July 25th 2018

“It’s About Time”

July 4th 2018

Exhibition at Somerset House, London

all posts title image
Lior Gal, Flower of Perhaps, 2021, Leuven, Engels Plein, Belgium


May 31st 2021

Until Sunday 6 June


It might appear odd to see a post here about a very short pop-up exhibition, but we are in a moment when I am delighted to see works coming out of the studio as soon as possible, even in a willy-nilly fashion, to be experienced and enjoyed. As an afterthought, or the prelude to something even. The length of their appearance in the world again is almost secondary to the fact that they are alive. Art and artists are alive and so are we, the lucky ones coming now finally, maybe or perhaps out of a very tenuous eighteen months laced and riddled with so much illness, loss and fear.

We have been cloistered in our houses both physically and mentally, our masks covering more than most of our faces, in some ways they covered a larger aspect of our spirits as well. As the warmth of summer approaches it feels like an absolute necessity to get out now finally and see things again, at long last.

I have followed Lior Gal’s work for a very long time now. Everyone who reads these JSVC posts will remember a bit about his path. He has had a very special position taking long solitary journeys all over the world to far-flung locations looking for things that others never see; snow on black volcanic landscapes melting. But in his lens they look like clouds against a dark sky. He can tease things out of their context and translate them into another language entirely as if we are seeing something new and fresh for the first time.

Lior Gal, Flower of Perhaps, 2021
Leuven, Engels Plein, Belgium


When I saw these stone flowers that were just plugged into this earth in such an almost clumsy, uncanny way, they seemed like small blessings. I don’t know why. This was before reading anything the artist had said or written about them. He has been making sculpture now in parallel to his practice of photography. Maybe the setting itself is so mineral, the buildings around, so overwhelming, the highway passing just across the way, thick walls, a spot of land, somehow the tree is a saving grace. In this we have a site that you would easily pass and not notice it at all.

But he dares something else here; the possibility of beauty, or nature finding its roots again, the possibility of unaligned things finding a new coherence in maybe. This slight off-centre approach is both awkward and charming, a way that his work sets the viewer back on our heels, creating a distance while at the same time enticing you to let the past go and find new roots in this still very uncertain present. I wish I could see this in person but for now I have a sense memory of the photographs and that right now feels like a gift in and of itself.

Lior Gal, Flower of Perhaps, 2021
Leuven, Engels Plein, Belgium

Flowers of Perhaps/Lior gal

Flowers of Perhaps is a group of singular sculptures that seem to be growing out of the ground. Made of thin round metal bars and topped with white alabaster stones collected from the Merse river in Tuscany. Picking out the stones from their place of origin and replanting them in a foreign landscape not as solitary fragments but as a collective which then nourishes and arises out of it’s own discharge of energy. The work represents the beginning of a new body of work, which builds upon a Hebrew poem written by Ra’hel. The poem describes the continuous joy and effort of cultivating flowers in an uncertain surrounding and at the same time revels the dilemma of one’s dedication in a dubious future.

Exhibition place: Engels Plein Leuven, Belgium 

Till Sunday, June 6