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The unimaginable Horizon

Maya Gelfman


In her new exhibition, Maya Gelfman explores deep psychological states through a series of non-objective paintings. These works can be seen as a form of cartography, maps to hidden places, to blocked paths, to new roads. This marks a shift in Gelfman’s repertoire. Her practice was figurative, symbolic, rooted in researching mythologies as a reference point to understanding trauma. But in these new paintings, she renounces such practices. This corresponds with profound shifts in her life.

In 2017, Gelfman and her partner embarked on an ambitious performative experiment. They donated their possessions, moved to a foreign country and took an old van as their home. They invited strangers to dictate their route and next interactions, and they created public works that reflected those experiences. The “Serendipity Experiment” lasted 4 years across 100,000 km in the USA. The pandemic found them still on the road. Without a home-base to quarantine in, without the safety net of a family or income, the notion of “embracing uncertainty” took on an even deeper meaning.

Having recently settled down again, Gelfman could finally go back to studio work. There, she encountered an inner blockade – past inspirations, techniques and means were no longer accessible. “I felt they were frozen inside me, or rusty. Not being able to fully process all the experiences and changes I had gone through, I could not just pick up from where I left.”

The breakthrough came when she stopped trying to “paint something” and shifted to “conveying the rusty feeling of being stuck”, when she allowed the subconscious to manifest directly onto the canvas. This unleashed an uninhibited creativity.

She painted 25 paintings in 4 months.

Maya Gelfman (born 1978, Israel). A multidisciplinary artist, working at the seam between painting, installation and street-art.

In 2006 she graduatde from Shenkar College of Art & Design. Gelfman had eight nine solo exhibitions, including the one in AG18 Gallery, opening on October 20th, 2022 in Vienna, Austria.
She also participated in numerous group exhibitions. Among others, at the Israel National Museum, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Haifa Museum of Art, The National Gallery in Bangkok, Art Rooms Art Fair in London, Art Basel Miami, Tama University of Art in Tokyo and By the People Art Festival in the Smithsonian and the National Cathedral, Washington D.C., USA.

Her works were featured in the media, both in print and online, as well as in films and on TV. They were published in four art books: in Germany, France, Colombia, U.S.A and England.

In 2013 Gelfman gave a TEDx talk about her artistic process, sharing the stage with Tel Aviv’s prominent women leaders. She’s also a well-known street-artist. Her unique technique of drawing on walls with tangible materials (wool) is her signature. In 2015 Paper Magazine named her among the top ten street-artists in Israel. In 2009 Gelfman co-founded a public art project called Mind the Heart!, with her partner. Their project creates site specific works that reached over a 100 cities across 5 continent.

Also on display:

Works by the young artist Julian Kadrnoschka (born 1996) . Fascinating paper creations. Colorful compositions. Created in a process of acting and reacting. With the courage to follow spontaneously occurring ides, to reflect on them and to shape them.