Curator: Noa Lea Cohn Art Shelter Gallery, Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post - 18 Jul 2018 • By DANIEL SHORKEND

stone fire

Dov Lederberg’s paintings and video art
are enigmatically spiritual,
deriving inspiration from teachings and intuitions
in the secrets of the Jewish mystical tradition,
namely the Kabbalah.
This overt spiritual calling is indeed refreshing.
One usually encounters an art world
a little mute on the subject.
Lederberg’s paintings are mainly rendered
with his skillful handling of air brush techniques.
The effect is dazzling, illuminating and literally moving.

One might recall the optical effects
of the op art movement
of last century as possibly influential here,
as well as the theoretical and psychological
idea of gestalt,
wherein the mind (eye) puts things together
in a holistic, synthetic manner seeking unity
and bypassing step-by-step logic.
In fact, there are 3-D glasses at the show.
As the visitor sees with these glasses,
the works are created in such a manner
that the images push and pull,
and dimensions within dimensions
vie for attention as images recede and protrude.

The exhibition is also timely,
as the period of mourning
that marks this time of the Jewish year
coheres with the overall theme.
For there is a sense of burning
and dangerous fires in the work.
On the other hand, at a deeper level,
the artist is exploring the process of burning
as a kind of purification process,
the destruction of the seed
that is a prelude to rebirth and growth.
Fire also seems to transmute into ice;
flowers appear to grow;
old rocks emerge sunk into a tale of historical import
and the psychedelic nature of the color and geometries
give one a sense of constant movement, ebb and flow.

One can trace Lederberg’s painting style
to his interest and experience with avant-guard film.
Already decades earlier, the artist worked in film in New York
with the likes of John Mecas, Nam June Paik and Andy Warhol.
And this is further iterated in this exhibition
where he uses the holy Hebrew letters in video art sequences.
It is a wonderful meditation of the form of the letters,
as each such letter is a code that reveals
a certain energetic frequency, vibrating and shimmering.
His style, mirrored in the series of paintings,
is a kind of “nervous lens,” intentionally shaking,
coupled with an understanding of the craft
that recalls early black and white film,
as he incorporates blotches and splotches
on the surface screen that transmute
into abstract configurations and a kind of “black fire,”
burnt markings and the like.

In the same way that physicists
speak of multidimensions
within time-space and even multi-universes,
so too Lederberg’s film meditation invokes
a deeply altered and higher state of consciousness,
levels beyond the common, daily stream of consciousness.
Indeed, is arts vocation not precisely
the uplifting of consciousness?

Lederberg’s art is intensely visual
(even his film is without sound)
and shows a clear concern for light,
if not in the midst of darkness, for exile must perforce
precede redemption; pleasure cannot be without pain.


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