Tal R – : Men Who Can’t Sit on Horses

October 24, 2019 - March 27, 2020
Curator: David Neuman

: Men Who Can’t Sit on Horses, by Tal R, is  the fourth exhibition in Magasin III’s permanent satellite space in Jaffa, greater Tel Aviv, since it opened in January 2018. The solo exhibition features one singular painting,  Natten (The Night), commissioned especially for  Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art.

An artist of international renown, Tal R (Rosenzweig) was born in 1967 in Tel Aviv, Israel and at an early age moved to Copenhagen, Denmark where he currently lives and works. Tal R is known for his daring use of color and vivacious imagery. Throughout his works, references to historical art movements such as Expressionism, Fauvism and Symbolism can be found alongside influences from Outsider Art and children’s paintings. He works across a diverse range of media including painting, collage, sculpture, installation, drawing, print and furniture. His unique vision, self-identification as an outsider and ability to sample the two worlds of his different heritages, has produced an artistic language that constantly questions our surrounding realities.

The curator of the exhibition, David Neuman, explains his thoughts behind the presentation of Magasin III’s unique commission:

Height x Width x Time

Size is both a tricky yet interesting phenomena. The first impressions it gives are difficult to shake, whether very large or very small, and content is what will eventually overtake that first glance to extend a feeling, a gesture, an understanding, an appreciation, or even love.

Early on, there was a particular painting that intrigued me, although exhibited before my awakened art aspirations, that I became aware of. I had viewed the film clips of its installation in a former military exercise hall in Stockholm. It was owned by the artist and on its European tour in 1958. Guernica. It measures 346 x 777 centimeters. Since then, I have had numerous opportunities to see the original at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and again at Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid after its repatriation to a free Spain. The complexity of the work along with the heroic stand against the atrocities of war Pablo Picasso imbedded in the painting never ceases to overwhelm me.

Throughout my curatorial practice at Magasin III I have been engaged in several large-scale artistic endeavors of tremendous importance which includes the commissioned monumental installation by Pippilotti Rist, Gravity, Be My Friend, 2007. So, it was no wonder, after Tal R’s extensive exhibition at Magasin III, Old and Confused, 2009, that the idea of Tal R creating a specifically commissioned work for Magasin III has been present in my mind.

I admire the core of Tal R’s artistry. He is, quite frankly, a painter’s painter.  He is truly interested in issues that concern painting as a medium and allows himself to approach a subject without conforming to style. The range of his iconography is vast, allowing himself to treat his imagery “kindly”, whilst tackling subject matter that is truly more brutal and disturbing. Relative to Guernica, for its size was the only pre-requisite for the commission, Tal R approaches his representations with a lesser amount of rage equal with an invitation and openness to the viewer. I have understood, for at least the past ten years, that to undertake a task of these proportions, was not beyond Tal R, to attempt and execute in a manner that resulted in both fulfilled expectations and a surprise. Finding the right vehicle and the right time, could have only been created now for a work of this magnitude, not only in size, but subject. And, additionally finding the right place, to be exhibited first here at Magasin III Jaffa is a perfect rendezvous.

In The Press:

Naama Riva’s interview with Tal R, Haaretz /Hebrew

Dana Gilerman on the exhibition, Basis Magazine / Hebrew

Anna Lena-Werner’s interview with Tal R, ArtFridge / English

Joy Bernard on the exhibition, Haaretz /English

Arnon Ben-Dror on the exhibition, Mousse Magazine /English