Apr 11 – Jun 22, 2019
“Nature, as we normally see it, presents us with random fragments. They can be aesthetic, intriguing or even terrifying. But when looking deeply, with a microscope for example, each fragment reveals a perfect order, based on geometric interlacing. This wisdom is the base of the illustrious art of Islamic carpets, combining philosophy and exact science. The quest for methods through which to further deepen, broaden and find new expressions for them, is my story …” – Reuven Berman Kadim, 2010. Sommer Contemporary Art is proud to dedicate a first solo exhibition at the gallery to the artist Reuven Berman Kadim, which features the “Open Receptacle” created in the years 1992-93, and “Fragments”, a series of works created between the years 1996-2010. Kadim was a groundbreaking artist, creating alternative routes of activity to the main and dominant one in Israeli art. His art combined local and oriental traditions, with western pictorial and design concepts relating to Modernism, Minimalism, and Geometric Abstraction. His work differed from that prevalent in the Israeli Art field, thus he was never included in the local cannon. However it seems that nowadays, his practice of abstraction, replication and digital work, which in many ways was ahead of his time, is more relevant than ever in light of the current landscape of Contemporary Art.
The “Open Receptacle” exhibited, is a variation on an ancient Egyptian coffin, based on the proportions of the “Golden Ratio” (the Fibonacci sequence), containing within it a geometric artistic creation which combines natural, scientific and metaphysical elements. The work on the receptacle, which Berman Kadim defined as “the most grueling thus far” brought the artists to his limit in his ability to manually work on the complex interlacing on which his oeuvre focused at the time. Following this experience, Berman Kadim abandoned the brush and drawing instruments, instead adding the computer to his arsenal, allowing him to continue and expand his relentless research into form, onwards to infinity. The series “Fragments” is another part of this research. It includes small works, the surface of each presents a form or initial concept which has yet to be interwoven into a whole design or final conjunction. Each “fragment” is of identical measures – 40 x 40 cm – created as a digital image produced by laser printing. His oeuvre is intrinsically linked to philosophical theories he developed which are the main motivation and source for his visual work. These interdisciplinary theories combine and link together bodies of knowledge from the fields of sciences, theology, art, mythology and technology.
Berman Kadim was a unique artist in the field of Israeli Art, who in his work has honed and expanded the interplay between east and west, math and aesthetics. His artistic perception was based on universal humanistic thinking which aspires to a cross-cultural connection.
During the 1980’s, Berman Kadim began researching the principles of metaphysical geometry in relation to the architectural heritage of temples and ancient cultures in our region, such as Greece and Egypt, as well as the early Islamic world. The research engendered use of architectural element from temple remains, king’s tombs, and other elements encapsulating the golden ration, Fibonacci’s sequence, concepts of symmetry and more. In his work he exposed and unearthed from these cultures geometric principles which he adapted into abstract images – the very same fragments appearing in the exhibition
Reuven Berman Kadim (1929-2014) is an Israeli artist, born in the United States, he immigrated to Israel in the early 1950’s. His artistic career began during his early years in Israel, and he soon started developing the concepts which led him to directions differentiating his artistic practice from the local art of the period. Over the years, Berman Kadim presented 15 solo exhibitions and participated in 30 groups exhibitions in Israel and abroad. Most notable are the 10+ Group exhibitions (1965-1970), a solo exhibition in the Helena Rubenstein Pavilion (1976), The International Art Fair in Basel (1980), an International Exhibition in Cologne# (1999) and a retrospective exhibition in the Tel Aviv Museum for Art (2004). In 2011 Berman Kadim was awarded the Life Achievement Award for Fine Art on behalf of the Israeli Ministry for Culture. The judicial committee defined his work as “a persistent and notable work of research”.