Ballad of Spread – Michal Gavish at Delaware Contemporary

Art Spiel Photo Story

A room with art on the walls

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Exponential Bloom, 2021

During the past year of the pandemic, Michal Gavish used her background as a scientist to research and draw on the sub-microscopic struggle between viruses and our body. Throughout this year of isolation, she became absorbed with the science and imagery of these biological attackers facing body defenders, the antigens against the antibodies. Imagining each virus from its initial exponential expansion to its final abrupt elimination, she sketches and experiments with color-field displays generated by genetic research. Her visual search incorporates mixed media in which she adopts the color-coded language of molecular modeling that she has learned as a chemist.

A picture containing food, cup

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Exponential Bloom, Influenza, 2021

Using X-ray structures and electron microscopy photographs from recent scientific sources, Gavish constructs large installations of painted body molecules and virus frameworks on layered translucent fabric and paper, suspended from the gallery ceiling. These floating magnified biological structures, painted with vivid reds, yellows, greens and blues, become fleeting three-dimensional dioramas of contemporary field-guides. The images emerge like thin embroidery patterns that sometimes appear flat and at other moments become three-dimensional. While adopting the symmetries of the Mandala-shaped viruses and amorphous biological formations, she invents her own intricate combinations and stages the magnified bodies of the biological opponents, meditating on their medical implications and social connections.

A picture containing wall

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Spiral of intricacy, 2019- 2021

The exterior tranquil beauty juxtaposes the undercurrents of turmoil. Throughout her process of examining this potent tension between the beauty of the vibrant orderly shapes and their violent nature, Gavish reflects on the physical and social implications of viral genetics data and on the delicate balance between the virus and our vitality.

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Michal Gavish and poet Lackeeria

All photo courtesy of the artist

Michal Gavish is a multi-media artist splitting her time between NYC and Washington, DC. She received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Previously, she had earned a PhD in Physical Chemistry, which continues to influence her art and science practice. She currently has a solo show at the Delaware Contemporary. Her works were exhibited in solo shows at the Budapest Museum, LIU Brooklyn, Hillyer DC, Garrison New York, Spinerei Leipzig, Germany and Sandra Lee San Francisco to name a few. Among her group shows were the Biobat Art Space in Brooklyn, Radiator Gallery NYC, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts San Francisco, Plain Site DC, Stanford University, ZeroOne Silicon Valley Biennale, Venus Knitting Brooklyn, Tachles Berlin, Sonoma Art Museum, Bogota Art Fair, Columbia. Gavish writes reviews for Sciart Magazine and lectures on Art and Science. She was awarded several projects and artist residencies in NYC and Europe.

Ballad of Spread / Michal Gavish September 10, 2021-January 8, 2022 THE DELAWARE CONTEMPORARY 200 South Madison Street Wilmington, DE 19801 302 6566466 Poetry Project hosted by the Delaware Museum on 11/05/2021 Poet: Lackeeria Just know you got the power to turn your pain into a purpose- response poem to the Ballad of Spread.

Artist talk about the exhibition