Tirtzah Bassel: I Want To Hold You Close

I Want To Hold You Close | Press Release

March 7 – March 30, 2015
Opening Reception: March 7, 7-9pm

tirtzahbassel_tedtalk_for-web

Tirtzah Bassel presents “I Want to Hold You Close,” an installation for Open Source Gallery.

In a culture where we are increasingly watching and being watched, Bassel is interested in how we perform. Using the rapt audience of a TED Talk as subject, “I Want to Hold You Close” is an immersive installation centered on a large-scale oil painting of a crowd, effectively placing the viewer on stage. As the viewer confronts the specificity and humanity of each individual’s existence within the audience, unique identities begin to stand out against the crowd.

Bassel explores the tension between anonymity and individuality, highlighting the desire for closeness and recognition that often drives our performances in real and virtual encounters. Inspired by work such as Marlene Dumas’ “Chlorosis” and the Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an, China, Bassel uses the traditional genre of portraiture in conjunction with the obscurity of a crowd to allow a sense of intimacy to unfold, even within the monumental scale of her painting. Her expressive brush strokes and vivid colors bring attention to subtle details of expression and body language. The all-encompassing installation is an invitation to slow down and spend a contemplative moment in the space.

Tirtzah Bassel is an Israeli artist based in New York. Her drawings, paintings, and site-responsive duct tape installations explore the permeable borders separating public and private domains, specifically in airport security zones, border crossings, and public transportation. Tirtzah has exhibited her work nationally and internationally with recent installations created on site in Harlem, New York, and El Paso, Texas. Tirtzah studied drawing and painting at the Jerusalem Studio School in Israel and she earned her MFA from Boston University. She is assistant director of the Brandeis Institute of Music and Art and is the recipient of the 2011-2012 LABA Artist Fellowship. Her work has been reviewed in Hyperallergic, Huffington Post, Arts in Bushwick, The Forward, and The Boston Globe. Tirtzah is represented by Slag Gallery in New York and is a studio artist in the Chashama Workspace Program in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.






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