„THE INFINITE PAINTING“: THE INFINITE PAINTING OF LEO RAY

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Painting exhibition “The infinite painting“ from Leo Ray (Israel) opens on the 16th of December, 2016 at 5 p.m. at KKKC exhibition hall (Didžioji Vandens g. 2, Klaipėda). 


The exhibition “The infinite painting” of Israeli’s artist, originating from Lithuania, Leo Ray, is composed of joined canvases of different sizes and proportions, which contained scenes that seemingly had little in common. What drove the artist to start this project was the desire to abandon the format of a rectangular painting and an inner need to create large works. “I always wanted to paint large paintings. Large areas of color have this bewildering emotional force”, - L. Ray argumented his choice. However, large format canvases wouldn’t fit in the artist’s studio, so he found another way – painting canvas after canvas like a diary. According to L. Ray, “just like one writes a diary – page after page. Not like memoirs, but a diary, because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. It will be a potentially infinte work, like a diary - with its natural ending, natural pauses and without any initially planned structure or plot”.

The artist finds plots for the paintings in real life, and dreams, and reminiscences. “There are portraits of “real” people and also invented characters. There are interpretations of classical paintings (in other words, improvisations of them). There are imagined and real land, and cityscapes  (among the latter  – fragments of Vilnius and Klaipėda), together with dogs, cats, planes, trees, bushes, grass, water and reflections of the setting sun. There are smudges of abstract colors which are none the less important to me. Also there are texts copied from the long lost notebook and other things that I liked or thought of”, - Leo Ray enumerated. 

While analyzing Leo Ray’s work, art critic Hilit Blum emphasizes the spiritual freedom, which is unusual for the tradition of painting, as well as the importance of pictorial rhythm: “This piece of work categorically refuses to be assigned to any defined, clear genre. It is a bold pictorial collage, drawing its character and style from the history of painting. You can find realism, expressionism, surrealism, cubism (often flat, decorative), “naive” painting, Art Brut, as well as elements of abstractionism.  <...> Leo Ray expresses all of his historical and modern style combinations in pictorial rhythm. Lines, smudges and color rhythm – that’s what determines, effects the sequence of images. Art comes trough the power of rhythm and Leo draws his inspiration of freedom to open up a world to us where not only the content, but also the creative potential is a realized fantasy.  

<...> While in regard to genre it would seem that this work is post-modern, but in regard to rhythm and composition it is a work that reaches out for classical and modern values. Coherently keeping to the freedom of choice of genre and theme, the artist keeps our focus on the flow of classical rhythm and balance. Leo’s work is large, but his composition comes from the reach of a similar balance and harmony. Canvases that make up the work are connected by a plot or composition basis. The canvases of the same size are put together and it is hard to tell where one ends and another begins. The artist creates rhythmics that does not ignore the size of the canvas, but on the contrary, uses its energy. Usually, the painter pushes the boundary of episode beyond the boundary of canvas that the beginning of an episode sounds like syncope in accordance to the main rhythm. But of course, the main rhythm remains”, - says art critic Hilit Blum. 

 

About the author

Leo Ray was born in Vilnius in 1950. He graduated from Vilnius University and Vilnius Academy of Art. From 1991 he lives in Tel Aviv, Israel. Currently he is not only painting and creating graphic works, but also teaching at CAN New Artists’ Collegium and at the art school BASIS.

Leo Ray has held 25 solo exhibitions in Israel and Lithuania. He participated in numerous group exhibitions all over Europe (in France, Germany, Austria, Sweden and others), Japan and USA. The artist has won the Jury prize of the Lithuanian Triennial of Medal Art (1987), the Buchman-Heyman Foundation prize for painting (1998) and the Jury 1st prize at the Small Graphics Salon in Baia Mare, Romania (2000).

 

The exhibition will be open until 15th of January, 2017. 

Ticket – 1,70 / 0,85 €