This September, Marlborough Contemporary will open an exhibition of new works by Sigalit Landau (b. 1969), one of Israel’s foremost contemporary artists, who has twice represented Israel at the Venice Biennale (1997 and 2011) and currently lives and works in Tel Aviv.
Landau’s practice addresses poetically, and with materiality the complexities of its location and attempts to build bridges. Her tactile art explores the symbols and signs that are shared across cultures. This attempt to expose and transcend established boundaries and borders is seen throughout her work, reaching its pinnacle in her Salt Bridge Project. This project, which is her most ambitious to date, will see the artist physically cross the gap between Israel and Jordan, with the creation of a crystalised salt bridge on the Dead Sea.
The title of the exhibition, Knafeh, refers to Landau’s new video work, which will be presented for the first time and demonstrates the almost painterly art of making knafeh, an Arabic sweetmeat that is loved throughout the Middle East. The film is typical of Landau’s work, as knafeh itself is emblematic of shared Middle Eastern traditions and further evidence of her continued engagement with cultural hybridity.
The exhibition will also include a new series of ‘sand works’: Dusk, Dawn and Tide (2014), and Sand Flag (2013). These works engage with the history of painting in their format, and their point of origin in their materials. Landau will also present recent 'salt works', including Crystal Dreamcatcher (2014), that have gone through a salt crystalisation process. This ongoing technique, sees Landau immerse objects in the Dead Sea, leaving them to accumulate the sea’s salts and minerals, to be transformed through a controlled but unpredictable organic process. Landau has extensively exploited this technique, submerging items such as rope nooses and evocative domestic items, all of which will feature in this exhibition. The artist speaks about the magic of the Dead Sea and the mystery surrounding the process itself.
The exhibition will also feature marble sculptures, from a series carved in the forms of differently posed breastfeeding cushions. Undoubtedly linked to modern traditions that go back to Henry Moore or Louise Bourgeois, these works are representative of Landau’s experience of the body, a recurring and important theme throughout her work.
Sigalit Landau (born Jerusalem, 1969) is one of the most important Israeli artists working today. She graduated from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in 1994. She first represented Israel at the Venice Biennale in 1997 in a group presentation, followed by a solo presentation in the pavilion in 2011. She has featured in numerous exhibitions and museums, such as Documenta X in 1997 and MoMA, New York in 2008. Her work is found in many major collections, including MoMA and Centre Pompidou. A wide overview of her video works will be given at the exhibition at Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona opening in November 2014.