For his first solo show in The Netherlands Yonatan Vinitsky (b. 1980, Jerusalem, based in London), presents a constellation of new and recent works. In processes of appropriation and reconstruction the use of the term Grosso Modo (a Latin term for describing something as ‘roughly’ or ‘approximately’) is a metaphorical statement and methodical description of Vinitsky’s practice. Grosso Modo enables a reflexive view towards Vinitsky’s calculated processes of decision-making and exhibition formulation. Through working in a series of paradoxical gestures Vinitsky loosens his aims of accuracy committed under his loyalty to the original source material used for each work. Vinitsky uses Grosso Modo as a moral code that simultaneously unfolds his sincere intentions and the deception embodied in his processes of making work. The title of the exhibition Grosso Modo is borrowed from a 1972 poem by Vinitsky’s son, Matt Montini, printed below for the first time.
Abstraction, formalistic repetitions, verbal fascinations and language enquiries play major roles in Vinitsky’s work and exhibitions. Frank, ambiguous and what can initially be seen as obscure and coded titles accompany his works: Every Day for Us Something New, New Positive Information, The Full Picture (A.S), Level D, and numerous others, all are meticulously placed in the exhibition guide. Banality and cliché are a mere ruse (often with a wink) for a long and calculated process, where lost objects, pieces of paper, traces of memory or anonymous images are momentarily spotlighted. The sources own histories are worth knowing, without hierarchy, excuses nor explanations; what we see is what we get, but what is it that we see? In contrast to Vinitsky’s visibly unique techniques of making and presenting works, or the clear way he beguiles his viewers with his titles, the sources and the origins of his works remain hidden or hard to trace. Rather than a deliberate act of mystification Vinitsky invites the spectator to a search of their own. This strategy, that encompasses opposing behaviours of both exposure and concealment, articulates Vinitsky’s fascination with the role of the artist today, the status of creation and the means of production and questions concerning values of display and exhibiting.
For example, the work Grosso Modo (2012), a collaboration of the artist with Ewa Bickels. A bizarre hand-made ceramic vase – adorned with a vivid facial expression and large grotesque ears that hold six glazed earrings – stands on a plinth in the middle the gallery. The starting point was a 1940s caricature combined with references of ceramic works by Picasso, Matisse and other found drawings. As in all of Vinitsky’s works, the result is an intentional kind of a (fruitful) failure. His precise intentions, planning and provisions have not materialized fully but instead only come to a rough realization. “Art”, says Paul Klee, “does not copy the visible; it makes the concealed visible”. In Vinitsky’s world it is becoming an act of accepting the finished work and its deviation from the origin, an act of adjustment and habituation, of embracing one piece and embracing the whole – being a new part of this world.
E.E. Eeee is a writer based in Warsaw. Translated to English by Jacob Tida.
By Matt Montini
The place is not always full.
Bazaar, Defect, Defect, Bazaar
You are more in the room than I am.
The yellow, the blue, the purple, the green
The sad body should be open slowly,
Time is on my side now.
Kneeling in front.
hands are handed, repeatedly. Togehter.
Five things in the horizon -
They cannot be named
They cannot be altered
Now = Now
In the essence of the summer
Whispering in your ear,
Sombre answers for the afternoon
We are building a latitude page -
Two heads are better than one.
A little thing is
A little thing.
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