NOVEMBER 18, 2018 – JANUARY 6, 2019

Arts at AJU is pleased to present Moments of Waking Up, a joint exhibition by two Israeli artists: Brooklyn-based Avital Burg, and Jerusalem-based Ester Schneider. This will be the first occasion on which either artist has shown in Los Angeles.

Inspired by Renaissance era myths and Jewish mysticism, Moments of Waking Up is the meeting point between two texts that serve as a powerful metaphors for the creative process. The first, an excerpt from the 12th century Kabbalistic text, Sefer ha-Bahir, speaks of a King who when building his palace on a rocky cliff discovers a fresh spring in the bedrock. He uses this living water to craft nature and plant a beautiful garden in which he and others can continue to delight. The second, the Dream of Poliphilus, is a 15th Century Venetian tale in which the titular character, in pursuit of his love, finds himself lost in an uncertain, fantastical dreamscape.

The exhibition culminates Burg and Schneider’s shared exploration of these texts, narratives in which space remains in flux, ungraspable and undetermined, and where questions regarding personal and communal traditions and rituals might surface. The flows of transformation and transition then take physical form in the shared space of the exhibition. Both Burg and Schneider perceive themselves primarily as painters, and yet their collaborative dialog emerges from a desire to explore three-dimensional space and the changing capacities of the materials that have come to define their work. Avital Burg’s layered canvases, thick and dripping with paint, create lush environments that exist almost in relief. On the verge of sculpture, they attempt to reach out into the gallery space, to engage directly with Schneider’s work.

Whereas Burg seeks and excavates the topography of remnants and residues of her canvases and palettes, Schneider explores readymades that are reminiscent of gestures of paintings. Fringe, human hair, and synthetic peacock feathers coalesce with miniature drawings, becoming the source materials for imagined architectural formations. Her site-specific wall pieces and installations expand from their point of origin to flow across the gallery, forming a sculptural space in which logic is subjected to the forces of idealized fantasies.

The Opening Reception for Moments of Waking Up, will take place on November 18, 5pm, and will feature a talk with the artists and a live musical performance, organized in collaboration with the Institute for Jewish Creativity.

The exhibition is supported in part by Asylum Arts.

Images by B Neimeth