press release

The Keitelman Gallery is delighted to present the work of the Israeli artist Ron Gilad for the first time in Belgium. Ron Gilad’s work is in several major collections around the world, including MoMA, the Museum of Art & Design, and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. Ron Gilad divides his time between Tel Aviv, where he was born in 1972, and Milan. His highly original work makes reference to Belgian surrealism, whilst being also solidly rooted in the world of design (he won the 2013 Wallpaper* Design Award). He has developed a style of sculpture which plays, with elegance and humour, with the codes of minimalism, in the art historic sense of the term, (in other words referring to the 1960s movement which privileged form and medium and the spectator's immediate response) rather than in the more generalised sense in which it is used today to describe a somewhat transhistoric aesthetic that governs urbanism, architecture, design and the environment. This aesthetic is increasingly present in today's landscape not least because it is indirectly promoted by the use of design software that is increasingly imposed in offices. Against this panorama of minimalist art and its “non-artistic” development, Ron Gilad has created a body of work which wittily contests the assumptions of both camps — the fine art camp and the “non art” camp, echoing Marcel Duchamp's practice of assigning an artistic value to a bottle rack or bicycle wheels. Ron Gilad's sculptures have a simple, graphic elegance and are made of expensive and durable materials that have traditionally been used in “great” sculpture —– marble, metal and glass. But where his Greek and Roman artistic forebears made sculptures of mythical or allegorical figures, and where his minimalist forebears of the 1960s were thinking in terms of phenomenology, Ron Gilad literally takes these figures and themes down from their pedestals and makes them whirl around the exhibition space, encouraging interaction and engaging the viewer in a game of cat and mouse. Carl André's squares appear to have escaped and are now scattered around the exhibition space. The horizon of a city surreptitiously becomes a drawing tool, projecting a shadow willy-nilly onto a sunny day. A cloud of smoke crowning a house emerges from its figurative role in a Magritte painting, where it asks nothing of anybody, to leap to the ground and form a sculpture of prophetic stone. The plan of your new house, as yet unbuilt, comes to life in the exhibition space in the mimetic lines, more realistic than nature itself, of a sculpture by Sol Lewitt. Beyond his witty, fresh and lively approach, another remarkable characteristic of Ron Gilad's work is the ability to create a universe that is out of time — a sort of domain of the gods, a world of platonic ideas in which death (a theme common to much Israeli art in general) doesn't seem common, unlike imagination.

Keitelman Gallery, 2014