Eli Benveniste, A constant hand, 2013
Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to see the latest works of the artists who will participate in this exhibition – and I have been uplifted and inspired every time. It seemed an obvious thing to combine them into one exhibition.
A constant hand – this is what all the artists in this exhibition share. They are driven by an urge to discover what is concealed behind the next hill. They are always in action. They themselves feel that they have never worked better than they do now.
These are artists who have kept on working. That is what they do most – paint, draw, model. They are alone and yet, perhaps, not alone – their inner and outer ‘egos’ have merged into a composite. They have acquired self-knowledge. Days resemble each other. They spend most of their time in their own company.
With an ever-increasing distance between them and the good and bad experiences of a long life, they have reached the other side and have survived all that we imagine we cannot live without – everything from which life demands satisfaction.
They no longer have to wait for inspiration, think of their families needs. Material goods no longer mean the same to them. Recognition is a complex affair, fame perhaps not ultimately a value in itself… as long as there are means to take care of oneself and one’s near and dear – and to have the peace to be able to carry on working.
Our age is obsessed with new trends. What is ‘in vogue’ today is something quite different from what these artists are engaged in. So they have to believe even more adamantly in what only they are capable of.
They are loners. But then, they have always been loners, and if they have not been able to feel at home in the larger contexts of society, they are – by now – able to feel at home with themselves.
So as I stand admiring their works, I think that perhaps it is all those quiet days, alone in their own company, that have made these works so free and devil-may-care. It is no longer a question of themselves as artists, but of art.
They are, right now, in the best place for an artist to be.
Curator Eli Benveniste