Amir Nave / Introspection

Feb 04 – Mar 19, 2016

Amir Nave’s solo show at Sommer Contemporary Art includes large paintings made of oil and graphite on canvas and smaller drawings of ink and pen on paper. All feature Nave’s characteristic characters, stranded amidst estranged existentialistic scenes.


As opposed to his former, condensed works, his current paintings seem to experience a process of reduction and cleansing, so that the materiality of the empty canvas is more present, and sometimes only minimal lines or contours are seen, indicating movement. The canvases themselves are stretched on the wooden frame as if incidentally, and their unravel edges imply a process of decay.


Mostly, the head in Nave’s works is amputated, painted on a piece of fabric or paper and attached to the body, as if it was decapitated and now put back in its place. This separation allows Nave to play with the position of the head, whether vertical or horizontal in relation to the body. In his large paintings, this is a condensed head, purple and fleshy. It is hanging flimsily, on top of an emptied body, which can barely carry it. One of the paintings creates tension between a linear, vertical abstract constructionappearing on one side of the canvas, suggesting a figure, and a double-headed body on the opposite side (Untitled (1)). The body is holding his inner organs as if they are about to fall out, while he is escaping, searching for a peaceful refuge within the empty canvas. A different head looks upwards with horror, towards a single horizontal line ­– perhaps a sky, from which vertical lines are being hurled, perhaps lightening (Untitled (2)).


In the drawings, the body is a bit more present, and the head itself is drawn as a clear continuation to the body. But the separation between the two is still present, in the form of yellow plastic glue stains, anointed on the figures’ heads. The scenes themselves are a bit more playful, or social. One of the paintings is even titled Brothers. In the drawing Untitled (4) a figure holds a mask of a horse, as if it just uncovered its face, which are themselves animalistic and alien-like.


Amir Nave, born in 1974 in Beer Sheva, lives and works in Tel Aviv. He exhibited solo shows at Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya (2016), Janco Dada Museum, Ein Hod (2014) and The Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan (2008), among rest. He participated in group shows at Ashdod Museum of Art, Ashdod (2013), The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2011), The Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan (2011), The 4th Biennale for Drawing, Jerusalem and Museum On the Seam, Jerusalem (2010). He is a recipient of the 2013 Mifal Hapais grant and of the 2012 Osias Hofstatter Prize.