Fog in Full Sun – Mira Cedar
Both Mira Cedar’s large works and the smaller ones showing in this exhibition deal with the same themes. The main common factor is the “world” within which Mira creates, i.e. the language of art. Being utterly aware of its rules and codes, which are the very essence of the language of the plastic arts, she works within these limits. This language is no less her mother tongue than the spoken one, with very little visual illusion or allusion to the real, natural world.
Although her source of internal inspiration comes from her own private emotions and her senses, her external inspiration, her ways of expressing these feelings are modeled through the abstract language of the visual arts, particularly painting, being a two-dimensional field with its abstract codes and the “alphabet”, differing from representative art.
It is surprising how rich a body of work can be even when emerging from this limited manner of work of strict codes and rules. Moreover, Mira does not make use of all the variations within the language itself. On the contrary. She restricts herself even further, by only partly making use of the potential within these codes. She creates an intense and minimalistic appearance which stresses, by its own boundaries, the energy of her works. How can a work so tight and disciplined create such a sense of energy and expressiveness? This is the strength of her present body of works. It doesn’t expand, but deepens within its own tunnel-like limits. She studies over and again a basic line which constructs the whole composition created by her brushstrokes. She examines its breadth, its opacity, movement, direction, rhythm, fragility, hesitance, firmness and the shapes these lines create. She experiments with different hues and tones and manages to create rich variations.
A stroke of the brush, a line, when painted by a human hand is not merely a line, it is a form of personal handwritten expression. It is what graphologists spend their lives analysing in search of answers. A hand-drawn line is more than the space it takes up on a given surface. The connection between internal and external in art lies precisely on the artist’s personal expression. Mira Cedar’s lines twist and turn on the canvas, going back and forth, in circular motions, creating patterns of all-over compositions, never-ending and not focused on anything in particular, seeming to be part of a bigger pattern, a bigger scheme which lies outside the boundaries of format. Her choice of placing lines and creating patterns that continue outside of their natural boundaries, prevents the work from being a mere independent object and conveys a sense of being a fragment of the entire universe.
In her larger works, one can feel a physical sense of her hand movement, as in certain forms of body art and action painting, reminding us of the New York School, which has inspired some of her work. The very action of painting can be conceived as a cleansing ritual which the artist goes through to heal herself, repeating the action, drawing the lines again and again, creating a sisyphean labyrinth of lines, from which one cannot escape.
Mira adds and erases at the same time, exposing the process to the viewer, pausing on each work only when she feels that she’s done and there is no more to be said.
Although most of her works in this exhibition are abstract, the smaller works hint at signs of figurativeness, the shape of a head, the brains, eyes etc. These are themes which have been occupying the artist for many year. The materials she works with, in the larger works are oil colors on canvas, graphite, while in the smaller ones she uses acrylic, ink and collage on paper.
Jennifer Bloch curator