Mass Harmony
Erik Šille | Solo Show
Curator: Ariel Rom

Corridor Contemporary is pleased to present Mass Harmony, Erik Šille’s first solo exhibition in Israel, in partnership with the Slovak Institute in Jerusalem. Šille, who was born in Rojava, Czechoslovakia, in 1978, stands as one of the most important painters in Slovak art and has left a profound mark on the Slovak contemporary art scene. He is currently living and working in Bratislava, Slovakia, A profound exploration of appropriation serves as the central pillar of Šille’s artistic oeuvre, encompassing the assimilation of phrases, objects, and themes drawn from the realms of consumer culture, pop culture, and the digital sphere. Within his paintings, one can discern a pronounced influence stemming from the aesthetics found in computer games, comic books, as well as the iconography of commercial and political propaganda. This particular aesthetic quality, coupled with the meticulous precision evident in his work, often conceals the artist’s distinctive hand, ushering the observer into realms reminiscent of advertising, marketing, and even the field of graphic design.

Nevertheless, beneath this surface allure, Šille masterfully delves into the contemporary challenges that confront Slovak society, yielding a dynamic interplay between the initial visual encounter and the underlying narrative. Despite the painstaking craftsmanship evident in Šille’s brushwork, the semblance of “digital” harmony within his art functions as a discerning commentary on the pervasive impact of commercial culture, politics, and contemporary society. Within his paintings, we discern a palpable absence of the natural and genuine world, supplanted by a realm reminiscent of a computer game—a universe whose origins are familiar yet strangely alien. Amidst the landscapes he constructs, one encounters strata of melancholy and, most notably, a sense of ambiguity that prompts contemplation regarding whether Šille is offering admiration or critique toward this civilization.

The figures depicted within Šille’s paintings not only beckon viewers into his realm but also serve as more than mere pictorial subjects; they manifest as artifacts, puppets, and creatures meticulously crafted by the artist himself. These entities breathe life into his canvases, occupying the spaces within the composition, guiding us through the intricate tapestry of their presence, and positioning Šille at the juncture of an artist, industrial designer, and product designer. Despite the appearance of elusive surfaces, gesture persists as a fundamental element of Šille’s artistic methodology, bestowing upon it a distinct and novel artistic signature.

Mass Harmony beckons us to contemplate the interdependent relationship between art and contemporary culture, compelling Šille’s audience to consider the allure of this aesthetic and the nuanced duality it represents—a proximity that carries with it an inherent sense of detachment.

The exhibition will be on view from October 12 th to November 19 th , 2023.