Leonid Balaklav- Drawing+ (30/05/2003 - 18/07/2003)
The Tel Aviv Engel Gallery is showing drawings from a notebook and oil paintings by Leonid Balaklav.
This new exhibition encompasses four subjects that have occupied Balaklav's recent works - the self-portrait, various figures, landscapes and interiors. Balaklav's drawings are direct and do not go through any filters of editing or cleaning so that they remain marked with fingerprints and charcoal smudges. These convey the sense of a complete image freshly redolent of the artist's workshop.
In this exhibition Balaklav exposes a new aspect of Jerusalem's characters he encountered while roaming the streets of Mea Shearim and other quarters. These characters pass by the artist as he draws in the streets and dress his works with an orthodox atmosphere that becomes an integral part of the work. This atmosphere presents a new-old Israeli-ness through the eyes of a religious artist, who looks at our world from a depth and perspective that is removed from the familiar secular world of art.
Balaklav's quick sketches retain an initial vitality despite being dark. The quick hand lends the street scenes and portraits a glimmer of existence and vitality heavy with the charges of tradition and heritage. The absence of depicting specific details does to a certain extent make the illustration and even the portraits into comprehensive and general descriptions that are not associated with any particular person or event. They become the spokesmen of an almost timeless ambience.