Tal R: The Virgin

Featured image - one of 200 collage works in the series Garbage Man (1989-2013) - is reproduced from The VirginWalther Koenig's rich new monograph on Copenhagen-based Israeli artist, Tal R. Essayist Marie Nipper writes, "The works, despite their figurative character, clearly challenge the relationship between the two poles in modernistic western painting: figuration and abstraction. In the case of Tal R, this takes place through a constant probing of the borderline between the motif and its dissolution – a probing he shares with the French painter, Henri Matisse, who similarly treated the motif as a kind of geometry, a place where nothing much happens, but which contains great depth. In Tal R's art, abstraction occurs at the point where you lose yourself in the recognizable; where you no longer sense that what you are looking at is quite as it ought to be. At the point where familiarity recedes. It is the snare drum breaking through. It is the soft ice melting."