Amikam Toren, ‘Reproduction Painting No.3A’, 2012, TWO x TWO

Toren’s Reproduction Paintings question the status of the fine art object by creating a relationship between the idea and materiality. In Reproduction Painting No. 3A, a section of a thrift-store landscape painting is cut out, pulped, and re-pasted back onto a new stretched canvas.

For more than four decades, Israeli artist Amikam Toren’s work has thoroughly examined the conceptual and material framework that defines art. Toren’s Reproduction Paintings question the status of the fine art object by creating a relationship between the idea and materiality. In Reproduction Painting No.3A, a section of a thrift-store landscape painting is cut out, pulped, and re-pasted back onto a new stretched canvas, wittily juxtaposing the remnant of the painting-as-pictorial window with painting-as-materiality. Amikam Toren’s work has been exhibited internationally since 1967, in cities such as Paris, London, Bristol, Warsaw, Manchester, Cambridge, Padua, Vienna, Tel Aviv, Cologne, Burgundy, New York, San Francisco, Rio de Janiero, Venice, Guangzhou, Seoul, amongst others.

About Amikam Toren

Attuned to the profound in the ridiculous and the ridiculous in the profound, Amikam Toren alters found objects and images, transforming them into paintings, works on paper, videos, installations, and sculptures full of surprising depth, humor, and meaning. With a keen eye on the everyday and overlooked, and an interest in language and the process of interpretation, Toren scours his own studio and street and antique markets for his materials. Through interventions subtle and overt, he teases out poignant truths from an incredible array of unlikely objects. In his “Armchair Paintings” project, begun in the late 1980s, he cuts phrases—like “cathartic logic”—into cheap, kitschy oil paintings of flowers and landscapes, inflecting both text and image with new significance. For A Users Guide to Married Life (2012), he transformed packing instructions into tender symbols of a shared existence.

Israeli, b. 1945, Jerusalem, Israel