Oren Pinhassi: I Would Talk About the End | Art Basel Miami Beach
Oren Pinhassi’s new body of sculptural work explores the act of mourning as a site of metamorphosis, where emotional and physical states converge. Four freestanding sculptures, made from sand, methodically layered over welded steel skeletons, insinuate bodily forms that taper at their base into feet which grip rocks. These ambiguous anatomies bear resemblance to funerary monuments integrated with domestic objects and architectural forms. The works are configured to suggest interaction, yet emphasise a solidarity found in mutual separation.
Oren Pinhassi received an MFA from Yale in 2014 and B.Ed.F.A. in 2011 from Beit-Berl College, Hamidrasha School of Art. His work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including, Kiang Malingue, Hong Kong (2022); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany (2021); Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles, USA (2021); Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Lissone, Lissone, Italy, (2019); Castello San Basilio, Basilicata, Italy (2019); Palazzo Monti, Brescia, Italy (2019); Skibum MacArthur, Los Angeles, USA, (2018); Petach Tikva Museum of Art, Petach-Tikva, Israel, (2017); Tina Kim Gallery, New York, USA (2019); Yossi Milo, New York, USA (2019); David Zwirner, New York, USA (2018).
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The permanence of the sculptures is ambiguous – whilst the timelessness of sand as a sculptural medium evokes antiquity, as an agent of natural erosion it equally foretells the return of these edifices to the earth. Whilst the figures are upstanding, the stance of their feet, curled over the edge of the rock, signal a return to horizontality, as if caught between states of life and death.
He calls his sculpting process one of ‘repetitive touch’ – working away with his hands a little at a time – no two objects he creates are ever exactly the same. It is this dance between familiarity and ambiguity that informs Pinhassi’s artisanal approach.