Karin Zur

Karin Zur is a sculptor and installation artist.

She uses clay as foundation of her work, in combination with textile and other materials.

Zur's work process and creations embrace meticulous observation of the plant world, attempting to simulate the elementary particles of plants in nature: "I wanted to understand how they were joined together, not in the conventional imagery of stem, leaves and flowers, but in terms of the perception of a world in which particles multiply themselves, appearing always as a whole, growing and changing.

As we look closer, we can observe more and more details, but the general form does not change.

Nature and its formations are infinite, non-random, accurately repetitive, at different levels of scale."

This work process started in the creation of modes of a similar basic structure, decorated in meticulous order by sculptural details and elements. In her spatial perception of nature, Zur structured artworks that "grow from the ground" upward. These works have architectural structures reminiscent of a pillar or a tall cactus plant.

At first glance, each pillar Looks like a whole plant.

From a closer look, this plant consists of segments, each segment itself is complete, comprising shapes that are repeated and changing, sometimes within the same segment, sometimes from one segment to another.

Any plant constructed by Zur from ceramics/clay, is comprised of organs that, despite their similarities, are never an exact repetition.

The colors Zur uses for the creation of her objects constitute a research platform for the study of colored glazing; every few years producing complex series, characterized by extrovert and strong vividness. In the current exhibition, she decided to relinquish a considerable share of the color information, for a primary, monochromatic color palate of black, white, lemon green and electric blue.

The entire creative process seems to be formulating the relation between the finite and the infinite: on one hand, the repetitive creation of hundreds of particles is tossed between their finite dimension, since the action of construction and division concludes in complete work; on the other hand, the repetition produces variations and diversity of more-of-the-same as a means to an end, for expansion and extension.

The artwork series "Growing Downward" is constructed from a combination of clay fixtures alongside textile parts. The objects model a flora of exotic long-tongued flowers, tendrils dangling and twisting down from the ceiling. The integration between hard and soft materials creates an amorphic composition that also resembles vegetative images, possibly coral-like, possibly tropical plants.

A lemon green world is an expression of a world that, despite its artificialness, denotes the cruelty inherent in nature; a representation of parasitic plants that grow and take over other plants and feed on them. In conjunction with the distant imagery of the tropical forest, also prominent is the representation of the cactus, anchoring Zur's artwork in the local context in which she operates. Zur's creation unfolds a potential discussion about the local-cultural context in which she is works and to which she responds, as well as the violent act of exclusion from this context. We face cactus-like objects, a very Israeli imagery, or more accurately, an image appropriated as such. The cacti do not appear in their natural colors, but rather in monochromatic shades, sort of noncolors, emphasizing the act of erasure of the natural context and replicating it into the realm of creation.

"My contemporary creation brings together all the things that I, as a creative woman, gather and collect into myself. Since I was a teen, I was naturally painting and sculpting, but the practical-feminine aspect drew me to practice fashion. All of these, at some point, brought me to the most primary material, which is clay, that to me represents sensuality, femininity, and enabled me to express myself in the most expansive way."

The creation of Zur's inanimate nature positions a mirror facing nature, while playing with it an exciting game of imitation, distancing, coming closer, replication and transformation.

A colorful, profound piece of nature facing itself.

View Karin Zur CV

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