NURIT AVESAR: World on Fire
Distressed. It’s a state of mind, of worry; a circumstance requiring urgent rescue. In art and design it’s way of treating a surface, one which adds an energetic sense of time and texture. In the studio of painter Nurit Avesar, a new series speaks to distress in all of these and further senses, merging ideas, processes, and forms in a meta-narrative about the end of Nature as we know it.
“In Your World” is inspired by the growing catastrophe of climate change and resource scarcity, responding both to long term trends and immediate conditions, such as the recent and too close for comfort California wildfires. But rather than pictures of conflagration, devastation, flood, or aftermath, Avesar’s narrative is sublimated into her studio practices and material choices. She replicates, recreates, and generates multidimensional labor-intensive phenomena which do not relate but rather embody change, erosion, destruction, entropy, and very occasionally, rebirth.
She achieves her “distressed” abstract expressionist landscape-inflected compositions through innumerable layers and repeals of paper, canvas, fabric, thread, paint, collage, rust, graphite, window screen, plastic bags, saran wrap, freezer paper, cheesecloth, tar, and tree bark. In addition to painting, she employs dye transfer, burning, and repeated sanding. All of this universe of process and materials not only creates compelling aesthetic objects, but directly and evocatively supports the narrative.
Across the suite of major new works on canvas, such as “Icarus,” “Impending 2040,” “Familiar Grounds,” and “Elemental Energies,” Avesar is issuing a cautionary tale for society, but her complexified orchestrations of deep orange, courageous green, empathetic blue, and metaphysical lavender are stubbornly beautiful and insistently poetic.
-- Shana Nys Dambrot