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Should We Keep the Head

Nov 28, 2018 - Jan 6 , 2019

Installation view of Amir Nave: Should We Keep the Head

at Shin Gallery, New York 2018 © SHIN GALLERY

Press Release

Amir Nave
SHIN Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of Amir Nave (b. 1974), an Israeli artist we now represent. Amir Nave’s solo show at SHIN Gallery includes smaller drawings of ink and pen on paper and large paintings made of oil and graphite on canvas. In all of these works, Nave attempts to create moments of eternity within immortal objects.

Amir Nave cultural heritage informs his work, which explores issues of identity, consciousness and human emotion. At the very start of his career, Nave’s works were characterized by an intimate scale and mainly included drawing and intense, semi-automatic inscriptions scribbled with pen, pencil and felt-tip pens on casual papers or pages from old books. His artistic process centers on the destruction of concepts with finite connotations, in order to create a chaos - which he can then give meaning to and remold. The boundaries of morality, space, intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships break down. These small moments of eternity unfold in himself and in his work in a liberation from the degenerate present into a personal view of freedom. By overlapping paper, by covering it entirely in tape or by using unconventional materials such as book flaps for the canvas, he creates new, collagesque modalities of expression.

Nave is interested in consciousness and human emotion. Through his attempt at subverting them, he exploits them to their fullest states until the viewer becomes aware that they are simply a figure with an acute sense of awareness and it limitation. Nave’s sketchy marks are lines of different textures and intensities that create a chaotic landscape of sexually charged figures, a reflection of human desire. Destruction has as much importance as creation in Nave’s work, for they function in a symbiotic relationship: out of the former comes the latter, and creation is only possible through destruction. Nave’s repertoire of formats has expanded gradually. In addition to his continuous work on paper, he has started to paint thick layers of oil on canvas. These large works attest to his dynamic work process – expanding the format, distilling his symbolic materials, and changing his painting materials. As opposed to his former - condensed works, his paintings seem to experience a process of reduction and cleansing, so that the materiality of the empty canvas is more present, and sometimes only minimal lines or contours are seen, indicating movement. The works present a sharp, pithy image of an existential state – both internal and external – characterized by dense urgency, ceaseless self-searching, and constant oscillation between fantasy and trauma.

Amir Nave, born in 1974 in Beer Sheva, lives and works in Tel Aviv. He exhibited solo shows at Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya (2016), Janco Dada Museum, Ein Hod (2014) and The Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan (2008), among others. He participated in group shows at Ashdod Museum of Art, Ashdod (2013), The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2011), The Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan (2011), The 4th Biennale for Drawing, Jerusalem and Museum On the Seam, Jerusalem (2010). Frieze New York (2015), Introspection, Sommer Contemporary Art Gallery , Tel Aviv (2015), Gallery Continua (2016), Tel Aviv Museum of Art:"The Rootless" (2016). He is a recipient of the 2013 Mifal Hapais Grant and of the 2012 Osias Hofstatter Prize.