Maya Gold, Wake @ Mike Weiss Gallery

Mike Weiss Gallery is excited to present Wake, an exhibition of new oil paintings on canvas by Israeli artist Maya Gold. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York and at Mike Weiss Gallery. Her use of a combination of soft, nearly see-through backgrounds and precisely executed subjects in the foreground blend the genres of abstraction and figuration and challenge the viewer to make that distinction.

Maya Gold / Untitled, 2009 / Oil on canvas / 55 x 94 inches / MG-020

This series of paintings is greatly influenced by the artist’s time spent living in Israel and her proximity to the sea and urban landscape. In some works, a female figure dressed in a bikini the colors of the Israeli flag stands alone in a vast empty field of muted gray or blue. She is throwing a life preserver out into the empty space or crouching on the shore arranging the seashells on the sand in futile exercises to call for help. In one work the same figure holds a large beach umbrella, attempting to pierce the ground with its tip seemingly unaware that she is standing on a brick walkway. In some works the figure is unrepresented and its presence, either male or female, is completely obstructed by open umbrellas that play across the surface of the canvas like a bag of scattered marbles. The artist composes the works so that they are a visual trick to behold, undefined, offering a several meanings at once.

Maya Gold / Untitled (detail), 2009 / Oil on canvas / 55 x 94 inches / MG-020

Maya Gold / Untitled, 2009 / Oil on canvas / 58 x 69 inches / MG-029

The title of the exhibition, Wake, is meant to conjure the same curiosity as to which particular meaning it denotes. All at once, Wake is a reference to the shape of water when it parts behind a boat after it passes, the time after dreaming when we slip into present consciousness, and the services that are attended by friends and family after the passing of loved one. The viewer, hovering, peering down ghostlike above the world below is left to guess from where they are supposed to be viewing this world. It is the ambiguity of the moment, the uncertainty of the time that the artist captures on the canvas.

Maya Gold / SOS, 2009 / Oil on canvas / 59 x 79 inches / MG-026

The surfaces of the canvas, although rich with detail are surprisingly flat. The artist begins by laying in a translucent wash of color over the white canvas to indicate the sky, water or brick. Each element, the background shadow or figure, is painted from start to finish in one sitting to keep the texture of the paint and the canvas even and flat. The figures or subjects are painted in last with delicate and almost photographic realism. The artist does not however take her subjects directly from photographs and instead works from various imagery and is most reliant on her own memory. In the end, what we are given is a composition that is contrastingly different in its appearance and meaning, at once minimal in its imagery but also riddled with the clues to a deeper story and symbolism.

Maya Gold / SOS (detail), 2009 / Oil on canvas / 59 x 79 inches / MG-026

Maya Gold lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel. The artist received her Bachelors of Art at the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Tel Aviv and continued with post graduate studies at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College of London and the Bezalel Academy. The artist was the youngest recipient of the Gottesdiener Award, which resulted in a solo exhibition of her work at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The artist has exhibited previously in Tel Aviv, Israel and this is her first exhibition in New York.

4 thoughts on “Maya Gold, Wake @ Mike Weiss Gallery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.