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Black White Gray - Ejezquel Iardeni, The Exhibition (20.10.01)


 


Muddy Morass; siking geometry - concrete painted white

 


Columm 2001 - weave and concrete

 


Piles: a work of the future - black

 


Shape & beast - weave and concrete

There is no arcane research to be sought in this brief assessment, nor some new theory. It is simply an interim summary of the work of Ejezquel lardeni, seen from an unconventional viewpoint. As a rule, essays on art are comparative in character, the comparison being for the purpose of discussion, or analysis. Imagine an art critic from another planet, one not constrained by any imperative whatsoever. Alighting on Earth, he encounters all of Iardeni's works, from the onset of his creative career up to the present day. Would that alien necessarily note any significant differences amongst them, between exhibitions or between works? The reverse might be the case: being aware that these are the works of the selfsame artist, they would strike him as very similar; or, to take it further, from his acquaintance with them, they would convey the sense of appertaining to one single artist, principally as they sign a single identity. Is that not the very core of art: signing identity? In my eyes, the works of Iardeni (or any other artist) do not interlock in the manner of a jigsaw puzzle; rather, they constitute reiterated proof of the selfsame idea. The main point is the signing of identity, repeated in various but not very disparate ways. Signing his identity in various ways guarantees the artist's survival, as long as his work is on display in space. There is no danger of his audience tiring, for the artist's identity is incessantly renewed, or appears renewed. Our admiration as spectators stems from the sophistication of the ideas i.e. to what extent they dazzle us. The effect of the ideas is accepted as self-evident, but in fact, the key whereby they affect us is unique, and that is no trifling matter. It should be understood that the language of communication in art is the private sensual language of each and every artist or spectator. There is no common code whereby to decipher all works of art. One can scarcely find a code to decipher the work of a single artist, unless it is accompanied by form and content as pre-agreed components. Pre-agreed form and content constitute what we call a symbol.

Symbols can be private or public; in either case they have to be deciphered by the spectator. In lardeni's work, the symbols to be deciphered are private. The titles of the works endow them with illustrative content, while their visual content derives from their forms and the materials of which they are fashioned. Even without deciphering the symbols, there is much to be extracted from the works per se.

The exhibition is inaugurated by an earlier work that links lardeni's ideas to the time axis. The title he bestowed upon it - "Blind Alley" - expresses his attitude to the time axis, as his point of departure. In other words, he rejects outright any possibility of celebrating it. From the outset, he leaves it open, or rather, as a hangman's noose. The newer works - Black-white-gray; Column; Shapes, shapes, shapes - herald far more hope, not so much from the title as from their fluctuating form. lardeni's square forms evoke hope in the spectator by virtue of the great richness that appears endless. The richness of the various possibilities evokes joy or hope. Takes us down a blind alley to its muddy, viscid extremity, and on from there, to a future work of black-and-white heaps. He controls time as he controls materials and shapes. But he extracts much more from his control of time, than from his control of materials. This control is an extraordinary achievement setting him far ahead of anyone else. His spectators likewise can advance to the same extremes as does he. Iardeni intends to present these clever works to the institutions in which he has been employed over the years.

Finally, I would add that I have been greatly privileged to curate two of Iardeni's exhibitions. Beyond the great delight of working with Ejezquel, beyond all the unique things I have learned from him about art in his manner, there is something that passes between two artists that is precious beyond gold.

Rayah Redlich


Ejezquel Iardeni

Born in Argentina, 193I, lardeni immigrated to Israel in 195I and was among the founder-members of Kibbutz or Haner.
He studied art under leading Israeli artists, including Dov Feigin and Yehiel Shami.
He also studied sculpture at the St. Martin School of Art, London. From 1963 to 1965, served as personal assistant to the sculptor Henry Moore. lardeni won numerous prizes and awards, including the Minister of Education and Culture prize for painting and sculpture.
Iardeni taught at numerous institutes in Israel and abroad, including the Bezalel Art Academy, Jerusalem; Oranim Art College; Kalisher; the Faculty of Architecture at the Technion etc.
He has designed theatrical scenery, and represented Israel at leading art exhibitions and biennales abroad.

 

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