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Yaron Attar | Backseat Travelers

June 03 - July 17, 2021

Solo Show: None

Curator: Maya Bamberger

RawArt Gallery is pleased to announce Yaron Attar's second solo show at the gallery. After a period in which Attar exhibited mostly video works and sculptural installations, in the exhibition 'Backseat Travelers' the artist presents a collection of oil and pigment paintings on canvas and cotton paper, as well as spray and oil works on photographs from magazines. This is another step in the refinement of Attar’s painting syntax, which has been formulated in the exhibitions 'Lunch with the Twins' (Cabri Gallery, 2014), 'Debts' (Hezi Cohen Gallery, 2015), and on the artist's wall ‘Armor' (RawArt Gallery, 2017).


A lover was leaving, and as she walked away she left a photo she had taken and an invitation to go on a journey. In the photo, a bright sun radiates dazzling rays into a landscape imprisoned in the foreground between two rocks and a  jar. The view through the opening is translated in the painting Split into a torso , which is a green-gold body-scape with amputated limbs that dives into a black space. The duality of passion and terror weave towards the road and an archetypal female essence that hovers forcefully from above and is embodied in several figures in other paintings: a woman climbing a mountainside, a woman holding a dream house, and a hand of another woman entering her pubic region, stimulating or threatening.


The transition from the cinematic language, celebrated in Attar’s solo exhibition "No Vacance" at RawArt Gallery in 2018, to the pictorial one allows for an extended lingering within similar themes. The romance glimpsed in the reversal of the sunset in Distorted Sun expands into color plains that invite contemplative immersion. The violent car accident translates into the subtle materiality of color, and with it to a release of concealed, pre-verbal parts of consciousness. The triumph of savagery over the idyllic holiday matures into a balanced and subtler distinction between the urge to escape and the need to put  down roots.


The name 'Backseat Travelers' is taken from the title of one of the works, in which Attar sprays a pair of figures in a car, from a magazine photo, adding a silvery halo to them. The erased passengers echo the nature of the emerging journey  and the degree of their control, or lack of it. Thus, the path and its disruption, the gesture and the flow, the longing and the horror collide through the entirety of the works into a medium-oriented proposal for a painting rooted in the traditions of abstraction. One of the practices used by the artist is to revisit the same image, transferring it in each iteration to a larger frame. The attempt to recreate the material clash into the pictorial logic of the larger substrate requires passion that charges an action of a new order. Although most of the paintings' points of departure are in concrete images, the exhibition presents only those which were cut off from the thread that linked them to what they had been. Reality is revealed only in its tangible-material manifestations, that is, through the magazine ready-made into which the fictional intrudes through opaque spots of color. The multiplicity of motivations and expressions, and the tension between the abstract and the concrete, are humanized in the assortment of heads worn by The Silhouette of the Artist with One Ear. Despite the division, the number of works on display is limited, in an attempt to distill one cohesive option in the space.


Yaron Attar was born in Israel in 1979. He lives and works in Tel Aviv. He holds a degree in advanced art studies from Hamidrasha Art School, Beit Berl, and a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem. Attar has had several solo exhibitions at Ha'Kibbutz Gallery in Tel Aviv, Cabri Gallery, Hezi Cohen Gallery, and RawArt Gallery. His works have been included in various group exhibitions in Israel and abroad, among them The Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art – Tel Aviv Museum,  the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, The Center for Contemporary Art (CCA) Tel Aviv, the Herzeliya Museum of Art, The Brno House of Arts, and HIT Gallery in Bratislava. Attar’s video works have been presented at  the Tampere Film Festival in Finland, the 36th Jerusalem Film Festival, and Tribeca Film Center’s Video Art and Experimental Film Festival in New York.


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