The Factory Yard, curator: Lena Zaidel, April 2014, Agripas 12 Gallery, Jerusalem
The Factory Yard is a series of Oded Zaidel’s acrylic paintings that invites us to connect to and feel the pulse of the city outskirts. The series deals with urban motifs and is a poetic testimony that is comprised of enigmatic pieces of a puzzle that contain elements of abstract geometry adjacent to realistic and expressive pain
The musicality of the picture language resonates throughout the expanse of industrial sceneries, through uneven movements of the paintbrush, through thin lines that cut through the surfaces of color, but is also evident in the surprising transitions from the concrete and known to abstract compositions. Oded Zaidel’s works create a dialogue between the ghosts of the founders of abstract art: from Malevich to Lissitzky, Pollok and Mondrian.
Free hand color unexpectedly changes to blank, static spaces. Order changes to chaos and visa versa. One part of the painting depicts a corner of a factory yard and next to it is an abstract surface of color comprised of blotches and drippings. The expressive wildness of the lines of sketching is interrupted by a cold gray rectangle. The picture language of this series is spread before us and illustrates a hidden contradiction: on the one hand it is an expressive and impulsive painting, and on the other it seems that everything is measured, structured, weighed and reckoned.
Sometimes it seems that the wandering between, as well as into, the urban images can be endless…. But where does this endless wandering lead to? Perhaps it brings us closer to the inner world of the artist, which is structured like an urban maze? Or to an artist innocently playing with the cubes of the houses? And at times it seems that we are soon approaching the answer in the next painting of the series … but no! The wandering continues: houses, walls, geometric figures…. Is this a maze without an exit? Are the circles of this maze in this series a parable to the meanderings of life? … A koan of Zen master?
The visual and thematic repetitions sometimes echo the modern comics language, bringing to mind the series of paintings from the early Renaissance, which depict episodes from the lives of saints. Here, though, there are no texts, saints, super-heroes or any people at all in the strip of the factory yard. The heroes are roofs, houses and walls.
And perhaps the series The Factory Yard is sort of a mantram, which on account of repetitive statements will ultimately lead to enlightenment? … If I had to translate Oded Zaidel’s picture language into words, it would sound like this: A line. A blue square. A gray rectangle. A triangle. A zigzag. White rectangles. Black rectangles. A smear. Lines. A yellow streak. A black streak. A brown streak. A pink rectangle. Rust-colored lines. Yellow blotches. A sharp cut. A soft cut. Green triangles. Gray tonal transitions. Neurotic lines. Light touches. Heavy touches. An intentional emphasis in black. A free emphasis in yellow. An erasing. A flowing. A dripping. … Enlightenment! …
Lena Zaidel, Curator