Ariel Schlesinger and Moshe Ninio at Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Ariel Schlesinger and Moshe Ninio take part in the group exhibition ‘Shutters and Stairs. Elements of Modern Architecture in Contemporary Art’ at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. An examination of Israel Museum acquisitions from recent years has uncovered an interesting phenomenon: contemporary artists directing their attention not to an entire architectural structure (or a part of it), but to a single isolated element – such as a floor, wall, door, or staircase – whose design is typical of modernist architecture. Each of the works in the exhibition offers an encounter with such an element and with the conceptual underpinnings of its transposition from real life to the context of art. The materials of which they are made and their treatment underscore the materiality of the represented elements and draw our attention to small details that often elude us. Inspired by modernist architecture, many of the works recall the geometric abstraction of twentieth-century art. Like photography, which is an act of framing and exclusion, the works on view appear to have been cut out of the vast expanse of the world and cast upon the museum wall or floor. Presented in the gallery space, the shutter, window handle, and stairs – whose dimensions correspond to the human body – invite us to take a closer look, as though they have burst out from the unconscious realm of quotidian existence and are demanding our undivided attention. February 21 – October 3, 2020.