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Veronese Green. Joshua Borkovsky: Paintings, 1987 - 2012

December 19, 2012-April 2, 2013
Location: Nathan Cummings Building for Modern and Contemporary Art
Artist: Joshua Borkovsky
Curator: Guest Curator, Moshe Ninio, Israel Museum Curator, Amitai Mendelsohn and Aya Miron
“Within its visible expanse, a painting – like the world – contains an invisible dimension.
Beholding is a perpetual movement on the imaginary axis between the two.” – Joshua Borkovsky
The 58 paintings in the exhibition are a selection from ten cycles of paintings whose making spans some 25 years. These cycles have been evolving over the years in a measured manner, at times concurrently, and they are always open-ended: more items may be added to any of them at any time, perhaps ad infinitum.
The fields of meaning of the reflection, the echo, the scintillation, the duplication, the shadow, the index, the apparition, are fundamental to these paintings, and are also emphasized in some of their always cycle-named titles (Echo and Narcissus, Vera Icon, The Flying Dutchman). At the same time, repetition is a major mode of action in their making and in the charge that they carry. The few images, which sink in and accumulate, seem to aim to challenge our seeing almost to the point of blindness, which is also a state of maximalized seeing. The mixed and punctuated arrangement of these paintings in the exhibition spaces heightens the resonances among the duplications and reflections embodied in them.
Borkovsky’s painting leans on a longstanding heritage of painting and on traditional techniques of painting and meticulous craftsmanship, procedures that mainly entail an aberrant slowing-down, an ongoing accumulation, and an extreme painterly endurance. These are all activated here to achieve an endless suspension of the ephemeral and the bodiless, of the passing and of what has passed long ago, of what cannot be fixated or held, of what is no longer here and perhaps never was. It is in the tensions between these polarities that their elusive presence and their extraordinary essence are situated.
Joshua Borkovsky was born in Israel in 1952. He lives and works in Jerusalem.