Oren Pinhassi. The trembling image of second natures

In London, at Edel Assanti gallery, the Tel Aviv- born artist shows twelve works, surveying gay cruising spots, from bathhouses to parks.

Oren Pinhassi, Urinal (London I) and Urinal (London II), Edel Assanti, 2018

The first solo show by Oren Pinhassi, in Great Britain, is at Edel Assanti gallery. Set on a large and perfectly enlightened ground-floor room, “Second Nature” encompasses twelve works subverting outdoor and indoor categories, in a visceral re-enactment of transforming social ambiances. Pinhassi was born in Tel Aviv in 1985, he’s actually based in New York and he’s a graduate of Yale University School of Art M.F.A. (2014). On 19 May, in Los Angeles ended one of the most recent Pinhassi’s solo show up, at Skibum MacArthur (titled “One in the Mouth and one in the Heart”). There, the trembling landscape he recreated, apparently recalls, today, Second Nature’s aesthetic atmosphere. Between a public space and a touching memory, both the exhibitions confront our notions of the salacious and taboos, the social mores and religious dogma that shape our reactions. Phantasmal pavilions we often architect to house and hide our wants and, at times, our shame.

Also in “Second Nature”, Pinhassi continues his abstracted renditions of gay cruising spots, from bathhouses to parks. Pinhassi, melting  human-bodies structures together with urban architectures, tries to nullify any codified opposition between privacy and curiosity, between reality and its inner representation, between transgression and guilt.
Architectural spaces, both physical and psychological, boast pavilions’ glass walls, rendered opaque by the artist’s application of Vaseline in repetitive, painterly gestures. Frozen light-green palm trees (“One in the Mouth and One in the Heart I”, 2018) allow the visitor to remain imprinted by the fantastical, corporal allure of Pinhassi artificial gaze on Nature. Reclining chairs are personified, mimicking limbs and body language in their configuration. Serpentine towels are curled up on the floor – twisted and used, yet hardened by the solidified plaster with which they have been filled.

Where bodily forms, at first glimpse, seem absent, the body’s presence is implied by the scale or practical use of the structures. Smaller pergolas evoke tropical vegetation in their green colour and seemingly organic form, yet their rigidity suggests they too have some non-prescriptive purpose. Two glasses are attached to each of these umbrella-like trees, one at hand held height and the other at genital height as a kind of memento. Orifices are disseminated throughout the exhibition, overtly gaping from a pink burlap coated in plaster hanging from a towel rack. Whilst the exhibition is sprinkled by sculptures, the relationship between physical environment, behaviour and remembrance emerges the primary subject of Pinhassi’s analysis. 

Oren Pinhassi,  Towel Snake (Beige), Edel Assanti, Londra, 2018
Oren Pinhassi, Towel Snake (Beige), Edel Assanti, London, 2018
Exhibition Title:
Oren Pinhassi. Second Nature
Opening dates:
6 July – 24 August 2018
Edel Assanti
74a Newman Street, London W1T 3DB

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