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Recipient of the Haim Shiff Prize for Figurative-Realist Art 2010 Exhibits at Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Eran Reshef, Gaz,2009. Oil on wood.


TEL AVIV.- Eran Reshef's paintings reflect the artist's interest in the elements of representation, and express a renewed concern with pictorial truth and with the temporal dimension of artistic representation with new significance, which fuses together past and present.

In Reshef's paintings, time seems to have stopped still. His compositions demand of the viewer to examine them in a sustained manner, which goes beyond an appreciation of the technical skill involved in the artist's highly precise act of representation. The objects in these paintings are all familiar – a sun-heated water tank, an electric switch, a water basin, a small ironing board; at the same time, the powerful presence of these painted objects exceeds their importance in the real world. The representational process charges these objects with multiple layers of meaning, and endows them with an ambivalent character. The details that make up each of the compositions – the play of different textures, forms and colors – appear as if seen through the lens of a magnifying glass, so that their presence is immediate and crude. Reshef has a special affinity for obsolete objects and products. He respects and values their aesthetic qualities, and feels compelled to paint them before they disappear from our lives and vanish from our conscious awareness: a tin donation box for the Jewish National Fund, an olive-oil can, a white enamel washbasin with a blue rim, an old spray can, a medicine cabinet. His dialogue with such products may appear as an expression of nostalgia for a real or imagined way of life that has disappeared. Nevertheless, Reshef notes that the act of painting these objects does not constitute an elegy for their disappearance, but rather an attempt to fix their images on canvas as long as this is still possible. He preserves his allegiance to "mythological" Israeli products such as Nesher beer or Yashan Noshan wine.

Reshef's paintings do not simply adhere to "what appears in reality." His realism is not restricted to a faithful representation of the visible, and perhaps even of what lies beyond it; rather, it is based on a conscious avoidance of symbols; on a renunciation of the aspiration towards absolute beauty; and on a control of the urge to "improve" the visible and to bring it closer to the realm of the imagination. The highly complex nature of his paintings is the result of carefully created effects, which at times touch upon the sublime.






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