Nahum Tevet, Islands, 2012. Industrial paint on wood, cardboard, mirrors, 370 x 270 x 106 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Kristof De Clercq gallery.
Islands and Objects
Opening: January 14, 3–6pm, speech by Thierry de Duve, and conversation with the artist
Kristof De Clercq gallery
Hours: Friday–Sunday 2–6pm
T +32 474 57 12 91
Kristof De Clercq gallery is proud to present Islands and Objects, the ﬁrst solo exhibition in Belgium by Nahum Tevet, a central ﬁgure in Israel’s contemporary art scene for more than four decades.
The exhibition features Islands, an important artwork from 2012. The work is almost completely transparent, unlike most other large installations by Tevet, yet it offers a complex experience. We are invited to scan the work, to wonder around, to read what is in front of us, to take our time. We do not ﬁnd a preferred point of view. We do not arrive at an obvious conclusion. We see benches, tables, boats and book-like structures. They simply stand or lay on the ground. We might think of monochrome paintings, placed on the ﬂoor, which divide the installation ground into independent but synchronized stages, for vertical elements to rise. We see reﬂections, repetitions and mirror images. The more we try to read what is in front of us, to ﬁgure out this place and its logic, the less sense it seems to make. We get lost in this transparent structure, feeling less secure of our own place in space.
Next to the big installation the exhibition features smaller wall works selected from the last ten years. They look like handcrafted machines, ambiguous toys, puzzle-like architectural models of nothing grander than themselves. The playful and intriguing nesting, doubling and mirroring of colorful objects eludes any univocal classiﬁcation.
Nahum Tevet’s poetics is based upon the connections between painting, sculpture and architecture. The “building blocks” that comprise Tevet’s formal vocabulary, for both his small wall works and the large, sprawling sculptural installations are never ready mades. They are simple, almost archetypal forms: the chair, the table, the box, the boat, the book.
Nahum Tevet (b. 1946, lives and works in Tel Aviv) launched his career in the early 1970s with work that was rather resolute, even within the context of Post-Minimalism. Robert Rauschenberg acquired several of Tevet’s works on glass in 1974. Recently, under the impulse of the renowned historian and philosopher of art Thierry De Duve, these works on glass have been shown in Hunter College (NY), Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, Poland, and Museum Villa Stuck in München.
From the 1970s onwards, Tevet’s artistic project examines and deconstructs the fundamental concepts of “painting” and its’ role within speciﬁc spaces, while critically referring to minimalism and conceptual art. These ideas developed to vast, multi-limbed and intricate installations involving the viewer in a rich visual and conceptual experience. By the mid 1990s the scale of Tevet’s work began to grow dramatically, culminating in what may be the artist’s masterpiece, Seven Walks, a sprawling installation that Tevet worked on from 1997 to 2004 which is now on view at Museum Villa Stuck, Munich.
Tevet has been the subject of major survey exhibitions at both the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Museum. His work has been part of exhibitions worldwide since 1975, such as numerous solo and group exhibitions in Europe and the United States, among which Documenta 8 (1987), the Sao Paulo Biennale (1994), the Lyon Biennale (1997) and the Venice Biennale (2003), but also museum shows at the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna (1997), the Carnegie International (1999), the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma (2008) and the Kunstmuseum Bochum (2015).
His work is included in many important museum collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; Museum of Modern Art, Ludwig Foundation, MUMOK, Vienna, Austria; Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld, Germany; FRAC Bretagne, France; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, and more.