Project no.146

 

Beth Shamgar

Journeys 2011-2013

Chief Curator: Rachel Sukman

Guest Curator: Hana Kofler

Opening: Friday, 12.4.2013, at 11 A.M.
Closing: 3.5.2013

 

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6 Zamenhoff St. , Tel Aviv, tel.: 03-5254191
Gallery hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., Mon.-Thurs. 5-7 p.m


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Untitled, 2011
.oil, graphite, and oil pastel on paper, 50x50 cm  

Untitled, 2012
.oil, graphite, and oil pastel on paper, 35x36 cm  

Untitled, 2012
.oil, graphite, and oil pastel on paper, 35x36 cm  

     
     

Untitled, 2012
.oil, graphite, and oil pastel on paper, 35x36 cm  

Untitled, 2012
.oil, graphite, and oil pastel on paper, 35x36 cm  

Untitled, 2012
.oil, graphite, and oil pastel on paper, 35x36 cm  

     
     

Untitled, 2012
.oil, graphite, and oil pastel on paper, 35x36 cm  

Untitled, 2012
.oil, graphite, and oil pastel on paper, 35x36 cm  

Untitled, 2011
.oil, graphite, and oil pastel on paper, 50x50 cm  

     
     

 

Beth Shamgar:  Journeys 2011-2013

Hana Kofler

 

  The series of paintings Beth Shamgar displays in the current exhibition reflect her inclinations during the last three years.  The paintings incorporate strong elements of landscape, whose rhythms and musical qualities form an inseparable part of her instinctive mode of personal expression.  The chords that structure her compositions, the qualities of the masses of colour, the tension between cold and warm colours, and between line and mass, are not an external imitation of nature, but are rather an expression of abstract ideas and inner feelings.  They derive from a free translation of reality. The actual subject of Shamgar's paintings landscape is not explicitly expressed.  It is implied in the relationships between the masses of colour, and in the effects of changing light and surface textures.

 

Shamgar is a serious hiker, whose journeys to remote places in the world are an inseparable part of her lifestyle.  She is not concerned with describing the figurative aspects of these places.  She is interested in their inner attributes.  In a spontaneous manner, she creates an abstraction of a familiar place by means of a different and unconventional way of looking, thanks to which we cease to "identify" the place according to the givens of reality, but rather see it as something other, with a new and stronger meaning.  She herself can point to each painting and identify the Lofoten Islands in Norway, the village of Yeghegis in Armenia, a remote strip of coast in Ireland, or the mountainous, central highlands of Scotland.  "We travel to magical places, in order to discover the magical places within ourselves," Shamgar quotes a sentence she read some place, and she adds, "This is not a travel journal, but the essence of what remains within me after coming into contact with a place in the course of my travels."

 

Shamgar, who is a musicologist by training and holds a doctorate from New York University, has been engaged with painting for over twenty years, first in parallel with teaching musicology at Bar Ilan University, and afterwards as the central focus of her life.  For many years she has been part of a small group of artists, who meet on a weekly basis under the guidance of the artist, Meir Natif.  This regular encounter makes possible a multiple exchange among the participants of the group, and an on-going dialogue with Natif.  Her own work has developed out of this dynamic, which continues to grow stronger from meeting to meeting, even today.

 

Among Shamgar's body of work are two large series which deal with the topic of aging, and document her father:  one is a series of collages that she created when he was 80, and the second a series of drawings in oil and graphite that she painted when he turned 90.  Previously, she has also painted a large series of interiors, after which she moved over to landscapes situated on the border between the figurative and the abstract.  From there under the influence of the Japanese painter, Kimura (1914, Japan 1987, Paris) she turned to abstract paintings of specific places.  One can still find in her paintings concrete elements of landscape, even though they have, under her hand, passed through a process of sublimation, and have become landscapes of the soul.  Shamgar points out that since her retirement from formal engagement with musicology she has become increasingly aware of the musical elements in painting.  Music as inspiration for painting transforms her overall view of nature into something that is both rich and highly meaningful.

The works in this exhibition were painted in oil, panda, and graphite on paper or on canvas. All of the places that have been transformed into abstract paintings with hidden secrets are real and can be identified by Shamgar. They are displayed here in a sublimated painted fabric, which invites the viewer to penetrate their inner recesses.