In The Mood For Love

works by eyal danieli

October 10th – November 8th, 2008
Reception: Friday, October 10th 6-8pm

The Elizabeth Harris gallery is proud to present In the Mood for Love, a selection of paintings by Eyal Danieli. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery. This exhibition is comprised of oils on canvas that range in size from small to large and incorporate the imagery and preoccupations that Danieli has been involved with in the past few years. Applying a similar methodology to the paintings as he has to his graphic work, Danieli repeats and returns to the same motifs, profusely re-addressing them in various formats.

Having grown up in Israel, in a militaristic environment and culture scarred by persecution and genocide, and immersed and mired in continuing violent conflict, Danieli eschews dogmatic and rigid political statement in search of images that express notions and emotions of a self-contradictory identity of both victim and victimizer. His paintings operate as metaphors for aggression and victim-hood, and convey the blurring of these definitions, simultaneously combining the notion of terrorizing while being terrorized.

In spite of the pronounced social and political subject matter, Danieli’s work defies any one specific interpretation. Having a strong artistic kinship with the work of artists like Philip Guston and Leon Golub, Danieli’s work, a repertoire of legible images, operates through a kind of pictorial synthesis which allows him to explore the subtle differences between the painterly and the graphic, as well as his own fluctuating attraction between abstraction and representation. Within the framework of recurrent themes of helicopters, bombers, military camouflage, camels, or faces of Muslim women under their veils, Danieli trusts that through the process of relentless editing, painting and repainting, each image, each symbol, will emerge and finds its placement among others, continually pushing and expanding their visual meanings to their maximal ambiguities.

The final surface is a result of a variety of succinct marks that adhere to, on one hand, a painterly fluidity, and on the other, the gravity of the frontal plane. What emerges, then, are paintings that generate a visceral sense of scale, one that is persuasive and assertive in its monumental presence.

Danieli studied painting at The Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem and at the New York Studio School. He has exhibited his work in various one man and group exhibitions in the U.S. and in Europe. His prints were shown at the International Print Center/ New Prints 2007 exhibition and his drawings were installed in a project space at PS1/MOMA Queens and most recently in a group exhibition at Kudlek Van Der Grinten Galerie in Cologne Germany. He is a recipient of The New York Foundation for the Arts award in drawing.