Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art presents zhar Patkin: The Wandering Veil

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art presents zhar Patkin: The Wandering Veil on view September 1, 2014.

Izhar Patkin: The Wandering Veil, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA, 2013.
 Photo: Gregory Cherin.

Izhar Patkin: The Wandering Veil, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA, 2013.
 Photo: Gregory Cherin.

Izhar Patkin: The Wandering Veil also includes keystone works from throughout his 30-year career, highlighting the artist’s formal and technical innovations. The exhibition includes the flamboyantly baroque Don Quijote Segunda Parte, a sculpture in the polychromatic anodized aluminum technique pioneered by the artist; his colorful Maids of Honor, a groundbreaking painting on rubber curtains; and his early encaustic wire mesh paintings.

Organized thematically rather than chronologically, The Wandering Veil presents numerous narratives that evoke love, loss, and exile. “Veiled Threats” (1999–2010)—a spectacular series of new mural-size paintings on gossamer tulle—the centerpiece of the exhibition, is inspired by the writing of the late Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali (1949–2001), with whom Patkin collaborated during the two years before Ali’s death. These diaphanous canvases are draped from stage set-like flats, creating a cinematic effect through a maze of discrete rooms and dramatic views within MASS MoCA’s football field-sized gallery.

The “Veils’” ghostly imagery takes viewers on a journey that draws from Patkin’s life, which intersects with significant social and geopolitical events, including the AIDS crisis and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As an expatriate navigating various changing cultural realities, Patkin is as wary of globalism as he is of nationalism. His works encapsulate the fleeting nature of our existence. For Patkin, we are, like his paintings, veils in a landscape, alternately hiding and revealing.

The Wandering Veil is on view at MASS MoCA through Monday, September 1, 2014. A reception with the artist on Saturday, January 18, from 3 to 5pm follows a conversation between Patkin and David Ross from 2 to 3pm.

The exhibition, co-organized by MASS MoCA, travels from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Tefen Open Museum, where it premiered last year. Izhar Patkin: The Wandering Veil is supported by Lynn Holstein and Artis with additional funding provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and by the Agha Shahid Ali Literary Trust.

MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest!) centers for making and enjoying the best new art of our time, across all media: music, art, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies in North Adams, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art and shared learning experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative. For additional information, call +1 413 662 2111 x1 or visit massmoca.org.

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