Attai Chen / Matter of Perspective
Gallery Loupe is proud to present Matter of Perspective – new work by jeweler Attai Chen. Informed by the faded hues of his native Israel as well as the saturated colors of his present home in Germany, he explores polarities in both mind and matter. Chen treats raw materials as if encountering them for the first time, without preconception. He utilizes cast-offs, carved wood, layered paper, silver, paint, and graphite, to express his purposeful, substance-based aesthetic. In discussing a brooch by Chen from the collection of Die Neue Sammlung – Design Museum, Munich, master goldsmith Otto Künzli wrote: “It is an impenetrable conglomerate, a rampant form of growth, at once fascinating, alluring, and threatening. I see a struggle, pain, and desperation. And from deep within, a warm light emerges.”
For Chen’s series In Between – the subject of a 2014 solo exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art – he combined twigs, toy parts, repurposed plastic, and metal that had been drawn on with graphite and painted with pigment, glass color, or nail varnish, to fashion assemblages that speak lovingly of gestation, growth, and decay – perpetual concerns for Chen. He regards these as “readymade” combinations, hybrids with new identities that, nonetheless, maintain individual identities.
Chen’s latest work focuses on perception – the way each individual views reality through the lens of his or her own personal “filter.” A play on words, the very title – Matter of Perspective – asks us to suspend prior judgement about what may constitute the physical. With this series, Chen questions the very essence of objectivity, championing instead an ever-changing view of things, time, and space. Informed by the multiple perspectives used by Pre-Renaissance painters, Chen offers their scenic fragmentation as a paradigm for numerous viewpoints, as opposed to one-point perspective – presenting a single frame of reference – which came later. “We get the feeling,” states Chen, “that we are looking at a body consisting of independent, self-contained, multidimensional entities in a process of bonding…This ‘incorrect’ representation is more realistic. It offers a humbler way of looking at the world around us and the place that we occupy in it.”
A graduate of Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Attai Chen also holds a graduate degree from the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, where he studied under Otto Künzli. In 2010, Chen won the Herbert Hofmann Prize at Schmuck, Munich and in 2011 the Oberbayerischer Prize for Applied Art. He received the 2014 Andy Prize for Contemporary Art, which granted him the above-mentioned exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. He has been the subject of several solo exhibitions and been included in many group shows around the world. Chen is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Die Neue Sammlung, Munich; Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv; The Israeli Museum of Art, Jerusalem; and Rotasa Trust Collection in California.
Matter of Perspective can be seen at Gallery Loupe, 50 Church Street, Montclair, New Jersey from November 12 – December 3, 2016. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, November 12, 2016 from 6 – 8pm.