Dalit Gurevich’s A Memory Interwoven, curated by Jenn Cacciola at the Project Space of the Amos Eno Gallery, is a vivid exploration of transformation and adaptation through depiction of mixed-media landscapes and cityscapes. The exhibit, now open to visitors, captures the shifts in Gurevich’s life from the confines of a Brooklyn apartment during the pandemic to the liberating nature of Vermont and back to the bustling city life. Her paintings tell a story of seeking space and peace in a time of global uncertainty.
Tell us about the body of work in this show.
Like many others, we lived in Brooklyn during the pandemic and felt trapped in our two-bedroom apartment. We rented a place in Vermont for a week to get away and surround ourselves with nature. I felt an urge to connect with the landscape, and Vermont was the oasis of wonder I needed. A lush affirmation of life bustling with life forms beyond my wildest imagination. I found a portal to another world in the lake by the property. Up until that point, I was busy painting the tumultuousness of my homeland. My art was focused on the impact on the environment caused by human conflict. This felt different; while the human world was roosting in confused and frightening isolation, I was creating a relationship with nature, and it was wonderful.
Early this year, I decided to add another dimension to my work. I wanted to explore our city environment with all its chaos and inspiring energy. I used embroidery to depict different weeds growing on our sidewalks. I added natural fiber such as corn husk, red beet, and daffodil leaves to create a poetic celebration that welded nature with the city.
After creating one work that was intended to be part of a whole New York series, the horrific attack by the terrorist organization Hamas on October 7th happened. I found myself bent at my knees, surrendering to forces and events vastly larger than me. It felt harder than ever to anchor my life to stability, love, and creativity. My family, my kibbutz, my home, and all the people I grew up with suffered such an unimaginable loss. I believe that now more than ever, art is one of the tools that can mend the broken realities of life, and in some ways, I plan to take part in it.
Tell us a bit about your process.
While my art practice constantly evolves, my main expression has always been painting. After spending hours looking at the aquatic vegetation in Vermont and photographing my observations, I was eager to paint the living world I saw. But in the process, I discovered that painting with acrylic wasn’t enough. I needed something else to bring to life the wonders I’ve encountered. I was searching for a new language to describe aquatic plants’ fragile, tenacious qualities. That is when I entered the world of weaving. I learned a Zen weaving technique from Japan called Saori. Using this technique requires time. It involves a slow, meditative, and intimate process. I was delighted to discover it and excited about the possibility of integrating weaving into my paintings. The first series was monochromatic, consisting of a green hue. I have always worked with plywood. I enjoyed connecting to the organic properties of the wood, letting it absorb the paint, and attaching the weaving work to its surface. After gaining confidence in the technique, I started working on large panels and added colors to my palette. At this time, I started playing with natural materials in my weaving. I experimented with different fibers, employed natural dyes, and weaved to create grouped surfaces. These dense surfaces focus my response to landscapes, forming tangible links to the places they were inspired by.
All photos courtesy of the artist and the gallery.
Dalit Gurevich: A Memory Interwoven Curated by Jenn Cacciola at Amos Eno Gallery at the Project Space. On view through Dec. 3, 2023 56 Bogart St, Brooklyn, NY 11205