Orit Raff


April 28 - June 11, 2005

The Julie Saul Gallery is pleased to announce our fourth solo exhibition of Israeli-born artist Orit Raff. In her new project entitled "Insatiable" Raff combines large color photographs and video work made in bakeries, here and in Israel, prompting us to consider bread not just as sustenance but as a metaphor for creation itself. Insatiable is based on the etymological root in Hebrew (l-h-m) of the two words lehem (bread) and milhama (war.) The basis of war is struggle, as is the striving for sustenance or our daily bread. Raff notes that today the making of bread is based on industrial procedures very far from the original "hand made" processes.

The images presented in the exhibition are color, yet virtually monochromatic. The imagery includes aprons, ovens, and various materials used in the preparation of bread. The photographs are straight and unmediated but extremely evocative. The video entitled "Roundabout" is a diptych depicting the baking of bread in a fiery rotating industrial oven paired with a sequence of Raff systematically and brutally tearing apart a small loaf of hard bread in her lap. A sculptural component at the center of the installation suggests flour bags or sandbags in the trenches. A third video component makes a very clear indication of the linguistic aspects of the concept.

Raff is known for her minimalist aesthetic, as Vince Aletti has said, "turn(ing) chilly conceptualism to her own quirky ends with studies of inanimate objects and enigmatic interiors." At 35 years old, her work has been exhibited extensively- including solo shows at SITE Santa Fe in Albuquerque in 2002 and the Houston Center of Photography in 2000 and group shows at Sara Meltzer Gallery, Sean Kelly, Artists Space, the Albright Knox and the Henry Art Gallery amongst many others. She is a graduate of the Bard College MFA program, The Whitney Independent Study Program, School of Visual Arts (BA) and attended Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. Her work is in many private and public collections including the Albright-Knox, MIT Visual Arts Center in Boston , the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

Generous support is being provided by the Department of Cultural Affairs- Consulate of Israel in New York.

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