TEL AVIV.- Up in the Air, by American artist Tom Friedman (b. 1965, St. Louis, MO), is the third in a series of site-specific installations at the Lightfall of the Herta and Paul Amir Building. It is comprised of hundreds of items suspended from the ceiling, like a giant mobile, like a contemporary still life, monumental yet dispersed, floating in the air as if devoid of gravity. At first glance these items seem to be ready-made; in fact, they are all painstakingly and carefully hand-crafted. They include functional and non-functional objects, items of clothing and food, various balls for various sports, references to works of art, graphic images and icons that have swollen into three-dimensional form; and, in factthe material and visual world surrounding us.
The installation was first exhibited in 2010 at Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art in Stockholm, in a rectangular, horizontal space. In its Tel Aviv venue, in an angular, vertical space, the work's complexity and variability are emphasized, as well as the challenge it poses for the viewer: to flank the work, examine it from all angles and then, gradually, to experience the intensity, the excessiveness and the great saturation of "things."
Tom Friedman makes extraordinary work that explores ideas of perception, logic, and possibility. His often painstakingly rendered sculptures and works on paper inhabit the grey areas between the ordinary and the monstrous, the infinitesimal and the infinite, the rational and the uncanny. His work is often deceptive, its handmade intricacy masked by a seemingly mass-produced or prefabricated appearance. Friedmans deadpan presentation implies content and form are seamless; expectations are overturned as the viewer slowly perceives that chasm between illusion and reality. Friedman's work has been internationally exhibited in galleries and museums, including solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Fondazione Prada, Milan; Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall; the South London Gallery, and numerous other institutions
Installation courtesy of Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art, Stockholm.
The project is sponsored by Isracard; it was made possible thanks to the generosity of Jill and Jay Bernstein; Dorit Gary and Modi Segal; and The Family Robert Weil Foundation