Turn It and Turn it Again  הפוך בה והפוך בה


Working in Series — Exploring the Infinite Visual Existences of a Singular Object

"wende sie und wende sie immer wieder" הפוך בה והפוך בה . . 2015, Solo exhibition, Tapetenwerk Gallery, Leipzig Germany. Photo: Jens Klein

The exploration of “Pathosformel“ (Aby Warburg), is my search for the ways depiction of how we read representation of emotional experience. One of the ways I chose to explore this concept was by using natural living objects , namely forms that hold in their structure the logic of life. Additionally, I was interested in their cultural value, the symbolic and lateral representation their forms hold, as another aspect in the investigation of our perception of nameable objects. In the process of the work, I extract my subject matter out of its context and try to exaggerate the form, looking not at what the form is, but what it “wants to be”, what belongs together and what is segregated.

In this process I was using traditional techniques of printmaking, etching and photopolymer combined with drawing. This approach, using different techniques in different layers throughout the process, allowed me to go back to the branching point of the work, and to explore different ways to articulate the same subject matter, to see how the effects change when approached differently.

Working in series allowed me to explore the infinite visual existences a singular object or theme can have. These multiple existences are embodied in individual works, the repetition of the physical action through which they are created functioning as a determining factor for the “rules” of their creation. Accordingly, each finished image is but one of the diverse manifestations of the image, which, as a whole, form a subjective representation of an iconography, of a namable thing, of a narrative. I am interested in how psychological (Gestalt) perception affects the understanding of what we think we are seeing, and how the manipulation of form can increase the potential content of a work.

Variations on a Sabra Kfar Yekhezkel (Israel) 2012–13 

A few years ago, while visiting Israel, I suddenly became aware of this Sabra (cactus) and its complexity and began to draw it regularly, in order to explore and understand its form. I have a very intimate relationship with this particular sabra , as my mother planted it in front of our family home 30 years ago, and I grew up with its constant presence.  The sabra motive is a symbol that is laden with multiple meanings in Israeli-Palestinian political discourse. As much as I might wish to represent the sabra in an abstract manner, devoid of its inherently political content, as someone coming from this region it is impossible to free myself completely from its complex history. Nor do I wish to portray it in an expressivistic manner (for more reading Portrait of a Sabra: Gestalt of a Symbol ).

While visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC in 2014, I was fascinated by various items from non-Western cultures. One Ganesh statue in particular captured my attention. I took some snapshots with my smartphone and made some sketches of the statue, in order to try to understand my æsthetic fascination with an object that was foreign to my own cultural background and experiences. The immediacy of access to cultural artefacts and the omnipresence of visual documentation technologies very obviously risks banality in the individual’s understanding and experience of such objects. I used photopolymer to develop the photo and used Chine-collé to incorporate ink drawings on rice paper into the work using traditional printing methods. The combination of the two mediums emphasizes the space of private interpretation that a highly symbolic and religious object receives when shown or experienced out of context. As with the Sabra works, here I am interpreting the decontextualized representation of culture iconography and exploring its formal representation as an organic body in movement, seeking to capture the æsthetic representation of a “Thing” using different materials and working methods.

Variations on a Coral Napoli (Italy) 2013–14

This Coral is from the Sorrentine Peninsula near the island of Capri. I purchased it from a fisherman along the lungomare in Napoli, brought it to my studio in Napoli and studied its form for a period of six months.
At the time I was living in Napoli and visited regularly the Archeologico Museo.  I carefully observe the use of round forms by ancient Roman and Greek culture to construct natural bodies. This influenced my esthetical desiccations working on the Coral series. The coral is structured with multiple round hollow forms that are attached to and growing on each other. The structure has for me the quality and resemblance of multiple bodies attached to each other by joints.

Variations on a Tree Jena (Germany) 2013

Looking for a platform to articulate human gesture, I noticed this tree on the Saale river bank in Jena while participating in the Plenair residency programme in Jena. Over the course of a week, I made several paintings and drawings of its form. This particular tree, in its almost ornately moving form, seems to me like the shape of an Indian temple dancer, an association that I have taken as inspiration. 

Liat Grayver, Berlin based contemporary artist;  Robotic-painting, Printmaking, drawings and paintings

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • https://www.instagram.com/liat_grayv