The Fifth Element
Curator: Hana Barak Engel
9 Jul — 27 August, 2016
Meir Salomon consciously combines the four elements of air, earth, water, and fire to create his works. The “subjugation” of these forces of nature to his will or/and to an informed use of their properties, engenders a Zen-like, minimalist, formal cleanliness. Employing an original approach, Salomon uses nondescript yet durable paper as he explores the material, creating pieces that oscillate between fragility and optimism. The materiality they radiate prescribes a deliberate perception of reality that projects onto our reality. Salomon soaks the paper (the element of water), then kneads pigments into different areas (the element of earth). In the next stage, he scorches the paper with an open flame (the element of fire) to create transitions between layers that expose underlying shades of existence.
To complete the piece, Salomon blows on the wet paint. His breath on the wet paper forms fine lines that hint at vegetation, which at times remain abstractions on paper (the element of air). During this process, the paper undergoes a complete metamorphosis – from somewhat thick and flat paper, it turns into cylinders, folds, and perforations, surrendering to the skilled hands that fold it, knead into it, and scorch it. Thus, a fresh new world is created, one that is multilayered and intricate. A promise wafts in the air from the plants sprouting on the water. Scorched slits in the paper expose archeological layers of a magical color palette, personal, fragile, multifaceted fragments of reality.
Each piece has its own complete existence, while simultaneously maintaining associative and thematic connections within Salomon’s oeuvre. Their changing colors and shape correspond with the artist’s different periods and states: transformations transpiring in his subjective view of reality have a direct impact on the nuances manifested in his work. The possibility of observing the artist’s state of mind firsthand, through his art, enables a meditative journey into the heart of his inner world.