As one enters the stark white cube of Gordon Gallery at 6 Hapelech street in south Tel Aviv they are immersed in the imaginarium of Ron Arad. His oeuvre is notoriously challenging to define; he is simultaneously considered a designer, artist, sculptor, and architect. There is not just one label that suits him. The ambiguity of Arad’s work is highlighted in his premier Israeli gallery show All And Nothing where he is seen again pushing the boundaries between art and design.  

  Pressed Flower Yellow,  2013. Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York.

Pressed Flower Yellow, 2013. Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York.

All And Nothing is Arad’s inaugural show in an Israeli gallery despite having been born in Tel Aviv in the fifties and studying at the Jerusalem Academy of Art. The large scale installation of Arad’s work at Gordon Gallery, made up of two major elements, can be interpreted as a reaction to his homecoming in Tel Aviv’s art scene. This response is evident in his uber contemporary large scale collage installation which is a continuation of his famous Pressed Flowers series depicting crushed cars. Within the fragmented composition scraps of a promotional poster from an event held just days before at the newly opened Tel Aviv hotspot, Herzl 16 are recognizable elements of the large scale collage. 

 A very recently created collage, building on Arad's  Pressed Flowers  series

A very recently created collage, building on Arad's Pressed Flowers series

 A detail of scraps of a promotional poster visible in the collage from an event at Herzl 16

A detail of scraps of a promotional poster visible in the collage from an event at Herzl 16

Jutting fragmentations appear again in the adjacent installation composed of amoebic shaped mirrored tables that decorate the floor and walls. Reflecting the violent collage on the opposite wall they mimic the chaos and energy of contemporary Tel Aviv.

It is within the reflected images and the fleeting intangible glimpses one catches as they maneuver the many mirrored tables, that Arad’s installation really shines. The many mirrors appear to have been thrown against the wall, shattering and scattering into their current locations. Undulating from the walls and on to the floors, the viewer ponders how to define the pieces. Are they tables? Sculptures? Or mirrors? Herein lies the complexity of Arad’s work. 

One table mounted to the wall stands out for what first appears to be an abstract bubble pattern. Upon further inspection it reveals itself to be the Hebrew word ‘Klum’ meaning ‘nothing’. A bit tongue-in-cheek, Arad has spelled out ‘nothing’ with exactly that. It is the absence of material or nothingness that creates all that the show presents.

 Hebrew word ‘Klum’ (כְּלוּם) meaning ‘nothing’ spelled out with bubble cut outs.

Hebrew word ‘Klum’ (כְּלוּם) meaning ‘nothing’ spelled out with bubble cut outs.

  All And Nothing  exhibition view 

All And Nothing exhibition view 

Endlessly entertaining and thought provoking, All And Nothing is a visual treat that escapes the confines of a classic gallery show much like Arad has dodged labels that seek to confine him throughout his career. All And Nothing is on show at Gordon Gallery from March 22nd until June 2nd, 2018.

If you are interested in taking a private tour of the show please contact Oh So Arty here