Guy Yanai: Bateau Promenade

October 15, 2016
Saturday, October 15: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Harper’s Books is pleased to announce Bateau Promenade, a solo exhibition of work by Israeli painter Guy Yanai. Featuring a selection of ten intimately scaled and six medium-sized oil paintings on linen, this show highlights Yanai’s continuing focus on depicting leisurely outdoor and interior settings through precise linear brushstrokes. Bateau Promenade will open with a reception attended by the artist on Saturday, October 15, and will be on view at Harper’s Books in East Hampton through mid-December.

Yanai’s oeuvre primarily portrays the immediate recreational surroundings of modern middle class life: dinghies afloat on placid lakes, peaceful beachfront properties, potted floral arrangements, and well manicured lawns. Elements of colorful serene landscapes or vacant rooms are isolated and closely cropped in a deadpan fashion, leaving the viewer to wonder what resides beyond the composition. In Yanai's Old House, a nod is given to David Hockney’s idyllic 1967 painting, A Lawn Sprinkler, but the source of the spritzing water is omitted from the frame. Formally, Yanai’s sensibility has been greatly influenced by post-impressionistic art historical legacies, particularly the constrained paintings devised by the Pointillist school. Much like the method of applying tiny dots of pigment all over the picture plane, his brushwork is relegated to rigid horizontal lines. Each stroke often traverses the entire surface and avoids jetting out at alternate angles or overlapping with its accompanying bands. Secondary coats and vertical lines are prudently reserved to demarcate figures from the ground in his arrangements, or are only applied when necessary. It is as if Yanai’s hand plays the mechanical role of an inkjet printer, successively swiping on hues of paint until he arrives at a total image. In the same way that the interrelation between color and shape largely informs his artistic technique, Yanai also negotiates the influence of digital aesthetics on the physical canvas. As a whole, Bateau Promenade embodies how traditional approaches in painting are being reworked through the prism of technological advancement.

Born in 1977 in Haifa, Israel, Guy Yanai currently lives and works in Tel Aviv. He attended Parsons School of Design and the New York Studio School in New York, NY, and received his BFA from Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. Yanai has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions internationally, with recent solo shows at Rod Barton (Brussels) in 2016, Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe (New York) in 2015, and Galerie Derouillon (Paris) in 2014.