Maïa Zers paintings are based on the observation of nature, and on an attempt to capture the fleeting and the ephemeral. In the series of portraits and landscape paintings featured in this exhibition, the artist documents her immediate reality and surroundings from a highly personal point of view. At times she cuts a fragment out of the continuum of reality in order to serve her painterly intentions; in other instances, she entertains a dialogue with various paintings from the history of art. Early on in her career, Zer decided to paint in a figurative style, while selectively choosing the details she represents. Her portraits and landscape paintings reveal her interest in the various components underlying the representational process, and express a renewed appreciation of pictorial truth. As such, they endow the temporal dimension of artistic representation with a new meaning, which enfolds within it past and present, self and other.
Realism in art is never simply an adherence to appearances, to what is in reality. No less important than realisms allegiance to the visible, and perhaps even more important, is its emphasis on avoidance, restraint and control: realism avoids the desire to create symbols; restrains the thrust towards absolute beauty; and controls the urge to perfect the visible and bring it closer to the realm of the imagination. Yet such figurative, realist paintings like those created by Zer demand sustained observation and an in-depth analysis, and are charged with multiple and ambivalent meanings. Their complexity stems from the psychological effects to which the viewer is subjected, their use of symbolism, their thrust towards beauty and the meticulous attention to formal values.
The exhibition is on view at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art