Name

Maya Bloch

About

Born 1978, Israel. Lives and works in Tel Aviv.
mayasass@gmail.com

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017
Anybody Out There, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, NY

2016
Life Goes On Without Me, Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin

2014
Feels like Home, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, NY

2013
Here You Are, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, NY

2012
This Isn’t Happening, Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv
Art Los Angeles Contemporary with Thierry Goldberg, Santa Monica, California

2011
Hello Stranger, Thierry Goldberg Projects, New York, NY

2010
Waiting Room, Thierry Goldberg Projects, NY

2009
Anna Veronica, Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa

2008
Maya Bloch, Tavi Dresdner Gallery, Tel Aviv

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2018
Table Manners, The Genia Schreiber University Art Gallery, Tel Aviv, curator: Nirit Nelson

2015
You don't bring me flowers, 68projects, Berlin

2013
The Rothfeld Collection, American University Museum, Washington DC
CHICKEN OR BEEF? Curated by Jesper Elg, The Hole, NYC

2012
Dorian Gray, SecondGuest Gallery, NY
Facial Expressionism: Immanence Envisaged, Cerritos College Art Gallery, Los Angeles

2011
Artis at NADA Art Fair, Miami Beach
Solar Eclipse, Noga Gallery, Tel Aviv
Abdominal Pain, ST-art residence, Jaffa
Shesh-Besh, Petach-Tikva Museum, Petach Tikva, Israel

2010
Traces, The 4th Drawing Biennial, Artists' House, Jerusalem.
Escape Artist, Here Art Gallery, New York, NY
Girls Just Want to Have Funds, PPOW Gallery, New York, NY
Batsheva’s Studio, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
Restart, Tavi Art Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Start 2, ST-ART Residence, Jaffa-
Daylight, the Nechushtan Complex, Tel Aviv

2009
A Hard Day’s Night, Contemporary by Golconda Gallery, Tel Aviv
Lo – Li – Ta, Office in Tel Aviv Gallery, Tel Aviv
Narcissus’s reflections, P8 gallery, Jaffa

2008
Mr. Guskin, Balcony, Art TLV 08, Tel Aviv
White, project room, Tavi Dresdner Gallery, Tel Aviv
Educated, HAKITA Gallery, Tel Aviv
Connected Unconscious, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), NY

EDUCATION

2001- 2004 – M.A studies in Art History, Tel Aviv University
1998 – 2001 – B.A in Art History, Tel Aviv University

PRESS

Litmanen Pirita, "Maya Bloch", interview, Revs Magazine, Issue 19, Fall/Winter, 2017-2018, pages 36-45

Christopher Howard, Maya Bloch

Top 10: Exhibitions in April, Quiez Magazine, 11 April, 2016. https://www.qiez.de/berlin/top-listen/top-10-kunst-ausstellungen-in-berlin-im-april-2016/176673102

Scott Indirsek, “Maya Bloch – Reviews in Brief”, Modern Painters Magazine, March 2015, page 76.

Scott Indirsek, “7 Must-See Gallery Shows: From MFA Students to Warhol and Puryear”, Boulin Artinfo, December 15, 2014.

Maya Bloch at Thierry Goldberg Gallery, November 2014 in Pictures, Art Haps, November 14

Merjian, Ara H., “Maya Bloch”, Frieze Magazine, Issue 155., May 2013, page 220-221.

Elin Schoen Brockman, “The Arts: Israel’s American Canvas”, Hadassah Magazine, May 2013.

Karen Rosenberg, “Maya Bloch – here you are,” The New York Times, February 1, 2013.

“Maya Bloch”, Goings On About Town: Art, The New Yorker, Jan. 31, 2013.

Balestin, Juliana, “Maya Bloch at Thierry Goldberg Gallery”, New York, purple DIARY, Jan 22, 2012.

Priscilla Frank, Hello Stranger: HuffPost Arts Interviews Maya Bloch, January 2012.

