Cyphers & Cypresses

Yuval Yairi’s solo exhibition opening at Fabienne Levy, Lausanne, Switzerland, December 4, 2019

Objective Space / 2019 / 197 x 158 cm

The exhibition is composed of the first two chapters of a trilogy in progress, featuring photography, drawings and an intervention on the walls. The show is accompanied by a short film that portrays the artist’s work process.

In the first chapter, Yuval adopted the semi-fictional figure of a “surveyor” as a partner and a vision aid for examining his surroundings and for introspection and personal soul searching, as he tries to come to terms with certain episodes of his past.

With the help of the surveyor, Yairi revisited experiences from his military service, confronting unresolved ethical and moral questions. He formulated a coded language and with symbolic actions and objects, he expressed thoughts and feelings about these experiences, which he cannot share publicly.

In the current chapter, Yairi shifts away from the contemplation of his personal experience towards a broader and multifaceted examination, which reflects many perspectives about the state and future of the Israeli space, in a personal, political, and geographical context. He chooses the cypress tree as a measuring tool and a symbol of memory, as a sensor that collects data about its environment.

Each of Yuval’s works starts from direct photography, capturing a moment of truth or reality.. Out of thousands of such photographs, he recomposes on an extensive grid all the fragments of time in the virtual space of a computer. He strings together non-sequential times, events, and places into a timeless photograph.

The exhibition accompanied with text by Ilanit Konopny

Photo London 2018

17 MAY 2018 – 20 MAY 2018

Podbielski Contemporary & Ncontemporary present:
Naomi Leshem / Matan Ashkenazy / Ohad Matalon / Yuval Yairi
Yuval Yairi / Topographic Study, 2015 (detail)


photo london 2018

Photo London (Podbielski Contemporary & Ncontemporary booth)

We are proud to announce that we are participating at Artissima

Stand Number: Green 163 – 5 November 2017,
presenting Yuval Yairi

Yuval yairi / Rose, 2016, 43×65 cm

Vernissage (upon invitation) 2 November 2017
Artissima is open to the public from 3 – 5 November 12 to 8 pm

OVAL Lingotto Fiere
Via Giacomo Mattè Trucco 70
10126 Torino Italy

To contact our gallery please call
Pierre André Podbielski 0039-338 2381720
or email:

Review of “Surveyor” in The Pitch

Roger Shimomura and Yuval Yairi map complex legacies in separate solo shows


Yuval Yairi: Surveyor

Israeli artist Yuval Yairi was trained as a military surveyor, and he brings to the works in his Epsten Gallery exhibition a highly disciplined sense of remove, even as he depicts the conflicts surrounding his home, Jerusalem. Making himself a documentarian of physical space, he accounts for every stone, every crease in the Judean Desert as he searches for meaning on the face of the land.

The three large desert images in Surveyor share a recurring event: A man travels in a circumference, holding taut a line anchored to the hills. We see this single man in 12 places at once, like the face of a clock or the outer circle around a bull’s-eye. Each photographic map here is overlaid with a faint and subdivided grid, visible as a product of unemotional diligence, simply the recording of a textured landscape. But edges in the images don’t always line up perfectly, much as the individual pieces of a longstanding conflict never balance.

The aerial surveyor is allowed a degree of emotional distance around an area of land that is highly contested. The photographed landscape might appear quiet and still, but the scout must remain wary of stumbling into hostile territory. Yairi’s “Land” photographs and short video performance feature large white letters spelling out LAND. The letters appear at the top of a crumbling structure, inside the bones of a fallen framework in prairie grass, atop a patient mule — places where the size of the word can really be felt. A person carries his or her land, as burden or ornament or target, everywhere.

Yairi plays impassive archaeologist with “Bullet Archive,” which shows bullets dug up from sites of past conflict. Each is labeled — the kind of gun that fired it, the place it was discovered — but none is exactly recognizable. The wear endured after discharge changes these metal shapes to something resembling petrified wood or small bones.

Studio assemblages make up a small but emotional part of the show. A map in the “Codes” series reads “No Fly Zone” and shows a small lens suspended parallel to a textured, moonlike surface, weighted opposite by a plumb bob so that neither touches the ground. In a curious series of still lifes, “Surprise Egg, Codes” shows a glossy egg at rest on a wire-bristle comb, a tethered bullet aimed at the soft flesh of the white. In these pieces and elsewhere in this exhibition, Yairi’s map-centric works, even absent people, reveal the artist as an unusually sensitive and resourceful monitor of human conflict.

Through January 22 at Epsten Gallery, 5500 West 123rd Street, Overland Park

Surveyor, Solo exhibition at the Epsten Gallery Kansas City, November 13, 2016 – January 22, 2017


Surveyor, Solo exhibition @ Epsten Gallery, Kansas City.  Curator: Heather Lustfeldt