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Yossi Milo is pleased to announce Nebulous, Orit Hofshi’s debut solo exhibition with the gallery, and the artist’s first to be held in in New York in over two decades. Nebulous opens to the public on Thursday, March 14, and an artist’s reception will be held the following week on Thursday, March 21, from 6 – 8 PM. The show will coincide with the inclusion of Hofshi’s work in The Anxious Eye: German Expressionism and Its Legacy, a group presentation at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. On March 23, 2024, Hofshi will participate in a conversation with Shelley Langdale, the National Gallery’s Curator and Head of Modern Prints and Drawings, which will draw connections between the artist’s practice and the historic 20th century works on view.

Orit Hofshi's large-scale works on paper relate natural phenomena with mass social and political events. Drawing from the artist’s experiences witnessing conflict in the Middle East and across the world; the lasting effects of the Holocaust; and crises across history, Hofshi cautiously populates her compositions with expressive subjects engrossed in mysterious yet urgent activity. Mired in uncertainty, they are caught between searching, finding, and intently looking on. She situates these figures in imagined landscapes that are seemingly forever devastated yet dotted with evidence of former human life.

Orit Hofshi creates her monumental works through a laborious combination of mediums, taking a purist, traditional approach to each. Hofshi’s works on paper are often immersive in size, verging on the scale of installation. In the studio, the artist begins by drawing directly onto pinewood panels, which she herself then carves with hand tools. Hofshi engages in a deeply physical dialogue with pinewood through this process, forming a collaboration with the natural qualities of her materials. The artist prints these woodcuts by hand, rubbing the back of large sheets of handmade paper with a wooden spoon, forgoing the use of presses or assistants. This solitary and labor-intensive process exists as a performative extension of the works themselves.

Hofshi’s methodologies encompass not only this distillation of traditional printing technique, but expansions on it. The artist shifts strategies of transferring ink from each woodblock, moving between printing, rubbing, and offsetting, often working in bold, saturated colors. Hofshi also adds drawn elements, incorporating layered movement and texture. These differing techniques play into a sense of alienation and displacement of the complex relationships within and between humankind and the natural world. Her frequent depiction of solitary figures draws on the artist’s philosophy that humanity must overcome adversity, and that growth only comes through reflecting upon one’s own held values, while facing the consequences of their decisions and actions as individuals and as part of society.

Hofshi has maintained a "library" of her carved wood blocks since early on in her career — one that she continually revisits in the creation of new work. The artist deploys recurring imagery of people, structures, and natural landscapes, reconfiguring them into an elliptical, nonlinear narrative in which the drama of the human condition plays out in the open. One particular recurring figure is a self-portrait of the artist, an avatar by which she locates herself within her work’s ongoing allegorical struggle. Hofshi’s own likeness makes clear that these reappearing forms are not just a pictorial strategy, but an existential situation. This replication of imagery throughout the artist’s oeuvre forms a dreamlike logic: a language of symbols that form cycles in an inescapable space, representative of a seemingly endless universal psychic state.

The exhibition shares a title with one of its central works: Nebulous, a monumental polyptych that realizes a life-sized moment of stillness from an epic narrative.


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