Artwork

Benni Efrat
Adding to Subtract , 1969-70

Benni Efrat is considered to be among Israel’s most prominent exponents of conceptual art. He expressed his multifaceted treatment of the status of the artwork in drawing, painting, sculpture installation, photography, experimental film and performance. A series of artworks that he embarked upon in the late 1960s is concerned with the contradictory way in which addition and subtraction are inextricably linked. In this series of artworks, Efrat develops an abstract, geometrical formal vocabulary based upon serial patterns and structures. Minimalist and conceptual art aimed to be as impersonal as possible (or to appear so), often avoiding the artist’s touch altogether and leaving the actual manufacture of the artwork to industrial production processes; in this case, on the other hand, the running of the ink creates inexactitudes in the pen drawing Adding to Subtract of 1969-70, which remind of an individual writing. An additional ink drawing shows a structure of horizontal and vertical grid lines, meeting at right angles. This reduction down to the purely orthogonal is broken up by the imperfection of the lines traced in ink.

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