Nurit Avesar: Elemental Energies

02/05/2016 04:51 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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Artwork by Nurit Avesar (detail) 2015

Truth does not inhabit only the inner man, or more accurately, there is no inner man; man is in the world, and only in the world does he know himself...Philosophy is not the reflection of a preexisting truth, but, like art, the act of bringing truth into being. -- Maurice Merleau-Ponty

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Artwork by Nurit Avesar (detail) 2015

Emotional, elemental, cartographic and conceptual, painter Nurit Avesar's newest work exists on a formal continuum of energetic and optical evolution in which esoteric content is, incrementally, concretized. The liminal introduction of horizon lines and perspectival space, against and inside of which images emerge as figures in a vista, proceed with an early post-Impressionistic sensibility of flattened pictorial depth and the allegorical landscape. Geological and archaeological, her sublimated prismatic surfaces have the curious visual quality of grave-rubbings, in which content emerges in layers, as long-hidden ideas are excavated before one's eyes. By embedding wire mesh into the thick pigment she gives the paintings mass and dimensionality as objects, while also punctuating their organic surfaces with architectural dissonance. The appearance of neon and other artificial color into a primarily geological lexicon amplifies this choreography of discernable human presence on sweeping abstract territory.

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Artwork by Nurit Avesar (detail) 2015

In 1939 Henry Miller wrote in The Cosmological Eye, "Tomorrow is the result of many yesterdays and comes with a potent, cumulative effect. I am tomorrow what I chose to be yesterday." And like one's identity itself, the contours of one's memory are both personal and generational, maybe even genetic, and indelibly tied to the physical world of people and objects in myriad ways. In his further writings on the nature of perception, Merleau-Ponty articulates the germane metaphor of the eye in the mind, a modality of sight that touches the world with its vision -- a mind that absorbs everything it sees into its being like a soul sponge, in an "intersubjective field" in which not only the observed but the observer is forever changed by each interaction. This is what enables the poetic paradox of Avesar's work to continue to flourish and expand -- remaining abstract, even as it comes increasingly to resemble and in habit the world.

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Artwork by Nurit Avesar (detail) 2015

ELEMENTAL ENERGIES is curated and presented by Dulce Stein at the Neutra Institute Gallery & Museum (2379 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90039), February 20-March 12, 2016, with an ARTIST RECEPTION Saturday, February 20, 6-9pm, and a GALLERY TALK with Avesar and the author on Sunday, March 6, at 2pm.