimal configurations into more elaborate adaptations. Each sculpture will change four times over the course of the exhibition, with each modification resulting in a new visual landscape.
The sculptures are constructed from multiple segments of precisely-cut oak hinged together with brass hardware. The faces of each segment are coated with paint and lacquer, shifting subtly through spectrums of color. As the viewer moves around the pieces, parts appear to either recede or protrude, while the materials used for these works echo the materials used in the gallery’s architecture, creating a dialogue and a growing tessellation within the space.
This new body of work marks a shift in Israel’s practice, emphasizing the idea of sculptures existing in a changeable state. By departing from a fixed form as the basis for his works, Israel proposes sculptures that are the sum of multiple possibilities, creating an evolution—with regards to shape, scale, and pattern—within a single artwork.
When the sculptures are set into their final, open positions, they often contain more negative space than mass, which allows the surrounding architecture to further inform and complicate the exhibition. The sculptures point to a broad range of references, from the staggered pixelation of enlarged digital images to the dense geometric patterns of indigenous weavings; their contours relate to architectural structures and have a physical presence that evokes the body. The four different expressions of the exhibition are separate acts, moments in time captured from a longer performance in which the sculptures become the actors and the gallery’s architecture becomes the stage.
Reuven Israel (b. 1978, Jerusalem, Israel) has had solo exhibitions at Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles; Braverman Gallery, Tel-Aviv; Fridman Gallery, New York; and Museo Civico Floriano Bodini, Gemonio, Italy, among others. Selected group exhibitions include Twist at Fused Space, San Francisco; Same same but different at Minus 1 Gallery, Tel Aviv; The Museum Imagined at Danese Corey, New York; The Museum Presents Itself 2 at Tel Aviv Museum of Art; The Readymade Centennial at Haifa Museum of Art; Re:Visiting Rockefeller at the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem; and Senses of the Mediterranean at Hangar Bicocca, Milan. Reuven has received several awards including the Israeli Ministry of Culture’s Young Artist Award, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s Legacy Heritage Fund Prize, and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship. His works are in private and public collections, including The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Ashdod Art Museum, The Haaretz Newspaper Collection, Hapoalim Bank Collection, Sheba Hospital Collection, among others. Israel has a permanent public installation at Setter Square, Tel Aviv.