NEW YORK-MILES MCENERY GALLERY is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Guy Yanai. A public reception will be held for the artist on 5 September from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 520 West 21st Street, and the exhibition will be on view 5 September through 5 October. It is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication featuring an essay by Dr. Ara H. Merjian.
Guy Yanai strips his subjects down to geometric necessity and builds them back up again in oil paint, establishing a tension on his canvases between the spatially flat and the physically multidimensional. A combination of diagrammatic delineation of form and vivid colour, Yanai's paintings are an optical delight.
Yanai accomplishes this wilful distillation of his subjects by painting obsessively in tight chromatic strips. While from afar the individual brushstrokes fade into the larger landscape, up close one can notice the stops and starts of each metered stroke. This synthesis speaks to Yanai's desire for his works 'to have such tension that if you take out one brushstroke, the painting will collapse.' The smoothness and uniformity of his taut oil bands offer a linear precision that can only be accomplished by the most disciplined draftsman.
While Yanai harkens back to modernist masters such as Matisse and Cézanne, his compositions are pixelated in a manner that is fundamentally contemporary. The collection of short and disconnected brushstrokes merge in the viewer's eye to create a fully realised image. Yanai's paintings experiment with the digital in contemporary art. 'As beholden to the virtual imagery of the internet as to the history of modernism,' Ara H. Merjian writes in his essay, Élan Vital, 'Yanai's work proves beguilingly complex despite—or rather, precisely in—its congenial simplicity.'
Often revisiting the same subject, he paints from memory—of a place, of a moment, of a feeling. Just as recollections brighten and fade in the mind over time, Yanai recalls his own inspirations and recreates them in different ways as they evolve. What results is a proliferation of works that demonstrate Yanai's rich meditation on his experiences. Whether an open window or an ocean view, Yanai's nostalgic passion has a lasting impact on its viewer.
GUY YANAI (b. 1977 in Haifa, Israel) attended the Parsons School of Design in New York, NY; The New York Studio School in New York, NY; and Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in Pont-Aven, France. He received his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA.
Yanai has had numerous solo exhibitions internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Sentimental Spring, SOCO Gallery, Charlotte, NC; The Conformist, Praz-Delavallade, Paris, France; Boy On an Island, Galerie Conrads, Düsseldorf, Germany; Barbarian in the Garden, Praz-Delavallade, Los Angeles, CA; Calm European, Flatland Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Fox Hill Road, Rod Barton, Brussels, Belgium; Ordinary Things, Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa, Israel; Diary, Galerie Derouillon, Paris, France; First Battle Lived Accident, Alon Segev Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel; Accident Nothing, Aran Cravey Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Lived & Laughed & Loved & Left, La Montagne Gallery, Boston, MA; and Battle, Therapy, Living Room, The Velan Center for Contemporary Art, Torin, Italy.
Recent group exhibitions include Door into Summer/M's Collection +, Maho Kubota Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Domestic Comfort, Flatland Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Belief in Giants, Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; YUMMY YUMMY, Flatland Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Betaland, Galerie Conrads, Düsseldorf, Germany; I Dream My Painting and Then I Paint My Dream, UNIT 5, Los Angeles, CA; The Barn Show 2018, Johannes Vogt Gallery, East Hampton, NY; As You Like It / C'est comme vous voulez, Praz-Delavallade, Los Angeles, CA; Jerry, Show Me Love!, Galerie Derouillon, Paris, France; Reflector, Luciana Brito—NY Project, New York, NY; L'anti-destin, (curated by Pauline Pavec and Quentin Derouet, in collaboration with Galerie Derouillon, Galerie Helenbeck, and Pierre and Alexandre Lorquin), 64 rue de Monceau, Paris, France; Surreal House, The Pill, Istanbul, Turkey; Post Analog Painting II, (curated by Lawrence van Hagen), The Hole, New York, NY; What's Up 2.0, London, United Kingdom; The Ties That Bind, David Achenbach Projects, Wuppertal, Germany; Cause the Grass Don't Grow and the Sky ain't Blue, (curated by Clemence Duchon and Flavie Loizon), Praz-Delavallade, Paris, France; Bisou Magique, (curated by Yundler Brondino Verlag), Galerie Derouillon, Paris, France; Mademoiselle Albertine est Partie! Kaye Donachie and Guy Yanai, (curated by Timothée Chaillou), Appartement, Paris, France; and GROWTH, Charlotte Fogh, Aarhus, Denmark.
Guy Yanai lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Press release courtesy Miles McEnery Gallery.
'I think my dream—what I really hope for—is that the first instinct, when they see the work, is an emotional reaction.' Based in Tel Aviv, artist Guy Yanai reflects on the many influences behind his latest body of work and his lifelong love of art. From his early interest in artists like Cy Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg, to now...