Yael Kanarek, ‘Nude, No. 2 (My Albers)’, 2010, bitforms gallery
Yael Kanarek, ‘Nude, No. 2 (My Albers)’, 2010, bitforms gallery

The universalism of Josef Albers' "Homage to the Square" is examined in Nude, No. 2. It also identifies the body as a space of negotiation located between cultures. Melanin and speech are both physical attributes of the body. Each piece in the series is a linguistic composition loaded with social tension. The underpainting of these works is a pigmented glue that represents a tone that is different from that on the surface. Bleeding into the top layers, this root level of the picture's composition symbolically acknowledges difference. Playing with the relationship of simultaneous perceptions, these pieces activate a dense system of human struggle that is orchestrated by language, regardless of one's skin tone. As an Israeli-American, Kanarek's perception of space is tempered with an awareness how arbitrary borders are. Employing modes of authorship such as storytelling and multilinguialism, Kanarek manipulates the biographical predisposition of a viewerʼs associations (which are dynamic). Her work enters spaces of meaning determined by a global network and the negotiation of identity that occurs when confronted by multiple systems.

Transliterations: Amharic -- Holi / Arabic -- Abiad / English -- White / German -- Weiss Hebrew -- Lavan / Chinese -- Bái / Japanese -- Shiro / Latin -- Niveus / Russian -- Bhehley

About Yael Kanarek

Yael Kanarek’s multimedia works explore the relationship between language and emotion, between movement and identity. Her installations often feature words in delicate, lace-like strings of moulded rubber letters in multiple languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Kanarek is best known for her ongoing project begun in 1994, World of Awe, a virtual travelogue synthesizing photography, sculpture, and text. The fictional traveler is gender-less and nation-less, wandering in an alternate reality called Sunset/Sunrise and leaving behind love letters.

American, b. 1967, Israel, based in New York, New York