Landscape Painting, my first solo exhibition
curator: Lena Zaidel, October 2005, Agripas 12 Gallery, Jerusalem

Untitled, 9 paintings, acrylic on plywood, 35X50 each, 2005

Untitled, 6 paintings, industrial paint on paper, 35X50 each, 2005

A wall at the gallery, from the exhibition, 25 paintings, acrylic on plywood, 35X50 each, 2005

Oded Zaidel’s works are a pleasant surprise in the local art scene. Graphic designer by training, Zaidel began painting only recently. His first solo exhibition, Ladscapainting is currently showing in Agripas 12. The exhibition consists of three series of paintings and one series of drawings in industrial paint. All works are based on photographs taken on locations normally favored by directors and photographers, such as construction sites, factories, abandoned gas stations and so on. This is not photorealistic painting or painting studying painting/photography relations; the photographs are not the essence here but are merely an aid for Zaidel. 

It seems that the exhibition finds Zaidel on a crossroads, allowing him to expose his deliberations to the viewer. There are apparent differences between the series, although they all depict rather similar landscapes. In the first series, Zaidel isolates some items in the landscape, creating long clean compositions characterized by flat homogenous color planes. The second series is much more loaded: if the first one “cleaned” the construction sites of hue plays and elements unnecessary for painting, the second seems to compensate for it by an abundance of light and color plays in dense compositions.

The apex of the exhibition is the series of drawings, some of which were exhibited last month at the Artists House. The drawings portray too the same derelict views. However, is seems they contain and exhaust the gamut of painting solutions offered in the other series. The means of drawing are supposedly more limited than the means of painting, yet this limitation entails a liberating element, a liberation expresses by Zaidel’s unique brushwork.Thus are reveled the movements of the hand holding the brush, which vary from short and tight movements to long and relaxed ones; between a hard and somewhat clumsy touch and the serene action of a sure hand. Tensions that previously were camouflaged under the cover of the painting are now exposed and rise to the surface. They charge the drawings with an intensive rhythm; at times, Zaidel tames the brush while at other times the brush overcomes him; sometimes he leads the brush along the path he paved, while other times the brush is set loose like a demon, dragging him along an unexpected frantic obstacle course.

Yonatan Amir, October 2005, Kol HaIr

With Neta, my daughter, at the exhibition Landscape Painting, Agripas 12 Gallery, Jerusalem, October 2005