CloudMapping @ Fabienne Levy Gallery, opening February 16, 2023

CloudMapping / Justin Kamp

Time and place are not abstractions, in Yuval Yairi’s work, but rather intrinsically linked formal modes. Throughout the Israeli artist’s practice, he has persistently investigated how these two subjects operate as functions of one another: how a place lives in one’s mind not as a singular “decisive moment,” as Henri Cartier-Bresson might say, but as a conglomeration of successive views, gathered and arrayed over the course of a life. In “CloudMapping,” opening at Fabienne Levy Gallery on February 16th, Yairi continues these persistent investigations, broadening them into new material realms.

“CloudMapping” is the final part in a trilogy of shows that Yairi has developed over the past decade, all of which have captured, through means both plastic and photographic, the granular details of his Israeli homeland, its substrate of shattered bullets and cypress seeds. In “CloudMapping,” though, Yairi moves away from the camera’s direct representation. Here, instead, a realm of ink: architectonic drawings of seed pods and men, of boats suspended in schematic grids. Clouds, adrift, over a rubbed-pigment desert. 

The subjects of “CloudMapping” are not the specific places Yairi conjured in previous works. They are instead concepts, rendered from the vantage of non-concrete time.  In these drawings, Yairi gives form to the transience of representation, and indeed of the material world: Trees growing, harvested for lumber; towers, crumbling or not yet built; clouds, hanging then gone. Here, again, a remembrance of Cartier-Bresson. “For the world is movement, and you cannot be stationary in your attitude toward something that is moving.”