BE­TWEEN THE STRAITS: DOV LEDERBERG RET­RO­SPEC­TIVE

Cu­ra­tor: Noa Lea Cohn Art Shel­ter Gallery, Jerusalem

The Jerusalem Post - - ARTS&ENTERTAINM­ENT - • By DANIEL SHORKEND

Dov Lederberg’s paint­ings and video work are enig­mat­i­cally spir­i­tual, de­riv­ing in­spi­ra­tion from teach­ings and in­tu­itions in the se­crets of the Jewish mys­ti­cal tra­di­tion, namely the Kab­balah. This overt spir­i­tual call­ing is in­deed re­fresh­ing. One usu­ally en­coun­ters an art world a lit­tle mute on the sub­ject. Lederberg’s paint­ings are mainly ren­dered with his skill­ful han­dling of air brush tech­niques. The ef­fect is daz­zling, il­lu­mi­nat­ing and lit­er­ally mov­ing.

One might re­call the op­ti­cal ef­fects of the op art move­ment of last cen­tury as pos­si­bly in­flu­en­tial here, as well as the the­o­ret­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal idea of gestalt, wherein the mind (eye) puts things to­gether in a holis­tic, syn­thetic man­ner seek­ing unity and by­pass­ing step-by-step logic. In fact, there are 3-D glasses at the show. As the vis­i­tor sees with th­ese glasses, the works are cre­ated in such a man­ner that the im­ages push and pull, and di­men­sions within di­men­sions vie for at­ten­tion as im­ages re­cede and pro­trude.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is also timely, as the pe­riod of mourn­ing that marks this time of the Jewish year co­heres with the over­all theme. For there is a sense of burn­ing and dan­ger­ous fires in the work. On the other hand, at a deeper level, the artist is ex­plor­ing the process of burn­ing as a kind of pu­rifi­ca­tion process, the de­struc­tion of the seed that is a pre­lude to re­birth and growth. Fire also seems to trans­mute into ice; flow­ers ap­pear to grow; old rocks emerge sunk into a tale of his­tor­i­cal im­port and the psy­che­delic na­ture of the color and ge­ome­tries give one a sense of con­stant move­ment, ebb and flow.

One can trace Lederberg’s paint­ing style to his in­ter­est and ex­pe­ri­ence with film. Al­ready decades ear­lier, the artist worked in film in New York with the likes of John Me­cas, Nam June Paik and Andy Warhol. And this is fur­ther it­er­ated in this ex­hi­bi­tion where he uses the holy He­brew let­ters in a film se­quence. It is a won­der­ful med­i­ta­tion of the form of the let­ters, as each such let­ter is a code that re­veals a cer­tain en­er­getic fre­quency, vi­brat­ing and shim­mer­ing. His style, mir­rored in the se­ries of paint­ings, is a kind of “ner­vous lens,” in­ten­tion­ally shak­ing, cou­pled with an un­der­stand­ing of the craft that re­calls early black and white film, as he in­cor­po­rates blotches and splotches on the sur­face screen that trans­mute into abstract con­fig­u­ra­tions and a kind of “black fire,” burn mark­ings and the like.

In the same way that physi­cists speak of mul­ti­di­men­sions within time-space and even multi-uni­verses, so too Lederberg’s film med­i­ta­tion in­vokes a deeply al­tered and higher state of con­scious­ness, lev­els be­yond the com­mon, daily stream of con­scious­ness. In­deed, is arts vo­ca­tion not pre­cisely the up­lift­ing of con­scious­ness?

Lederberg’s art is in­tensely vis­ual (even his film is with­out sound) and shows a clear con­cern for light, if not in the midst of dark­ness, for ex­ile must per­force pre­cede re­demp­tion; plea­sure can­not be with­out pain.

The Art Shel­ter Gallery is in the heart of a re­li­gious neigh­bor­hood in Jerusalem. Noa Cohn’s vi­sion is to cre­ate a bridge be­tween all strata of Is­raeli so­ci­ety through art, and in par­tic­u­lar, give voice to those who use art as a chan­nel of spir­i­tual pro­cesses in or­der to man­i­fest and com­mu­ni­cate a way be­yond a re­stricted modal­ity.

The ex­hi­bi­tion runs un­til July 25. The gallery is lo­cated at Ye­huda HaMac­cabi St 7, Jerusalem. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 058-500-1019 or visit www.artshel­ter­gallery.com.

(Cour­tesy)

DOV LEDERBERG and his paint­ings at the Art Shel­ter Gallery in Jerusalem.

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