“The paintings before you are a sum of numerous and different visual impressions. Yet the moment they find their place on the canvas they ‘forget’ their original aspect and their thematic hallmarks, and become the terms of painting – shades and shapes that together form a mosaic made from fragments of stains,” said the painter Chaim Kiewe. (2) Yonatan Vinitsky presents viewers with works that are the sum of many different impressions, all sharing an original trait – tracing an existing source and deciphering decision-making processes. However, it seems that in his latest works the trodden path meanders thus inviting more expressions and twists than was possible to predict: things that were not on the list suddenly appear.
The current exhibition culminates a string of solo exhibitions Vinitsky held in the past two years, in which his preoccupation with the notion of scale and sculptural concerns was embodied in series of paintings, sculptures and photography, using materials such as wood, iron, fabric, elastic and paint. These works evoked thoughts about positioning objects in space and the creation of a center of gravity. Here, new relations are formed between each individual work, between the body of works and the space, and between the works, the space and the viewer: first Vinitsky dispersed the works in the space laterally, directing viewers’ movements and emphasizing the relation between the two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality of the objects. Later on the installation included free-standing works hanging from the ceiling. Those “float” or alternatively “freeze” in a way that challenges the perception of weight and gravity in the space. The current exhibition brings two new pieces, Sortie Définitive III and Sortie Définitive IV, which continue the recent body of work that was shown in Brussels in 2015.
The first balconies in the series were based on a typical Parisian model. One of the balconies in the present exhibition is modeled on a specific type of balcony seen in Tel Aviv, whereas the second balcony is a hybrid of the Parisian and Tel Aviv balconies. The decision to use elastic cords to connect the balconies together and to detach them from both their foundations and side walls – suspending them like a mobile between ceiling and floor – allows reflection on their purpose in relation to space and the viewer as well as their status as buffers between inside and outside. They can be internal places from which to look outside and also external spaces that are seen from outside. Each of these acts has various meanings that have changed over history. The local balcony has also seen many transformations since the stone structures of Ottoman Empire buildings, through eclectic architecture and the minimalistic versions of the International Style, public housing and balconies closed with plastic shutters that were a standard feature on building facades for a number of decades.
Considering the balcony metaphorically, it serves as a key to the exhibition, an examination of melting points between domestic and industrial spaces, exterior and interior, and enlarged scales and 1:1 ratio. Next, on the gallery’s left wall, a new work, entitled like the exhibition, comprising two parts: a huge billboard adhesive print, its image taken from an advertisement of switches manufactured by the electronic company Nisko, which seems momentarily, at this scale, similar to a building façade, and another print, framed and in a 1:1 scale, of the actual switches. The original advertisement image has been scanned, printed, mounted on a colorful printed
background, hand-cut, and rescanned. The enlargement allows following these handmade processes and procedures.
A new series of paintings continues the wonderland effect of Vinitsky’s exhibition Soundless Interpretation 1-4 (The person who gives a sign of life is not dead), testing not only scale ratios but also the source and its specific temporality. Starting with a technique Vinitsky has been working with in recent years – back-painting on archival transparent polyester sheets (Mylar) – the first layer is in fact also the last in the coloring process order. The first painting is an enlarged version of the original; the second is a rotated version of the first painting and also includes a color inversion; the third is an overturn of the second painting; and the fourth is an overturn of the first painting. In addition to the formal attraction Vinitsky has to the painting of Willys da Castro (1926-1988) that is at the center of this series, the painting is reminiscent of Vinitsky’s earlier works in which he traced abstract painters. It can be assumed that the title of the 1953 work, Estudo para pintura (study for a painting) also played a part in Vinitsky’s dialogue with the Brazilian artist. As a series, the four paintings create a new pattern, similar to patterns on fabrics and carpets.
The exhibition has an architectural inclination and slight humor hinted at in the two elastic works. These belong to the genre of comic drawing and refer to one particular small framed drawing the artist encountered at the Bauhaus masters’ house on a visit to Dessau in 2013, and which is among the few impressions incorporated in Vinitsky’s work thus far.