Sep 20 – Dec 29, 2018
For the past five years, Sommer Contemporary Art has been constantly working to expand the different contexts in which Kupferman’s works are being seen. This is coming from the gallery’s perception of his immense role in the history of Israeli art, as well as an appreciation of Kupferman as an artist so unique, his work continues to be innovative and breathtaking even when compared to contemporary international painting.
Being one of the most influential figures in a generation of artists working in Israel after World War II, Kupferman is identified with the late and more “sober” Israeli modernism, dealing with issues of place and identity in a complex and ambivalent manner, compared to the generation before them. Though clearly influenced by the 1950’s American “action painting” and creating completely abstract works with no clear narrative, Kupferman’s artistic approach as well as some of his own comments on his practice testify to the fact that loss, memory and temporality are intrinsic subjects in his works, even though not expressed in them literally. Kupferman is characterized by his layered work, making it often difficult to understand the thread linking a work’s beginning to its finished version. The same basic grid he would use to begin each work with (although not the starting point for the series presented in the current exhibition) turned into something else each and every time, leaving traces of previous actions on the canvas. His works simultaneously express his wish to move forward and cover the old with the new, while also marked by a sense of uncertainty and even longing for that simple and clear beginning, thus leaving different paths leading back to it along the canvas.