Avner Ben-Gal Smackville at Bortolami Gallery
11 November – 23 December, 2010
Bortolami Gallery – 520 W 20th Street
New York 10011
Smackville, the second solo exhibition of Avner Ben-Gal at Bortolami Gallery, draws from abstract and visual representations of the effects of opiate drugs: withdrawal, craving and usage. The show seeks to describe the moment of the chemical reaction when the toxic substance intrudes the body and is infused into the bloodstream. The works convey a will for redemption, rather than a need to be rehabilitated.
The exhibition is divided into two new groups of works. One group is comprised of large drawings on paper, made mostly with black marker and slight touches of other colors. The drawn scenes depict human figures and animals being caught in an intensive, hysterical state. The lines are sharp, evoking needles, paralleling the conditions of the drawings surface, which is dry, and the state of being “dry” and suffering from withdrawal deliriums.
The second group of works, consisting of paintings, addresses the tension between indeterminacy and definitive bluntness. The paintings depict degrees of melting and diffusing bodies and spaces whose delimiting contours are gradually lost. These works represent different states of dissolution beyond the idea of a solid identity. Ben-Gal explores the manifestations that have lost their signifying capacity, consequently becoming an apocalyptic result of chemical reaction.
Avner Ben-Gal was born in Israel in 1966. He currently lives and works in Tel Aviv. His works have been exhibited internationally. In 2009, he held a solo exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. He has also had solo shows at The Museum Fur Gegenwartskunst in Basel and the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado. He has participated in numerous group shows including exhibitions at the 50th Venice Biennial, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin and at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.