Paintings & Sculptures
At Code Art Fair, Nir Altman Galerie shall present for the very first time Roy Mordechay’s latest paintings and sculptures, wherein he dedicates himself to the interplay of the painter’s canvas becoming a three-dimensional object.
Mordechay’s works are inextricably linked to his cultural-anthropological examination of imagery and motifs, which motivates a sensual play of figures, lines and shapes. Inspired by narratives of his biography, which range from first memories as a child to his current nomadic life moving between Düsseldorf and Tel Aviv, he enriches his actual abstract compositions with detailed symbols.
Mordechay’s approach challenges the spectator’s eye in the sense of an imaginable narrative that he outlines with figurative and concrete parts in the composition. Like in Untitled (2018), heads of persons one might know are floating between abstract and geometrical color fields, freely moving; vividly shaped forms like in Sweating over Tentativity (2018) suggest depth and corporality on flat canvas’ parts. The artist sets with few strokes associative signs and applies thereby his humoristic approach onto the canvas. Through this strategy, he focuses on the materiality and showcases the drawn and painted line as the main event in his compositions. Contours and shapes are vibrantly moving within the canvas’ space. That a historical narrative served as a starting point for Mordechay’s paintings one maybe still can see in the figurative parts of the appearing heads and faces which are individually portrayed. Here the spectator’s eyes trying to complete these details to a narrative. By doing so, the unredeemed potential of the composition to become a landscape or an entire figure creates an unapproachable but also desirable aspect of his works.
Although these luring decoys augur an alleged story one could never decipher, they are instead helping the formal strokes and colored surfaces to unfold their autonomous presence. These compositions arise from sketches directly applied to the partially raw canvas cloth or various layers of paint. The drafting lines are deliberately visible to function as a grid and background for the floating lines and figures.
Mordechay’s sculptural objects like the Palette Mood series (2018) are a playful “extension of painting”. By taking a closer look, the sculptures possess certain qualities of his paintings, as in Palette Moods the colored and drawn parts. By using thick chipboards that served as the artist’s former paint palettes, the painting obtains a sculptural dimension, that is broadened with stone-like appearing Styrofoam and plaster backs. Through the process of grinding off the palettes’ paint layers and thus creating a more airbrushed look of the colors, he also rubs off or alters the layers of history that inhered these palettes. Again, Mordechay demonstrates here his humorous approach by deleting traces of his works and thus enabling new works, even in new forms and mediums to emerge.
Another sculptural objectuality is brought to his paintings like Tarabin (2018) by rounding the canvas’ edges. Through this, the artist aims to transform these two-dimensional paintings into haptic objects that one like to touch. Here, Mordechay’s interplay of canvas and object breaks the pureness and heroic potential a painting may have and offers a witty, ludic approach to art.