Sep 05 – Oct 19, 2019
Sommer Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the opening of Elad Lassry’s first solo exhibition in Israel. Lassry relocated from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles in the late 1990s, and is among the most influential and prominent Israeli artists working internationally today.
Elad Lassry’s multidisciplinary practice spanning photography, film and sculpture is constantly questioning the relationship between object and representation. His work problematizes the notion of a picture, examines perceptual paradoxes and creates tension in evaluating images and objects. Lassry employs different approaches to manipulate the pictorial space and to emphasize the reproduction and creation conditions of the artwork.
At Sommer Contemporary Art, Lassry presents photographs and sculptures created during the past two years and a film installation from 2012. His photographic works are juxtaposed with sculptural elements and objects that disrupt the traditional experience of observation. Lassry describes his photographs as “participating in pre-determined conventions, which ultimately challenge the currency of the photograph as an artwork, mostly as they follow tropes of utilitarian photography.”
The exhibition includes four series of pictures that depict familiar subjects stripped off their prior functionality. Lassry often appears to embrace attributes of traditional photography and redeploys its aesthetic values. For instance, in “Untitled (Corals Grid),” 2018 which was shot in a reef fish supply facility where sea fauna is cultivated and put on display before being distributed to aquariums, he seems to have self-initiated a typical editorial assignment. A series entitled “Untitled (Assignment),” 2018 portrays what seems to be a fashion shoot where three models pose in front of the camera. As it is an unassigned campaign that assumes a non-existent client, the artist has limited himself to the conventions married to an industry while canceling its purpose.
An additional project features black and white photographs of boots that bear signs of the artist’s intervention: the unique dark room prints are cut, studded with steel or presented alongside images of sea life. The photographic space is interfered by mass produced objects that hint at other industries, such as a chrome steel ball from an MRI scanner or a blue plastic cord. Taking on processes and techniques of experimental photography, negatives of ski sets in another series of pictures seem to have been marked, sliced and perforated. Culled from a catalogue from the 1950s that the artist purchased in an auction, the negatives were treated in various methods and then printed on fiber paper.
The photographs are displayed beside sculptural works that are crafted from large stacks of carpet and interrupt the viewer’s navigation in the gallery space. A 16mm film is projected in the adjacent room, crossing between multiple genres, from structuralist films to science films. The film cuts between two vignettes that intertwine in a fixed frame – one of wooden eggs bouncing and arranging themselves on a table top in a seemingly predetermined order, and the other of eye shaped apertures opening and closing, suggesting the structure of a lens and revealing yet another set behind them.
Elad Lassry has had solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2009), Kunsthalle Zürich (2010), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2014) and Vancouver Art Gallery (2017). Lassry has participated in group exhibitions in venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010), Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle, Berlin (2015) and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2015). In 2014, the artist’s work was included in the group exhibition “Apparition” at Sommer Contemporary Art. In January 2020, Lassry will present a solo exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California.