Roni Taharlev: Not this Light, the Other Light
Recipient of the 2022 Haim Shiff Prize for Figurative-Realist Art
The painter Roni Taharlev maintains a longstanding, intimate dialogue with the human body, and especially with the female body. She explores its various aspects and engages in an in-depth study of its different dimensions, while building on her deep knowledge of the history of art from ancient Roman and Byzantine art to Velázquez, and Rubens, as well as to Lucian Freud, Paula Rego and Dana Schutz.
The exhibition features a body of recent works, whose focal point is pairs of older women enacting unprecedented contemporary interpretations of the Christian themes of the Annunciation and Nativity. The physical and emotional relations between these women charges their relationship with great intimacy, while sometimes also involving a sense of estrangement and distancing. This intriguing ambivalence clearly captures the spirit of Taharlev’s multilayered oeuvre, which tells a story in which what is concealed remains greater than what is revealed.
Taharlev’s consistent engagement with ambiguous gender identities is revealed in the exhibition in a series of portraits featuring Harry, an British youth whose penetrating, charismatic presence combines subversion and vulnerability. By means of changing outfits and backgrounds, Harry is transformed in each scene into an enigmatic, a-temporal figure – usually while joining together his elongated, delicate yet decisive arms.
The exhibition also features a number of significant bodies of work created by Taharlev over time. These include penetrating self-portraits devoid of compassion alongside a powerful portrait of her mother, as well as a series of charcoal and pastel drawings that are being displayed for the first time. Together, these works form a mesmerizing interweave of figures that touches, with great sensitivity, on the themes of power relations, cultural norms, identity, gender, motherhood, age and sexuality.
The exhibition contains mature content and may not be suitable for all audience.
The exhibition was made possible thanks to the generous support of Mr. Dubi Shiff
The catalogue was made possible thanks to the support of Mr. Dubi Shiff and Gordon Gallery