Imaginary Spaces Works by Bezalel Grads Elad Kopler and Itamar Freed

Posted on April 26th, 2017


Open House: April 30, 1pm - 6pm

Mana Contemporary

888 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306

1st Floor

April 30 – May 14, 2017

Litvak Contemporary is pleased to present Imaginary Spaces: Works by Elad Kopler and Itamar Freed

at Mana Contemporary from April 30 - May 14, 2017.

Contemporary Israeli artists Itamar Freed and Elad Kopler, both graduates from the Bezalel Academy

of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, exemplify the renowned institution’s artistic mission. Utilizing very

different mediums, each artist creates multilayered fictitious landscapes that are timeless and

unplaceable, leaving the viewer unsure of what is real and what is manufactured.

Freed’s photography provokes questions regarding the character of natural and artificial creation and

the uncanniness of gestures that elude the strict definitions of either. These questions are at the

same time ancient and utterly contemporary. His work ranges from portraits of nubile young women

in foliage to naturalistic scenes that combine multiple locales together into one image. By combining

images taken in nature with staged environments, Freed creates a third fictitious place that only

exists in the photographic frame. The raw material of Freed’s photography includes the wilderness,

museums, zoos, botanical gardens, and his own studio. The encounter between the three territories –

the wild, the cultured, and the staged – creates a deceptive sensation and incites questions about

aesthetics, politics, culture, borders, and specifically about what is real and what is artificial.

In a similar manner, Elad Kopler’s work is also preoccupied with creating imaginary spaces. Kopler’s

paintings feature urban landscapes that appear to have been severely damaged or partially

destroyed. The desolate, vertical and horizontal outlines of buildings assimilated into vestiges of

nature point to traces of a lost culture. These compositions, which cannot be encompassed in a

single glance, allude to the history of landscape painting. Yet, unlike Romantic paintings where the

sublime is associated with a sense of awe, Kopler’s works instead provoke a sense of anxiety. In his

painting, Kopler explores the possibility of obscuring perspective and coherency from a

two-dimensional space without losing its ability to convince. He strives to find sublime beauty that is

unbound by the rules of painting and creates a fictional expanse with a vague sensation of a lost

culture.