Gilead Keydar’s paintings and drawings are a lyrical gesture punctuated by an acute understanding of the medium. Gilead Keydar is an artist who most often works on found wood: doors, cabinets, planks. By investing these surfaces with his personal axioms, both literal and abstract, he informs his paintings with a transcendent quality that invokes a canny and profound understanding of human nature, the act of painting, the visual lexicon, as well as a sublime sense of ubiquitous reality.
Keydar’s wooden pieces are energized with a secondary essence when he adds paint on, or alternatively removes shavings off, of the wood. His strokes of paint and engraving are sometimes agitated, sometimes tempered, but always revitalizing to the original surface. The act of painting- his gestures – relates to the original surfaces and, together with them, form a new image. His use of doors is seemingly serendipitous but essentially laden with questions of openings and closures which force the viewer to examine their literal and philosophical comings and goings.
Keydar’s reduction of form and composition to the most basic of expressionistic and painterly language informs his works with a rejection of familiar artistic vocabulary. His virtuoso skills are seemingly rejected in favor “a sort of Zen-like gesture of touch and movement, precariously suspended between being and nothingness.”*
*Tali Tamir, “A Glass Half-Empty, A Glass Half-Full”, New Diagrams Exhibition Catalogue, Tal Esther Gallery, 2002.