Gallery II
April 20 2023 - May 18 2023

Gallery II is proud to present Hallelujah, a solo exhibition by the artist Ido Gordon. The exhibition presents a series of paintings with the same title, which were made using a mixed technique: instead of traditional canvas, the works utilize green jute cloth (nylon) stretched over aluminum frames, upon which images were created using a combination of spray paints, acrylic markers and a silver marker.  

 Hallelujah is a moment of revelation, a vocal call facing a divine performance. In the interval between this world and the next, exists this series of paintings. If painting is a window, it is a window into the unknown. H-a-l-l-e-l-u-j-a-h.

Jute cloth, spray paint and silver markers—these are the tools with which Ido Gordon expresses his metaphysical call: "Hallelujah". An empty call? One of faith? Full of intention? Ironic? All of the above most likely. Gordon's art has always revolved around worn-out symbols. Mainly those that express the blink of an eye of our fragile existence: a skull, a clock, a candle (which also reappears in the current series in the work Hallelujah 4). These are not esoteric symbols that require complex decoding, but basic symbols of Western culture, imploring us to: "Remember death." Through them, like through the title of the exhibition ("Hallelujah") or the swastika clock that he exhibited not long ago at the HaHanut (The Shop) gallery, it seems that Gordon wants to inquire about the strange power of the metaphysical cliché. Hallelujah is an exhibition of lines and planes. Grids on fences on diagonals are piled on top of each other almost compulsively. But this is not a formalist exhibition. In fact, at its heart lies a question of meaning. Each work is like a small allegory for painting's relationship with the world and with the world beyond. A painting can be superficial (graphic), but also mysterious, to obstruct one’s view, but also open up pathways, to imitate reality, or replace it with an abstract universe. Take, for example, the work Hallelujah #11: the pictorial occurrence is violently obstructed in the foreground by a painted fence, an imitation of a specific object in the world; On the second plane we encounter an abstract geometric shape: four diagonal lines meet four straight lines; Behind them is an obscure black patch, or is it a monster? It depends on whether we choose the abstract or the figurative route, whether we choose to see the intersection of lines as eyes shining in the dark; these three layers are all piled up on jute burlap, the raw material from which fences are made; And the burlap itself hangs on an actual fence, "the real thing." Each plane, then, embodies a different relationship between an image and the world, and they are built layer by layer, as in Photoshop, one visual register over another (in the painting Hallelujah #10 I counted eight of these). Through the tangle of planes and lines emerges the great riddle — the way in which a painting can move from the earth to the skies and back. The works do not disguise the process of their creation. Up close we see the dryness of the marker, the roughness of the jute, the holes in the tarp, the "mistakes" in the geometric precision. But at the same time we cannot help but be addicted to the satisfying formal regularities, to the radioactive colors, to the mysticism inherent in the simple convergence of lines to a vanishing point. One moment it's a collection of lines, and the next a cosmic portal. The series seems to put the viewer to the test. Like a stereogram, it asks: What are you able to see in me? Can you discern the metaphysical within the formal? The longing for “the beyond” hidden within mechanical ruler drawings? In short, do you believe (in art)? Anyone who grew up in the 90s remembers the TV series Sliders, in which the same deus ex machina appeared in each episode: a kind of wormhole that allowed the characters to escape to a parallel universe. But getting to that universe required faith, the courage to jump right into the "wormhole." To take a leap of faith. If you ask Ido Gordon, or me, art is always a leap of faith. Are you able to take the leap?

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Artist Ido Gordon

Ido Gordon (b.1988) is a multidisciplinary artist with a bachelor’s degree from Bezalel who lives and works in Tel Aviv. His practice utilizes painting, sculpture, sound works and installation, and his paintings are often made on light-weight materials, such as styrofoam and used packaging papers. Gordon has staged solo exhibitions at the Midrasha Gallery, the Jerusalem Artists House and the Halal BaStudio (Space in the Studio) gallery in Tel Aviv, and has participated in group exhibitions at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Digital Art Center in Holon, Beit Hansen in Jerusalem, RawArt Gallery in Tel Aviv, and more. Gordon is co-editor of the magazine ‘Hoshech’ (Darkness) which combines art, literature, poetry and comics, together with the artist David Duvshani, and co-hosts with Arnon Ben-Dror two podcasts dealing with art: Dvarim BaOlam (Things in the World), conversations with artists, and Dvarim BaOlam HaBa which follows After artists who are no longer with us. 

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