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Philbrook Introduces Evron

First solo museum exhibition in the United States for emerging Israeli artist opens May 1st.

April 24, 2015 (Tulsa, Okla.) Philbrook Downtown debuts Nir Evron: Projected Claims during the Brady Arts District First Friday Art Crawl on May 1, 2015. This serves as the first solo exhibition at a museum in the United States for Nir Evron, an emerging Israeli artist, who has been attracting international attention and accolades.  Working in film, video and photography, Evron explores the intersections of history, culture, politics, identity, religion, and shifting borders, primarily focused on his native country of Israel and its areas of conflict.  The works in this exhibition examine these sweeping forces as captured and expressed through landscape, architecture, and city planning.

This original exhibition, curated by Lauren Ross during her time as Philbrook’s Nancy E. Meinig Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, presents a combination of recent and brand new work: two projected videos—In Virgin Land and Oriental Arch—and as well as selections from Threshold, a new series of doubly exposed black and white photographs in the Irene & Sanford Burnstein Gallery and the Lobeck Taylor Lobby of Philbrook Downtown, May 1 – October 18, 2015. After its presentation at Philbrook Downtown, the exhibition will travel to The Depot Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, November 6, 2015 – January 17, 2016.

In Virgin Land (2006) presents a series of striking images of the Israeli landscape.  Featuring tones of gray resembling celluloid film, the video showcases the country’s ecological diversity, from valleys to the sea.  Each shot is devoid of people or signs of development, presenting the location as a pristine paradise.  The audio voice-over, delivered in Hebrew with English subtitles, outlines the observations of a foreign visitor, sharing impressions as the land is explored. Initially this voice may seem to deliver a linear narrative from a single source, but before long, it is apparent that it is disjointed.  Only when the credits roll at the end of the video is it fully revealed that the spoken observations were pulled from a multitude of sources; visitors from diverse lands whose explorations took place over centuries.  The video is a meditation on the significance of the region to a wide swathe of people over a long history, including its sacred status as a holy land and homeland to multiple populations.

Oriental Arch (2009) is a video diary of sorts, capturing a single day at the Seven Arches Hotel on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem.  Through a series of slow, lingering shots, viewers are escorted through the hotel’s lobby, hallways, restaurant, and kitchen, observing the staff going through their daily routines despite the presence of relatively few guests.  The video has no narrative arc—other than the passing of time, from morning to night—or dialogue.  It offers the hotel as a place seemingly stuck in a temporal loop in which activities repeat on a daily basis, yet are disconnected from the present.  The hotel opened in the early 1960s as a place of luxury and import, but because of the annexation of the area in which it resides, today it is state run, and languishes in relative obscurity.

Threshold (2015), a brand new work, makes its debut in this exhibition.  This series of black and white images were shot by Evron on the site of Rawabi, a new Palestinian city currently under development in the West Bank.  This community, planned to eventually contain a population of over 40,000, is being constructed at a fast rate, with the financial backing of banks and companies investing over $1 billion USD.  Evron’s interest in documenting this site is due not only in its design and physical structure, but in its optimistic conception and marketing campaign, which portray the city as a middle class haven, despite the extreme turmoil and complex politics of the region.

Special funding for Nir Evron: Projected Claims was provided by the Artis Grant Program and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. A part of the 2015-17 Philbrook exhibition series, this exhibition is also made possible through generous funding from the following sponsors: Nancy and Peter Meinig, the Philbrook Contemporary Consortium, Barbara and Hal Allen, Barnett Family Foundation, The George & Wanda Brown Foundation, Fulton and Susie Collins Foundation, Margo and Kent Dunbar, Mabrey Bank, Sam J. and Nona M. Rhoades Foundation, Jill and Robert Thomas, Susan and William Thomas.

Special Opening Events:

A Conversation with the Artist: Nir Evron

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 6 - 7:00 p.m.

Philbrook Downtown

Meet the Artist: Nir Evron

Brady Arts District First Friday Art Crawl

Friday, May 1, 2015, 6-9:00 p.m.

Philbrook Downtown

About the Artist:

Nir Evron (b. 1974, Israel) lives in Tel Aviv.  He has had solo exhibitions at LAXART in Los Angeles; the Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv; Herzeliya Museum of Contemporary Art; among other venues.  His work has been included in group exhibitions at such venues as The Israel Museum, Jerusalem and Neuberger Museum of Art, and has been included in many international exhibitions, including the 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014); The International Center of Photography Triennial in New York (2013); and the 6th Berlin Biennale (2010).  His work is in the collections of Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt; The Israel Museum; and The Tel Aviv Museum.  Evron received the 2015 Miron Sima Prize for the Visual Arts, a biannual prize awarded to Israeli artists.  He earned his BFA in photography and media from Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem and his MFA from the Slade School of Art in London.  Since 2007, he serves as a professor of photography at Bezalel.  He is represented by Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv.

About the Curator:

Lauren Ross served as Nancy E. Meinig Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Philbrook Museum of Art from 2011-2014 where she organized original exhibitions like Remainder (2013), which brought together recent and new works by several up and coming female sculptors including Diana Al-Hadid, Rachel Beach, and Kate Gilmore, and Fever & Flash (2014), featuring Pop art by artists such as Andy Warhol. She also served as a member of the strategic leadership team for the Museum’s satellite space, Philbrook Downtown. In 2014, Ross accepted the inaugural curatorial position with the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she plays a key role defining and establishing the cutting-edge programming.   

About Philbrook:

Rooted in the beauty and architecture of an historic home gifted by the Phillips family 75 years ago, Philbrook Museum of Art has grown to become one of the preeminent art museums across the central United States located in Tulsa, Okla. Highlights of the Museum’s permanent collection include Renaissance and Baroque paintings from the Kress Foundation, American portraiture and landscape, one of the greatest surveys of Native American art anywhere, and growing modern and contemporary collections. The Philbrook main campus spans 23 acres of grounds and formal gardens, and features an historic home displaying the museum’s permanent collection, as well as an architectural addition with auditorium, restaurant, library, and education studios. Philbrook Downtown, a satellite location in Tulsa’s Brady Arts District, showcases Philbrook’s modern and contemporary art collections, as well as the Eugene B. Adkins Collection and Study Center of Native American art.

Philbrook Downtown is open Wednesdays – Saturdays, 12 – 7 p.m. and Sundays, 12 – 5 p.m. Philbrook Museum of Art is open Tuesdays – Sundays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. CST.  Museum admission runs $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and university students; Philbrook Museum Members and youth 17 and younger are always free. For additional information, visit www.philbrook.org.

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