Curator: Oded Zaidel
Lena Zaidel / Upside-down objects
The subject of this series of 15 pastel drawings on paper is still life – but the objects are upside-down. Mineral water bottles, oil bottles, vases, cleaning products, a conch shell, glasses and pitchers “standing on their heads” on a polished surface, observe their own reflections. On the surface, the series engages in the classical motif of the still life, but for me, the upside-down objects I drew during the Covid-19 pandemic became an allegory of a world that turned upside down, froze, and went insane.
The objects, arranged in an orderly manner on the surface, live at home and, as members of the household “sheltering at home,” conduct a metaphorical dialogue among themselves, with their reflections, and between the overturned world. The objects are enmeshed in complicated relationships; they are engaged in the changing intensity of the color, in the tensions between transparent and opaque, in the crowdedness of the elements, the spaces between them, the distance and proximity to the paper’s margins, relationships of height-width-depth-volume, the space above them in contrast to the space below, with the illuminated and shaded – and even with their couple relationship, as in the drawing Couple # 1, featuring blue window cleaning spray and red sofa cleaning spray.
The drawing Couple # 1, hints simultaneously at references to two artists: Giorgio Morandi, and Joan Miró’s sculpture, Pair of Lovers Playing with Almond Blossoms (1975). The motif of the couple relationship, which took on sharper focus during the pandemic, continues to resonate and reaches its climax in the visual dialogue between the white kettle and the pinkish conch shell in the drawing Couple # 3.
The series’ inception was in March 2020, during the first lockdown, as a tribute to Giorgio Morandi’s still life paintings.
Still life #5, 2020, Dry pastel on paper, 75X110
Still life #6, 2020, Dry pastel on paper, 75X110
Still life #3, 2020, Dry pastel on paper, 67X70
Still life #1, 2020, Dry pastel on paper, 67X70
Still life #2, 2020, Dry pastel on paper, 67X70
Still life #4, 2020, Dry pastel on paper, 67X70
Couple #1, 2020, Dry pastel on paper, 67X70
Couple #4, 2021, Dry pastel on paper, 67X55
Couple #3, 2020, Dry pastel on paper, 67X70
Couple #2, 2020, Dry pastel on paper, 67X70
Video from the opening of Lena Zidel´s exhibition: upside down objects. 2023http://www.lenazaidel.co.il/video.asp?id=51
Lena Zaidel, 2023
New website: https://lenazaidel.com
Measurements are given in centimeters, height ª width
All the reproduction photos of Lena Zaidel's artworks in this website,
are taken by Michael Amar, unless otherwise noted.