In "Closer", Yossi Mark exhibits eighteen new works from the last five years. Oil paintings on canvas and pencil, acrylic and oil paintings on canvas alongside drawings (pencil on paper) feature figures from Mark's closest immediate circle. Spending prolonged time in their company enables him to capture bare moments of body language and gaze, refining a rare emotional radiation.
Mark seeks intimacy, not necessarily one which presents the body in all its glory, not that which features the skin interspersed with the ravages of time. There is neither professed eroticism nor worship of the body per se here, but rather—a cold analytical perusal which refines a warm sentiment with a proficient hand. The intimacy is woven with thin, hidden fibers, with gestures of physical and mental proximity among the figures, and between the figures and others.
Mark's work deviates from the prevalent "realistic" painting, which explores the crust of the surface. Refined and demanding, his painting calls for a prolonged, slow, lingering gaze, inviting one to reconsider it. While discussing shreds of naiveté and tender moments of grace, it conveys existential disillusionment. It echoes masterpieces created in distant times and places, yet capable of touching the viewer here-and-now. It is a near-religious, silent painting, which does not strive for activity, but rather for the power of action innate to its very presence. It inspires the viewer with what Hubert Damisch identified in Piero Della Francesca's Madonna: "a prescience of the obscure connection that this devotional image […] is capable of maintaining with the most archaic strata of his own psychic constitution."
Yossi Mark was born in Israel 1954, studied philosophy and social studies in Tel Aviv University, and graduated the Avni institue for art in Tel Aviv. He was awarded the Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport Award in the visual arts, 2010. Mark had solo exhibitions at Chelouche Gallery in 2008, 2002 and 1993, and exhibited in the Tel Aviv Museum, the Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat-Gan, the Petach Tikva Museum, the Israeli pavilion in Paris, the West Bloomfield Detroit and the University of Michigan.