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|Gideon Rubin, Untitled, 2014, gouache on paper, 26 x 19 cm|
Gideon Rubin frequently paints the human figure, most usually anonymous characters found in discarded black and white photographs. His interest is as much about these strangers as it is about the mediation of their images through duplication, and the relationship between painting, photography and reproduction.
Recently Rubin has turned to Photojournalism from the 1950’s and 60’s that afford the same historical distance as the found photographs. The artist selects to paint directly onto carefully sourced magazine pages that once offered abundant and ubiquitous access to international stories, alongside images of celebrity and glamour. Portraits are mindfully enhanced or erased, text is obscured and painted gestures are incorporated so that paint and printed material merge.
Whilst Rubin’s appropriations have always been a way of capturing time and slowing images down, they also question the trust we have in photographs and their claims to truth. In the new work the artist claims that photography, like painting, can be subject to manipulation; he disturbs the illusion of photography. He alludes instead to the way our consciousness overlaps memory and perception when understanding the world around us, whilst always asking the viewer to consider the act of painting and its legacy.
Gideon Rubin was awarded a Shifting Foundation Grant in 2014. He has just completed a residency the Da Wang Centre in China, which succeeds a Bialik Residency supported by Outset Israel in collaboration with The Gottesman Etching Center in Kibbutz Cabri. His first monograph, including essays by Sarah Suzuki, Associate Curator, MOMA, writer, critic & curator Gabriel Coxhead and writer Martin Herbert, will be published to coincide with the exhibition at the gallery and his first solo museum show at the Herzliya Museum for Contemporary Art, Israel.
Last year the artist was shortlisted for the John Moores Painting Prize. His work can currently be seen in Daily Memories at Kunstmuseum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen Magdeburg, Germany and in Disturbing Innocence, curated by Eric Fischl at The Flag Foundation, New York.