“A sketch is the art of the possible between the accidental and the compulsory It is testing before reaching perfection” - Igal Vardi
Igal Vardi’s exhibition focuses on one single subject – the sketch. The drawn line, one of the primordial elements in human culture (cave paintings), serves Igal Vardi as a point of observation and a plastic statement maintaining its own lucid declaration, in the center of which is the desire to capture, by the simplicity and the cleanliness of the drawn line, a transient and rapid movement of life. The pencil line, by its very nature, will seek the rapid journey in time, the skipping between forms of volume and lines of expression, by the free flow of the hand movement, pointing to a conscious process, requesting to expose the subject’s inner nature.
The conscious process, examining, checking and uniting the specific details, and the emotional impulse contending with the liquidity of time, and endeavoring to touch the essence, both these characterize the sweeping drawing movement in the accumulated works. The abstraction represents the attempt to reach the spiritual dimension in the world of phenomena, the reality flowing in a multitude of sketches in front of our eyes. “Maximum abstraction is in its nature devoid of color, devoid of density and breadth. Such is the drawn line…ideally, it is the narrowest strip, and the greatest renunciation of materialism in the spheres of the artistic expression”. (Dr. Gideon Efrat), The Artistic Medium, p. 16, Stavit Publishers). In the “reduction” process, and in the minimalism searching for its essence, processes of prior knowledge solidify before becoming evident. A deconstruction of form out of the area, a bestowing of volume and movement - all these are a result of training and examination, and continuous observation, desiring to deliver the transient moment, expressed in “an irrational, unplanned act, in which images are scribbled almost directly from the subconscious on to the paper” (Gideon Efrat, ibid).
The drawn lines in Igal Vardi’s works leave forms slightly open, and the observer’s look completes the outline, a movement creating a sense of emotional identification and experiential involvement. The observer follows the line’s changing directions, and desires to “reach” the place which is a kind of merging with the transient form.
In Paul Klee’s (1879-1940) pedagogic notebook dedicated to observation and analysis of the visual components of works of art, Klee presents the broad range of the communicative possibilities embedded in using the line. Klee relates to the line as a living and breathing thing able to break through decisively, hesitate, change direction, expand and contract or flow. The line is an expressive tool for expressive moods with virtually infinite potential.
This approach is at the basis of our experience opposite Igal Vardi’s drawings. Igal’s line wishes to embrace the quavering presence, the existential encounter between one man and another (a couple, sports, dancing), or between one animal and another a bull fight, horses). an almost musical movement outline brings to the paper the power in the encounter and in the occurrence, and thereby represents its veiled presence, and its vitality. As stated, the drawings do not wish to present the external of things but rather inner processes; within the drawings’ structure the forces of creativity design a veiled presence. The observer’s look is turned to this location of revealed and veiled forms and absorbs a world of a stratum of living and exciting reality. In a conversation held in Dusseldorf on August 8, 1979 between Joseph Beuys, Heiner Bastian and Jano Ziman, (“Inside Outside and the Hidden”, Pamphlet Line 8), Beuys says: “…there is an apparent world, and a veiled world. Everything located under the vision’s threshold, powers and their relationships, forms and their relationships, energy and its influences, belong to the veiled world. This world also contains what we call the ‘inner life’ which we are accustomed to see as located within ourselves. Man’s inner self is not circumscribed by the skin… The soul is one of the components of the external world, but is invisible”.
In the reciprocal play between the various powers, these transformations are hidden forms. In drawing an animal there is an endeavor to depict the inner life, and all the forces acting continuously within it, and there is another important association – people’s approach to animals. From that point of view we see an animal as something outside itself, as an unrelated world, existing somehow as a sort of collection of facts only.
In the struggle or confrontation revealed in the “pairs” drawings – images, and animals are shown, with an intimate process undergone by Igal Vardi, of the type described by Beuys, containing complete systems of inner power. The lines seeking the unequivocal outline to the essence, which sometimes are complex forms and occasionally simple almost geometrical forms, are according to Igal Vardi “the Being and the Nothingness creating form. The reality is a texture of assorted sketches”. In his essay on the spiritual in art Wassily Kandinsky said in this context: “the flexibility of the single form, its organic internal changing so to speak, its direction in the picture (movement), the material or abstract’s decisive weight, drawing near and distancing of individual forms, are like pure geometrical forms (simple and complex), and they as forms are not given to geometrical drawing - all these are the fundamentals creating the possibility for pure figurative counterpoint…and this will be the counterpoint of the white black art, as long as the color is absent”. (On the Spiritual in Art, p. 61, Mosad Bialik Publishers).
When the artist makes an effort to mark the inner associations, apparently by means of the visual gesture, he holds a dialogue with the evasive component of time. Particles of information turn by a spontaneous connection into the essence which is the interval in time, and the drawing’s character, of the developing line around itself, which apparently has neither starting nor end point, just as an Ouroboros snake grasping its own tail, the ancient symbol of eternal wholeness, growing into its own transformation…The quantum self built from numerous sub-presentations of self, and often existing in a state of fluctuation, the quantum self is a more liquid self developing and changing at any given moment, and sometimes containing a presence of self greater than itself” (Dr. Dana Zohar The Quantum Self).
In the Zen koans The Sound of the One Hand, Paldin Press, p. 41, the teacher asks the student: “where will one hand reach?” and the student will put his hand on the floor and say: “This is the distance it will reach”.
In an infinite number of drawings, Igal Vardi clarifies the question of the visual perception of reality, the relationships in time between the observer and the observed. Many hundreds of drawings are particles of the continuous wave. Like one continuous line, the work of one artist’s hand touches the fundamental and arises from the fundamental.