Time Traveler – Rotem Reshef

Photo Credit: Jacqueline Bell Johnson

Time Traveler by Rotem Reshef

through December 15th
Tall Wall Space, University of La Verne, La Verne, CA

Written by Jacqueline Bell Johnson
Nestled in the atrium of the Arts & Communications Building at the University of La Verne, lives the “Tall Wall Space.” This two-story gallery can be seen from several of the open-air classrooms within the building, ensuring some influence over the course of the semester for those that frequent the space.

Currently exhibiting in the Tall Wall Space is Time Traveler, a painting installation by Rotem Reshef. This monumental piece consists of six massive canvases, unstretched and interwoven directly on the wall. Each canvas is made using a combination of processes including pouring and blotting to create a subtractive imprint.

The installation explores the four seasons. Summer and winter hang vertically, both represented by two canvases. The artist considers both Fall and Spring to be transitional seasons, each represented by a single canvas hung horizontally.

Photo Credit: Jacqueline Bell Johnson

To make the installation, Reshef rolled out canvas on the floor of her studio and worked on several feet at a time. After drying, they were rolled back up and shifted so that she could continue through the length of each piece. Impressions were made into the pools of wet paint by specific objects serving as a code for the season which they were creating. Ribbon, Wood, leaves, bubble wrap to name a few. The method led to incredible variations in color, texture, opacity of the paint.

Weaving these paintings transforms them. They become a tapestry, a calendar, perennial, circular, a never-ending cycle repeated. The ends are kept rolled like scrolls that are still being written. The metaphor is truly pushed by the artists willingness to cover her own work for the sake of the concept. A fair amount of footage is concealed by the interlacing.

Eric Min Swenson made a film of the installation, which can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0vpih8V8Jg

Viewed from a balcony across the atrium, this variety is less visible and the eye interprets each painting as a separate palette. It is here that the viewer can linger on the concept; a metaphor of time, its relativity and inconsistency. We are the time travelers named in the work’s title. Our experience of seasons is collective yet personal, with memories intermingling as we reflect on the whole year, especially when its nearing the end.

On the bottom floor the viewer has the chance to inspect the work closely. All the action captured on canvas can be seen from this view: the objects and their imparted textures, the dipping and re-dipping, and removal of paint. The summer canvas has thousands of shades of yellow, enhanced by spots of green, purple-gray, red and orange which stand out as beautifully detailed dreamlike landscapes on their own. The paintings stretch beyond the periphery of one’s view, placing the body before a prismatic abyss. Our relationship with time changes in this moment, its linear trajectory morphs into a vastness, a space of to confront the self.

Tall Wall Space, Arts & Communications Building, University of La Verne
2016 D Street, La Verne, CA 91750


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