Installation Shots

ABOUT THE SHOW

The creative practice of Aviv Grinberg (born 1991) ranges between painting and sculpture and stretches the boundaries of both mediums. His early works are large-scale portraits with vibrant colors and characters that allude to a hidden tale. Grinberg increasingly abandoned two-dimensional painting after his debut exhibition (2015), and began to transform features from his paintings into sculptural activities using maintenance products he discovered in his neighborhood. Later, the handling of common objects evolved into an aesthetic formal language that he refers to as “the language of cleanliness.” Grinberg investigates the concept of cleanliness from both a psychological and an ecological standpoint. Grinberg responds to patterns of concealment and suppression, personal and familial matters, and also produces a discourse about social structures, changing ecosystems, and consumer behavior by isolating and amplifying elements that distinguish the products. Hila, Grinberg’s sister, passed away in the days when the entire world was under strict laws of cleanliness and sterility due to the Coronavirus. Hila had fought for many years with mental struggles that accompanied her from her youth. Her unfortunate death resulted in the exposure of the preserved family story and the exhaustion of the body of works “The Language of Cleanliness.”

Grinberg began to examine the production settings of the raw materials fundamental to his works in an attempt to pierce the “perfect picture” that guards the things he was forbidden to speak about. While strolling through a factory for the production of plastic containers Grinberg was exposed to a “treasure,” industrial waste of defective plastic products. Unlike his Ready-Made work and the utilization of “intact” products, the “new and faulty” ones consist of undesirable effects and wasted raw material. Grinberg’s imagination was sparked by free and one-of-a-kind forms, which served as a gateway back to the act of painting. According to him, the return to painting was unintentional and began as preparation sketches for the sculptures or sketches of insights surrounding a continuing exploration of the material. The painting has reacted to various sculptural attempts in which the waste was transformed into skeletons and human remains, uncontrollable creatures, or wild and organic landscapes.

Grinberg’s paintings represent the products as bent, liquified and dripping. Their form aligns with surrealist features, drawings created to obtain unwanted motions in order to describe the unconscious. Grinberg’s paintings, similar to Surrealism, portray a reality different from the one we are familiar with, however, the deformed forms in his works are the end result of continuous study of manufacturing wastes to which he was exposed to in the factory, a machine consciousness. Unlike surrealism, which seeks to deviate from the logical and rational, Grinberg’s aesthetics seeks to construct a universe out of involuntary industrial  phenomena, a manufactured substance that bursts naturally, hardens, and wastes.

“What is nature when it is fundamentally changed by human influence?”[1]

Grinberg is caught in the center of a struggle, both captivated and appalled. Grinberg’s obsession with the human need for the artificial originated from the paradox of creating from a plastic factory that, on the one hand, represents environmental poison while also carrying out creation activities. The body of the Synthetica paintings “predicts” a scenario in which man’s ongoing “synthetic coercion” of nature bursts up and blends with nature. His paintings’ landscapes are based on plastic imperfections – byproducts of human error. Eternal disruptions accumulated into diverse, vibrant, and sorrowful systems. A post-consumer world that expresses and attempts to recuperate from human injustices. A plentiful and stressful environment, harmonious and contaminated, a synthetic nature unsuited for human life.

Synthetica, Grinberg’s solo exhibition, represents Grinberg’s return to painting through 50 oil paintings and drawings developed from the beginning of Grinberg’s encounter with plastic waste. Grinberg peels away layers of prolonged work with ready-made and plastic, until an intuitive return to the two-dimensional. His paintings depict various interpretations of form and color, exposing concepts that failed to take shape as sculptures. While the act of sculpting is subject to the wants of the raw materials, the brush strokes liberate the picture from the limitations of the actual substance. Grinberg’s investigations into manufacturing disruptions turn a pool of tools at the artist’s disposal. The shift to canvas allows the waste to thrive, and the pictorial space becomes limitless. Through Synthetica, Grinberg explores a range of emotions toward the modern world, pondering the fading line between the natural and the artificial and asking in what forms and colors we will recognize the repercussions of its departure.

 

[1] Eva Horn, Hannes Bergthaller, The Anthropocene: Key Issues for the Humanities (London: Routledge, 2019), 5.