GAVLAK PALM BEACH is proud to present Exile, an exhibition of image-based works by Israeli-born NYC-based multidisciplinary artist Nir Hod, on view from April 1 to April 21, 2022. Akin to both daguerreotypes and the works of old masters, this body of work presents new figurations in which the symbolic and figurative are fused together into abstract, yet deeply human, forms.
Hod’s latest exhibition explores notions of melancholy, loss and remembrance, to produce works that can’t quite be categorized as paintings. Hod’s creative practice always begins within the bounds of a chosen setting from which the artist conjures emotion and visual narrative. Abandoned institutions such as hospitals and churches provide an atmosphere instinctually congruous to the pondering of destruction and rebirth, themes of which are foregrounded in his highly-interactive pieces.
Painting on oil canvases with layers of black, green, gray and chrome—and consequently peeling back said layers to expose flashes of light embedded within the darkness—each of Hod’s pieces undergo an extensive process of transformation before the desired narrative can be brought to life. Here, compounds such as ammonia, gasoline and various acids lend themselves to the evolution of the works by evoking sentiments of fragility and annihilation. The mirrored nature of the pieces works to place the viewer within the present moment, ultimately moving the audience to consider the ephemeral nature of the human experience. The resulting works are surfaces of reflection and meditation—mutating pieces which become evermore figurative the closer one gets.
Analyzing notions of duality and artificiality, Exile invites viewers to create novel narratives in sites of destruction. In the complex exercise that is the creation of these works, Hod alchemizes what is dense and dangerous into something much more delicate. To look into the layers and see oneself is to approach with care.
ABOUT NIR HOD
Nir Hod began his career in video, works in sculpture but is known for his high realism paintings. Hod studied at Jerusalem's Bezalel Academy and New York's Cooper Union School of Art. His work investigates old notions of hyper-seriousness and personal authenticity. Hod's realistic takes on rakish narcissism examine androgyny, identity, sexual confusion and excess. As Richard Vine wrote in the catalogue for Hod’s survey exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, “From the beginning of his career, Nir Hod has opposed the ideology that labels sumptuousness an esthetic sin. His work openly substitutes the pleasure principle and a fluid multiplicity of selves for the old notions of high seriousness and personal authenticity.”