Imaginary Spaces: Works by Elad Kopler and Itamar Freed

Exhibited artists

PRESS RELEASE

Litvak Contemporary is pleased to present Imaginary Spaces: Works by Elad Kopler and Itamar Freed at Mana Contemporary from April 30 - May 14, 2017. Contemporary Israeli artists Itamar Freed and Elad Kopler, both graduates from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, exemplify the renowned institution’s artistic mission. Utilizing very different mediums, each artist creates multilayered fictitious landscapes that are timeless and unplaceable, leaving the viewer unsure of what is real and what is manufactured. Freed’s photography provokes questions regarding the character of natural and artificial creation and the uncanniness of gestures that elude the strict definitions of either. These questions are at the same time ancient and utterly contemporary. His work ranges from portraits of nubile young women in foliage to naturalistic scenes that combine multiple locales together into one image. By combining images taken in nature with staged environments, Freed creates a third fictitious place that only exists in the photographic frame. The raw material of Freed’s photography includes the wilderness, museums, zoos, botanical gardens, and his own studio. The encounter between the three territories – the wild, the cultured, and the staged – creates a deceptive sensation and incites questions about aesthetics, politics, culture, borders, and specifically about what is real and what is artificial. In a similar manner, Elad Kopler’s work is also preoccupied with creating imaginary spaces. Kopler’s paintings feature urban landscapes that appear to have been severely damaged or partially destroyed. The desolate, vertical and horizontal outlines of buildings assimilated into vestiges of nature point to traces of a lost culture. These compositions, which cannot be encompassed in a single glance, allude to the history of landscape painting. Yet, unlike Romantic paintings where the sublime is associated with a sense of awe, Kopler’s works instead provoke a sense of anxiety. In his painting, Kopler explores the possibility of obscuring perspective and coherency from a two-dimensional space without losing its ability to convince. He strives to find sublime beauty that is unbound by the rules of painting and creates a fictional expanse with a vague sensation of a lost culture.

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