Goodman Gallery is pleased to present Transitions #5, New-York based artist Naama Tsabar’s first solo exhibition in the UK and with the gallery. The exhibition comprises three bodies of work – Transition, Barricade, and Works On Felt – which is a continuation of the artist’s critically acclaimed Kunsthaus Baselland exhibition in 2018.
Tsabar’s practice is primarily focused on the change that occurs in a physical space through the introduction of music and sound. Tsabar achieves this by opening a possibility for viewer interaction, dissolving the typical barrier surrounding art objects in order to create an intimate and performative atmosphere between her works and the space. For Tsabar, this gesture in her work speaks to a desire to reframe how visual art can be viewed and appreciated.
“I don’t like authority, to be framed – restricted,” says the artist. “These works break the borders that were set for them. They do this by possessing the potential to expand to a different field of action; they are in constant states of transition.”
Tsabar’s Transition canvases resemble large-scale paintings or drawings from afar. Cables, buttons, connectors and parts from amplifiers and speakers form geometric compositions on amplifier fabric. The amplifiers used in the works have been disassembled and reassembled with the exact same components. Each amplifier retains its functional order while exposing the very wires that make it work. The Transition works create an experiential installation which the artist describes as “sculptural paintings that have the ability to output sound.”
Barricade consists of several microphones on stands set up in a triangular arrangement with cables lining the floor in a manner that reflects the path of the transmitted sound. The sounds from Barricade are both created and amplified throughout the exhibition as the work interacts with the Transition canvasses.
Tsabar’s Works On Felt series appear as coloured geometric objects mounted on walls, these works see the artist employ felt, carbon fiber, piano strings and guitar tuning pegs to create tactile sculptures that visually draw on the minimalist tradition whilst simultaneously inviting viewer interaction. Works On Felt can be activated by viewers, the sounds amplified into the exhibition space through a guitar amplifier next to the felt form. When plucked or touched the sound waves travel through a hybrid material of felt embedded with carbon fiber. The material looks like felt, however, added carbon holds the tension of the string and allows sound to travel through the work. The shape of the work corresponds to the pitch of the string. The works are formed when the string is inserted; a larger curve presents a higher pitch, giving each work both an individual form and note.
Tsabar in collaboration with musicians Fielded, Kristin Mueller, and Sarah Strauss will write and perform a composition in and on the exhibition, activating the Transition, Works on Felt and Barricade works. The performance connects the bodies of the performers, the works and the viewers. By stroking, pushing, drumming and strumming the felt, the work is activated, creating a sensuous performance that bridges the space between music and visual art – a consistent theme running through Tsabar’s practice.
Naama Tsabar’s practice fuses elements from sculpture, music, performance and architecture. Her interactive works expose hidden spaces and systems, reconceive gendered narratives, and shift the viewing experience to one of active participation. Tsabar draws attention to the muted and unseen by propagating sound through space and sculptural form. Between sculpture and instrument, form and sound, Tsabar’s work lingers on the intimate, sensual and corporeal potentials within this transitional state. Collaborating with local communities of female identifying and gender non-conforming performers, Tsabar writes a new feminist and queer history of mastery.
Naama Tsabar (b. 1982, Israel) lives and works in New York. She received her MFA from Columbia University in 2010. Solo exhibitions and performances of Tsabar have been presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Museum of Art and Design (New York), The High Line Art (New York), Nasher Museum (Durham, NC), Kunsthaus Baselland (Switzerland), Palais De Tokyo (Paris), Prospect New Orleans, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, The Herziliya Museum for Contemporary Art in Israel, MARTE-C (El Salvador), CCA Tel Aviv (Israel), Faena Buenos Aires, Frieze Projects New York, Kasmin (New York), Paramo Gallery (Guadalajara), Dvir Gallery (Israel and Brussels), Spinello Projects (Miami) Shulamit Nazarian (Los Angeles). Selected group exhibitions featuring Tsabar’s work include, The Andy Warhol Museum, The Jewish Museum of Belgium, Ballroom Marfa, Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, Elevation 1049 Gstaad (Switzerland), TM Triennale, Hasselt Genk, Belgium, ‘Greater New York’ 2010 at MoMA PS1, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens (Belgium), The Bucharest Biennale for Young Artists, Hessel Museum of Art at CCS Bard, Casino Luxembourg (Luxembourg), ExtraCity in Antwerp (Belgium). Tsabar’s work has been featured in publications including ArtForum, Art In America, ArtReview, ARTnews, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Frieze, Bomb Magazine, Art Asia Pacific, Wire, and Whitewall, among others.
Tsabar’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Pompidou Centre, Seattle Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Bass Museum, PAMM, Kadist Collection, Jimenez-Colón Collection, Tel Aviv Museum, Israel Museum, and Coleccion Dieresis.