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Past Exhibition
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Hagai Argov - Daily Fairy Tale


Installation View 1
Installation View 1
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Hagai Argov
Installation View 2
Installation View 2
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Hagai Argov
Installation View 3
Installation View 3
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Hagai Argov

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Hagai Argov - Daily Fairy Tale (21/05/2015 - 05/07/2015)

Hagai Argov - Daily Fairy Tale

Hagai Argov's first solo exhibition at the Engel Gallery -

Hagai Argov - Life and death in the power of the brush / Matar Engel

When Hagai Argov puts a brush to a stretched canvas, a table top or everyday housewares, he paints a story. It is a tale he sketches every day.

In his depictions ,you will not meet magical creatures or distant worlds, but familiar surroundings peopled with unknown characters and forgotten objects. Yet this simplicity searches the conscious depths to produce the plot – one with which we are already familiar. This exhibition deals with the stories and the characters that are, as in everyday life, along the boundaries between fantasy and reality and conversing about the artist's life, his dreams and his disappointments.

Argov uses “Readymade" as the main technique in his work and it can be found in many of his paintings that are on display in the exhibition. This choice is a source of great difficulty. The objects he has chosen for his work are full of flaws, both on and beneath the surface, and they force him to consider an unconventional composition and a non-neutral surface. But beyond that, from an emotional perspective, gathering and using street objects invites feelings that may seep into the work process and influence it. Argov makes intelligent use of these constraints and uses them to highlight his paintings. He rises to the challenge and takes full advantage of the existing needs, and, like the doctor in Mary Shelley's famous book, breathes fresh life into his works.

Preoccupation with life and death permeates Argov’s work, even when the work surface is not ready-made. His "Self Portrait", which is also displayed in the exhibition, is a canvas stretched on an internal frame, built by the artist from discarded pieces of wood that he found and upon which he layered the paint to create a face – a three-dimensional death mask reflecting the humanity and the memories that reside in the meterial, even though we do not know who is standing behind the mask.

I visited Argov’s studio, in a classroom in a school in Rishon Letzion, where we ate dates and talked about his work and the stories that stem from everyday objects. Between the dates we discussed archaeology and the similarities between it and his work.
An archaeologist uncovers an invisible world with the delicate movements of various brushes, exposing ancient truths that are directly reflected in the present. But then, I was thinking to myself, archeology is not the exact term, but rather “reverse archeology”. Argov does not reveal the story by removing layers - on the contrary, he adds layer after layer, drawing line next to line, till he recreates what he saw when he found the artifact, the forgotten piece of “history”.

You can see it in his biker helmet, an ordinary object we see every time we look at a road. Yet it takes on an entirely new meaning when Argov "exposes" a figure etched into several layers of color, light and dark, resembling the days of his life, with the last layer, the one on which he is engraved, is the darkest in color and reminding us of asphalt.

While the natural hair brush used by the ancient scholars reminds us of the artist's brushes, the difference is that we are the ones who are supposed to “peel away” the layers and come to conclusions, in order to understand how objects, and these characters, connect with our personal story.


Hagai Argov - Daily Fairytale from Engel Gallery on Vimeo.

 

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Past Exhibitions List.
 
Engel Gallery - 100 Ben Yehuda St., Tel-Aviv Tel. 03-5225637, Fax. 03-5226145
Engel Gallery - 13 Shlomzion Hamalka St., Jerusalem Tel. 02-6232397, 02-6253523, Fax. 02-6249439
   
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