‘Chair’ by Micha Ullman, From ‘Under,’ 2011. Courtesy of The Israel Museum.
Despite an almost clinical spareness immediately evident at The Israel Museum’s new Micha Ullman exhibition, one quickly comes to appreciate that the works — individually and as a whole — hint at something more than the stark minimalism they first suggest. Chairs appear consumed by the solid ground; plain display boxes contain red earth, coaxed into abstract yet recognizable forms. There is something of the primeval about the exhibit, a sense of complexity stripped to its most basic elements.
“Sands of Time: The Work of Micha Ullman” is, perhaps surprisingly, the first major retrospective of the artist’s extensive output, spanning the better part of half a century and incorporating sculpture, drawing, etching and installations. The exhibit, running until November 12, is divided into four sections: sculpture, sand, drawings and videos of installations. The main room is dominated by iron sculptures and creations in sand; one might think of the solidity of the one and the fluidity of the other as a study in contrasts. Rather, what surprises is the compatibility between the two.
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