Silence hits in a flash
August 16 - September 21
Tal Regev, Talismanic series snake I, 2019, oil on canvas, 100x76 cm.
Opening 16 August 17-19
In the work of Tal Regev, the snake, the androgyne, the setting sun, and the cosmic thrum are the focus of a study motivated by the artist’s fascination with personal symbolism and the psychological encounters made possible through painting.
Regev employs these elements in her canvases with a persistence and frequency that moves beyond ordinary preoccupation, yet her methods are contemplative; her means are measured and spare. The bodies she depicts are often more line than form; at times, one can barely discern their whispering contours, such is her elegant treatment of the image. And the open spaces in which her subjects roam have an extra-hazy quality, as if she pumped the Renaissance sfumato technique with steroids and traded the smoke that is its namesake for incense or perfume.
When viewing a work like Talismanic Series Snake III or its sibling Talismanic Series Snake IV (both 2019), one intuits passage through something ancient and strange. Mythological rumination is in concert with Regev’s conceptual intentions. The snake and the thrum are a totemic pair with ties to the Genesis and the chaos from whence darkness and light came to be. The androgyne, related to demigods of Antiquity, is archetypal, too.
In the context of Regev’s painting, these entities reveal themselves slowly and only under conditions of thoughtful viewing. When they do reveal themselves, it happens in a flash. One sees it in the eyes of her figures, illuminated like those of a deer on the road at night. One sees it in the sunset glow of her palette, a rare hue at the end of the day. One feels it in the moment that the paintings transform from an expert display of subtlety into a treatise on confronting, in oneself and in another, something so deeply human that it seems otherworldly.
Text by Patrick J. Reed
Tal Regev (b. 1985) holds a MA in Painting from Royal College of Art, London. Her works have been exhibited in London, Paris, Venice etc. and this is the first exhibition in Copenhagen.