An artistic haven

Gordon Gallery and Alon Segev Gallery open new adjacent exhibition spaces in South Tel Aviv

OFER LELLOCHE, Atelie, 2018, bronze. (photo credit: AVI CHAI)
OFER LELLOCHE, Atelie, 2018, bronze.
(photo credit: AVI CHAI)
Two of Israel’s most influential contemporary art galleries have joined forces to create an artistic haven in south Tel Aviv. The Gordon Gallery and the Alon Segev Gallery have relocated to Hazerem Street, a move that marks a modern turn for the arts, gentrifying outward toward cheaper, industrial spaces further flung from the city core. The facade of both galleries was designed by international artist and designer Ron Arad, as a shell with windows that serve as billboards of sorts, giving a glimpse in to exhibitions inside.
The new Gordon Gallery opened with a sculpture exhibition by renowned Israeli artist Ofer Lellouche. The 71-year-old Lellouche began his artistic career in the 1970s and since then has exhibited at world-renowned museums, including the CAFA Museum in Beijing, the Hymalayas Museum in Shanghai and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. 

The inaugural exhibition “Atelier” mainly features a range of Lellouche’s etchings and sculptures. The title of the exhibition directs the viewer’s attention to thoughts of the artist’s studio, the meaning of the French word being “workshop.” Within the gallery space, Lellouche presents a kind of miniature model of a group of human figures, mostly feminine, characterized by their demonstrative bulky heads, broken limbs, monumental torsos and highly expressive postures. Adjacent to them are large and small heads, laid on the floor. 

For Lellouche, this exhibition can be seen as a retrospective of his entire 40-year career. 

“I got to an age, where I would come into my studio and see works I did 50 years ago, 10 years ago and one week ago, and ask how they can go together,” says Lellouche. “I have a growing need to put some of my works together, or rather, to put them as close to each other as possible. This, not in order to try to summarize an uncertain past, but rather, while seeking for some veiled presence hiding under this haphazard multiplicity, to experience the confrontation of their solitudes.” 

While this is a retrospective, Lellouche also believes that this installation of his work puts them into a new context, and from this a new work emerges. 

“One sculpture says A, another sculpture says B, but if you put A and B together, it doesn’t say AB, it says C.”

“The idea of a retrospective is always paradoxical,” says Lellouche.

This exhibition is specifically meaningful and symbolic to Lellouche, as his first professional exhibition was at the Gordon Gallery in 1980. 

“I feel like it has come full circle,” says Lellouche.

“Atelier” is on show at the Gordon Gallery through October 20. For more information visit gordongallery.co.il.
The Alon Segev Gallery is opening its doors with “The Center of the Universe,” an exhibition of sculptures by Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Joel Morrison. 

In this exhibition, Morrison presents nine new conceptual sculptures, each representing a planet in Earth’s solar system. 

Morrison cleverly combines items such as shopping carts, weather balloons, bubble wrap and meat-tenderizing hammers with the trappings of high fashion, such as Hermès bracelets and Cartier rings, to create three-dimensional collages. He fuses the seemingly disparate objects together with tongue-in cheek references from art history and pop culture.

Morrison aims to open a dialogue with the viewer about the nature of art and luxury, and often highlights this through the inclusion of designer goods. In his piece representing the planet Mercury, “Hermes, 2018,” Morrison depicts the Greek god with a classical bust donning an enlarged studded Hermès designer cuff around his neck.

“These pieces specifically, I made collages of everyday objects, things that everybody would have in their house, and I decided to combine them with high-end luxury brand items that not everybody would have in their house,” says Morrison.
Morrison’s sculptures’ mirror-like reflective surfaces are cast in highly polished stainless steel and constructed using objects found in the street or on eBay.

“I used to just go around and collect found objects and make collages about what was going on geopolitically or in pop culture. However, now through years of technology, I am not only collecting objects but I can also 3D-print some objects or order stuff off the Internet. I am collecting like a modern nomad,” says Morrison.

“The Center of the Universe” is on show at the Alon Segev Gallery through November 2. For more information visit www.alonsegev.com