Hilla Toony Navok at Artport TLV


Artist: Hilla Toony Navok

Exhibition title: Wall to Wall

Venue: Artport TLV, Tel Aviv, Israel

Date: August 30 – October 15, 2016

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Artport TLV

Hilla Toony Navok’s work focuses on deciphering the abstract-formalistic origins and aesthetic codes of everyday surroundings: public spaces, domestic mass-produced home-decor and everyday commodities. By doing so her works uncover the fantasies and promises concealed within the concept of “design”.

Through her sculptures, installations, and drawings, Hilla Toony Navok “dances on a color palette.” This dada-like definition perfectly embodies her attention to formalism, a formalism that is obsessively pursued both with color juxtapositions and with the choice of specific materials (palette); at the same time it (the dance) also underlines her interest in performance, which mostly remain under the skin of her works, surfacing only rarely in her video and kinetic works.

Any painter will agree that a palette is a painting tool and at the same time a sculptural object; in her ‘three-dimensional paintings’, Navok takes poor and cheap materials such as sponges, Formica, wires, document folders, and plastic objects of various kinds in order to conceive colorful display-like arrangements that are fragile and at the same time massive; clumsy and yet monumental; painterly but always part of the history of sculpture. However her position as “performative colorist” doesn’t distract her from the political implications related to her work. In her recent exhibition, “Wall to Wall”, Navok uses a carpet to paint the gallery space – the floor is turned upside-down to become celling, the celling and walls to become floor. The blue color palette brings to the interior a hint of water. The space diffuses into one whole new surroundings, where two additional large-scale wall sculptures function as horizons, or as windows with views.

–Nicola Trezzi