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THE ROAD TO THE POLE

Sara Benninga, Lilith Chambon, Elad Kopler, Colette Leinman, Roy Mordechay
Litvak Contemporary

Photography @Youval Hai

Exhibition overview:

In the steamy heat of July/August, embarking on a journey called “The Road to the Pole” seems like a good idea. But before arriving at the pole, there is a long way to go, on which we will surely encounter radical changes. The road to the pole can be divided into two. First, there is the fantasy, the part that holds the anticipation and yearning for sublime icy blue landscapes. And then, there is the physical, real, excruciating part. Along the journey to the pole fantasy, the climate changes, tropical forests and deserts turn into snowy mountains and flowing rivers. All the while, the chilling winds whistle around you, the hairs on your skin stand on end, and your teeth chatter uncontrollably. On the road to the pole, images of white bears and collapsing primordial icebergs draw your adventurous spirit to the pristine, uninhabited edge of the world. 

In this exhibition, as in many metaphorical voyages, the heart of the matter is not the destination itself, but rather the passion that sets off the journey and the challenges of the road that leads there. The backdrop of the imaginary journey proposed here can be associated with geographic, environmental, emotional, and mental aspects. The works featured in it, present a predominantly cool blue palette, as though wishing to create an island of coolness, a pleasant escape from the sweltering heat outside.  At the same time, alongside the cool and calm haven, it also summons questions about the increasing frequency of extreme weather events and the climate crisis. The pole marks both a real place and an extreme point: a desirable wild destination and a symbol of a dying and disappearing nature.

Abstract and figurative, sensual and conceptual, the works in the exhibition conjure landscapes and scenes that range between chilly saturation to freezing cold and the infinite deep blue. This chromatic scale is joined by a medley of reflections-refractions-fragments. The works explores the ever-changing state of nature, and reflection as a means for creating reality, alongside its inherent distortion. In the works Elad Kopler and Lilith Chambon, a landscape consisting of refractions and fragments emerges from within the abstract painting. Kopler’s work is based on a grid and frames that give the painting a powerful structural foundation, on top of which a

colorful explosion erupts. In Chambon’s works, it seems that we are looking at the landscape through a broken and murky mirror, an effect created by placing color surfaces in a way that leads the eye from plane to plane. In Sara Benninga’s paintings, the figures form a complex relationship with the background, painted in different techniques, as well as with the areas of the canvas that the artist decided to leave exposed, creating a physical, primal feeling. In Roy Mordechay’s works, it seems that the substantial tactility of oil paints has been replaced by an ethereal color palette, lines and images that hover above the surface of the painting. Colette Leinman’s works create the opposite feeling: The artist uses paint and material in a way that evokes a sensory and emotional response, and then etches in it to underscore the formulation of the image through material subtraction. 

Dates: July 6 - August 19, 2023

Venue: Litvak Contemporary

Photography: Youval Hai

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