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This exhibition gathers together twenty recent artworks by French-Israeli painter Yoram Chisin (b. 1971). These works explicitly deal with themes of violence, war, and trauma. Chisin’s abstract painterly language consists of emotionally-charged drips, splashes and strokes, contrasted with radiant gold leaf and matt zones of pigment. Occupying a confessional mode, these works testify to the chaos of his inner self, and the trauma of past military conflicts he participated in. Latent in his work is the hope that art can help deal with life’s wounds, and can constitute a form of emotional communion with the viewer.


The exhibition title, ‘Wounded by Reality’, is inspired by the Romanian-born German-language poet Paul Celan, who described himself paradoxically as “reality-wounded and reality-seeking.” The rough, sculptural surfaces of Chisin’s works are a recognition of life’s turmoil. By pouring, stitching, ripping, rubbing and adding or exposing layers of paint, he encourages viewers to apprehend meaning in a tumultuous world. In today’s contemporary political context, Chisin’s paintings can be viewed as cartographic evocations of territories, real or imagined, evidencing how order imposed by countries, institutions, people or ourselves, can do little to dispel chaos at the edges, or the violence inflicted upon the marginalised.


The saturated purples and blues of Chisin’s work evoke an intense spirituality, as does his use of gold; the French word ‘or’ is homonymous with ‘or’, meaning ‘light’ in Hebrew. “My mode of working involves a constant conflict between light and dark, between the beauty of art and peace and the violence of war, because these are the two extreme poles of my experience,” Chisin explains

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