Nancy Hoffman Gallery
In addition to his exhibition at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, Averbuch will present an installation at the Cologne Art Fair in November as well as install a permanent monumental sculpture in Lavon, Israel in December.
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Ilan Averbuch, the Israeli-born sculptor, lives and works in New York City. Since the early 1980s his work has been exhibited regularly in the United States, Europe, Israel India and Canada.
In a catalogue essay for his retrospective show at the Open Museum in Tefen, Israel, in June 1997, the art critic Carter Ratcliff wrote "in part his sculptures owe their monumental aura to their materials--stone, copper, lead, heavy wooden beams. In greater part, this aura is created by his themes--civilization and its history, its interactions with nature. Yet the deepest power of Averbuch's art is it's truly convincing monumentality, the product of qualities that we ordinarily consider anti-monumental. A monument of the usual sort has a single message, simply stated. Sculpture of this sort presents its single-mindedness as a claim to authority. The authority of an Averbuch monument is quite different, for it flows from a refusal to advance just one idea. As we have seen, his images not only permit, they demand, multiple readings. He is a master of ambiguity, of the richness of meaning that engages the imagination and prompts it to follow cues in every direction, as far as our energies will take us. Always subtle, he is often playful, and his art never permits us to be certain even about such seemingly simple matters as formal resemblance."
Included in Averbuch's exhibition are seven sculptures and drawings. One group consists of two large hands, 3x10x6 feet. Lost at Sea, constructed and carved in wood; Jerusalem, made of copper sheets hammered onto a wooden hand, then cut into two halves, removed and welded together. Averbuch notes of these two pieces, "The strange pair is not like the usual male-female or left-right dichotomy. It is about one existence emerging out of another. While we are aware of the repetition--the "duplicity, "we are struck by the otherness created by the material, texture and color. The copper blue patina suggests the celestial, the wooden hand with chainsaw marks and burn lines earthy in its presence."
Narcissus and the Desire to Fly and The End of Utopia, both large scale, are made of wood, glass and stone. Both refer to flying instruments, dreams and utopian desires. The materials and forms suggest a different reality, fragile and tentative though monumental.
On a smaller scale Averbuch has made three stone tables, each consisting of a slab of granite on wooden legs. The stones are carved and hollowed and poetically evoke a sense of place or three metaphoric stages in the human condition.
For the November Cologne Art Fair, Averbuch will install four large sculptures, entitled The Forest. Consisting of four steel and glass columns, the glass is inscribed on the inside with fragments of sentences. The columns are topped with four different "capitals " of archetypal images of flora--a wood and lead pomegranate; a charred wood and lead palm tree; a charred wood, stone and lead sheaf of wheat, and a cluster of stone grapes. The Forest in its entirety, represents our unconscious, making reference to the language of modernity in the columns, the written word in the inscriptions, and that which is unreachable in the capitals.
Ilan Averbuch was awarded a commission in Israel, in the town of Lavon, a new, high-technology center in the Galilee. Divided World will be installed at the central intersection of the town’s entrance in December 1999. Divided World consists of a pair of steep, narrow stone staircases rising 18 feet high in opposite directions. From the base of each staircase springs a massive cast iron arch spanning the space between them. The arch is missing its keystone and from the end of each segment of the arch hang massive chains which wrap around two large blocks of stone suspended over water.
Divided World is a massive sculpture with a delicate balance of materials, form and references. Its fragments suggest a frozen moment in which the elements are dynamically interlocked and dependent on each other. Perhaps the artist is commenting on Israel’s developments of the past and future in this work.
Ilan Averbuch’s work has been shown at the Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Art in the Park, New York; Bronfman Centre, Montreal; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; Fort Tryon Park Project, New York; Het Apollohuis, The Netherlands; Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York; Hunter College, New York; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Jamaica Art Center, Queens, New York; The Jewish Museum, New York; Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New York; Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; List Art Center, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Lodz, Poland Historical Museum, Lodz, Poland; Palo Alto Cultural Center, California; P.S. 1, Long Island City, Queens, New York; Robert Moses Plaza, Fordham University at Lincoln Center, New York; Socrates Sculpture Park, Astoria, Queens, New York; Tefen Museum Sculpture Garden, Israel; Tel Aviv Museum, Israel; Tel Hai Art Center, Israel; Tel Noff Sculpture Garden, Israel.
The artist's work is represented in numerous public collections, among them: The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; Brock University, Ontario, Canada; Bronfman Centre, Montreal, Canada; Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; Kunstlerhaus, Bethanien, Berlin, Germany; Prudential Insurance Company of America; Newark, New Jersey; Runnymede Sculpture Farm, Woodside, California; Tefen Museum, Israel; Tel Aviv Museum, Israel; Tel Hai Art Center, Israel; Tel Noff Sculpture Garden, Israel.
Ilan Averbuch resides in New York City.
For additional information and/or photographs, please contact the gallery.