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Eli Chissick


ZEMAYESH; On Craft and the Paucity of Materials  |  Meirav Rahat

Parts of MDF boards. Colored Formica. Plain Sandwich. Full wood.  Eli Chissick's Exhibition ZEMAYESH is based on the remnants of raw materials that were thrown out of carpentries. Under his hands, the eclecticism of materials and remnants, supposedly useless, turn into two-dimensional plates rich in graphics and textures, which he designs into three-dimensional objects – richly detailed and meticulously made pieces of furniture.

Chissick believes in guarding the ecology (environment?) and in the need to preserve and use wisely the earth's resources, as well as craftsmanship that allows consideration of materials, processes and human touch. This concept puts craftsmanship in the front, and gives an added-value to the object that was so skillfully created.

The objects that Chissick creates emerge from associative and abstract interpretation of trends from the history of art and design. In his work he brings to life iconic elements that portray different periods, and builds a style of his own in which two-dimensional graphic compositions are made into three-dimensional objects. The integration between the meager/rich materials and the design that draws from the past makes known elements into new ones.

Under the title "Bauhaus" Chissick connects with "Nesting Tables" by Josef Albers. By confining wild shapes, which emerged from folding a board made of remnants, in frames, he is having a dialogue between his own personal language and the known iconic style; however, while Albers work is an example of geometric simplicity, Chissick's Bauhaus gives it a new interpretation, contrary to the modernistic object.

In "Gustav" too – from a rectangular sheet in which Chissick weaves the wooden remnants into a rich graphic element that echoes the work of Gustav Klimt – the graphic adaptation changes the character of the object. As opposed to the textual and materialistic richness of Klimt's paintings (who combined gold in his works), Chissick uses discarded materials, gives them an aura of richness, and thus makes a simple sheet into a visually tempting creation.

In "Roco", a long console, Chissick is influenced by the formation of objects from the Rococo period and he simplifies the rich and textual accumulation into a two-dimensional sheet. The way the materials are placed in the sheet relates to the ornamented structure of furniture from this period; however, the object's legs rise, on purpose, from the angle that the materials are placed in the base, and they break the round structure that is characteristic to the period.

In "Dada" Chissick suggests a tamed interpretation of the randomness that characterizes the agenda of the group that worked at the beginning of the 20th century, and turns the random throwing of elements to a table that is not a "table".

In contrast with the taming of "Dada", in "Dash from Deco" Chissick relates to the "Art Deco" style by rampaging the order of geometrical shapes that appeared in a poster from that period. In the process of creating the object, Chissick takes apart and simplifies the graphic patterns, links the elements and turns the two-dimensional geometrical ornaments into a piece of furniture with a presence of a three-dimensional sculpture.

Chissick sees the objects that he creates as associative products of the world of images that inspires him. In an era of mash-up, when we borrow elements and join them together, he is not obliged to remain loyal to the origins, and in the spirit of the times he puts together parts and ideas to create new ageless and timeless creations. The pieces of furniture that he makes bring forward a personal style, and show how, through new connections, remnants can be made into desirable objects.

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