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That which Lies between the Eye and the Spirit / Ruth Zucker at Ein Hod central gallery

Ruth Zucker’s body of works tells a story where form and matter constitute the words and language. It is a story underpinned by visibility, or rather, a story that belies a secret that calls for deciphering – an option rather than condition. The story and content in these works lie in the figurativeness that disintegrates into sub-concepts with line, texture, motion, order and organization, dialectically coinciding with liberty and disorder. Make no mistake, it is a premeditated, organized disorder, which allows the resurfacing of inner, subterranean materials that lie in the artist’s mind, as a thought-experience-pure feelings. It is a disorder that enjoys the license and permission to assert itself, so it can exist, “fall along lines”, and acquire a new order.
These works seem to harbor a dialogue: The right hand leads the charge and turns a blind eye to the left hand as it assumes the liberty to “doodle”, mix colors, etch, print, make the color fill or stammer, and then ruffle, tear and build a new world order.
Mixed technique is predominant in these works, where freedom, intuition, inner experience and personal story set the tone and inspiration, leaving the main impact. Then, having done their due, freedom and intuition cede center stage to the steering, tidying, organizing, mindfully-doodling hand, safe in the knowledge that line-shape-blot-texture hold a dialogue, while producing a discourse where polyphony proves polymorphous.

Don’t expect to find any figurative images in these works, which are dominated by the language of form – pure form, recounting its story with no recourse to any real image. Symbol and metaphor are the actual medium here, or, as the saying goes, the message itself.
Zucker works deftly, self-assured in her liberty and reliance on the set of skills at her disposal, thus allowing the artwork to grow from the creative act. The freedom, intuition and the experience of art-in-process emerge in these works, while the torn, cut and pasted fragments produce an extra layer, an extra stratum of in-depth meaning, as a new order. This order asserts an ongoing dialogue between freedom and organization, chaos and order, shape and shapelessness, fence and restriction, which guards even the stuff which seems to be bound by no fences or boundaries.
Even when she seems to tear and ruffle, we realize that Zucker is on top of stuff. She allows herself, and the skill that underpins her competence as an artist, to engage in an action that enjoys freedom and affords emotional outlet; then she seems to “call for order” and organizes everything she has managed to capture from within her creative mind.
We opened by stating that these works tell a story, so let us conclude by stressing that as far as the eye can see, this is a storyboard where discourse is facilitated by the eye, but we may delve deeper into the inner layers and learn about the message that lies in the medium and the meaning of the different shapes, which may double as symbols.

dr. Nurit Cederbuim. Read more

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