Miriam Cabessa: Hands On

Miriam Cabessa: Hands On
Works from 2007–2014

April 16 – June 4, 2015

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, April 16, 6–8pm
PROJEX CONNECT RECEPTION: Saturday, April 18, 7–10pm
ART+JAZZ YOUNG MASTERS SERIES: Saturday, May 23, 7:30-10pm
LECTURE by Jennifer Roth "Israeli Art from the Shores of the Mediterranean to the World Stage": Thursday, May 28, 7pm
CLOSING RECEPTION: Thursday, June 4, 7–10pm

The Dryansky Gallery is pleased to announce Hands On: Works from 2007–2014, an exhibition of 25 works on paper and 5 large oil paintings by Moroccan-born, New York-based artist, Miriam Cabessa. For its fourth exhibition, The Dryansky Gallery will partner with Projex Connect, an organization dedicated to connecting Israeli artists to communities all over the world. Hands On will be on view from April 16 to June 4, 2015 with an opening reception on Thursday, April 16, 2015 between 6 and 8 pm. The artist will be in attendance.

Hands On marks Miriam Cabessa’s first exhibition in San Francisco and features works created using the artist’s body, found objects and fabric in combination with liquified graphite on paper or oil and gold dust on linen. The works in this exhibition are a continuation of the ongoing inquiry of material and process that defines the artist’s long-term professional practice.

   Untitled,  2010  Oil and gold dust on linen 54 x 54 inches

Untitled, 2010
Oil and gold dust on linen
54 x 54 inches

Miriam Cabessa’s work explores the binary of process and result. In her practice, the artist places a canvas or paper on the floor, and bends over to directly apply paint to the surface on the floor. Though this process of production is reduced to the most basic of elements—hands, paint, ground—the resulting imagery is often clean and concise, betraying the primitivity sometimes associated with the hand as a tool for painting. The topography of her painting is a smooth, meditative expanse that can look either like geographical strata or digital feedback, depending on the viewer’s worldview.

Cabessa’s painting process provides a framework for thinking about her art. She often paints live, in front of an audience, a clear sign that her personal technique is integral to her body of work as a whole. Furthermore, Cabessa has been working this way for over 20 years. While the imagery has evolved significantly over time, the process has remained the same.

Both Western and Eastern modes of visual production are referenced in this commitment to process. The importance of gesture and intent recall the mid-century’s New York action painting, and the spiritual imprint of the artist as expressed in a work of art echoes philosophies associated with Eastern calligraphy and Chinese painting.

   Untitled,  2010  Oil and gold dust on linen 24 x 52 inches

Untitled, 2010
Oil and gold dust on linen
24 x 52 inches

Is it possible then, that Cabessa acts as a barometer of the environment around her, creating images that are snapshots of the ephemerality of moments and time, as interpreted by the artist? If so, these works, charged with what Walter Benjamin famously referred to as “aura,”  are meant to be absorbed by the viewer, over the course of time. Hands On allows viewers the chance to experience 30 works of art from this prolific artist in a small and intimate setting. By presenting a cross section of artwork from a specific period of time, The Dryansky Gallery offers a slice of an artist’s inner visual ecosystem that is luscious and nuanced, and brimming with intrigue.

In addition to The Dryansky Gallery’s opening, Projex Connect will also host an opening reception on Saturday, April 18, 7pm–10pm, a lecture conducted by Jennifer Roth, Sotheby's SVP, Senior International Specialist of Fine Arts, Israeli Art and Judaica on Wed, May 27, and a closing party on Thurs, June 4.