Banai Noit, Best of 2011, Artforum.com, December 2011.

Heinrich Will, ‘On Display: Maya Bloch at Thierry Goldberg Projects", The New York Observer, March 2011.

Brooks, Kimberly, “Maya Bloch’s 'Hello Stranger’ at Thierry Goldberg Projects”, The Huffington Post, March 3, 2011.

Merjian, Ara H., “Maya Bloch at Thierry Goldberg Projects”, Art in America, October 2010.

Sutton, Benjamin, “Peculiar People on the L.E.S.”, The L Magazine, June 2010.

Kodner, Lior, “Draw me a Dream”, Haaretz, April 2010.

Tzur, Uzi, “Let Me Die with Batman”, Haaretz, July 2008.

Maya Bloch Interview by Pirita litmanen, Revs Magazine, Issue 19, Fall-Winter 2017-2018

How did you get into arts?

After short period of serving at the Israeli army, I decided to study art history at the University of Tel Aviv. I ended up doing my master in arts but was constantly facing difficulties with academic rules and authority. My researches often ended up annoying my professors.
At some point, disappointed and confused by the academy, I took a break and chance got me working as an assistant for a major Israeli artist, Tsibi Geva (b/ 1951). after years of studying art history and exploring the work of dead geniuses, this was the first time i encountered with a living working artist and the actual art scene. Gradually i realized that being an artist is a matter of choice. You choose to live your life as an artist; it’s about passion and commitment.
I started painting a long time before I saw myself as an artist. I began drawing at nights after my twin boys were born. I was tremendously exhausted, but also experienced an unexpected sharpness of the mind. I just had to paint, and everything suddenly made sense. It never stopped evolving and few months later i rented a studio and began painting on canvas.

How is the life of an artist in Israel?

As an Israeli artist you are most expected to follow some strict conventions in the socialization process. You are expected to have some kind of a political voice; you can't escape the political reality of oppression and survival. If you wish to be accepted into the pantheon of “Israeli art” you should say something in your artwork, try to change things with your strong voice within the art.
I found it extremely difficult. I was never a person of strong beliefs and values, these were not my wars. Life in Israel taught me the opposite, that every good can be seen as evil or lead to it, and nothing justified oppression like the feeling righteousness. I felt that if I am not opinionated, and don’t have a clear political point of view, I can’t be a “real artist” in the local meaning of the word.

Your paintings looks like magic. Can you describe the method you work in?

The art mediums and materials have always been part of my main interest in art. The medium is leading my method. If it’s acrylic and water – I let the paint lead me, the figures are liquidly rendered and I love the feeling of controlling the uncontrolled.
When I draw with a pen, my figures become something else, they are been built by tiny vibration of ink. They are more defined but fragile. Recently, i became more focused on graphite and pencils which i use on canvas. Mixing graphite with water and gesso creates all kind of effects. The results are monochromatic smoky paintings. It’s incredible to find so many shades and colors in the graphite’s narrow spectrum of grays. The graphite invites erasure. Everything is created out of the erasure act, but it can’t be deleted completely. It leaves marks on the canvas after i smear it. The mediums are determining the way my painting evolves. The process is made half by conscious decisions and half by the unexpected “events” that happen within the mediums.

What's the best advice you've been given or would like to give to other painters?

Best advice i have for painters is to get rid of the parts of the paintings they are most proud of. It’s a good exercise. After destruction of part of the drawings i usually try to find signs or figures (like in Rorschach test) and the imaginary inner world is taking over.

This issue of REVS is called 'Defiance'. what does the subject bring to your mind?

I usually tell myself:
"Listen to yourself, ask questions. don't believe any answer, not even your own. Be strong, keep going. Never do what you supposed to. There is no right, it's all wrong. This is where things become interesting. Explore your wrongness, play with it."

If you could defy anything - a law of physics / structure of society / an idea etc - what would it be?

I think that sometimes defiance is a form of obedience to an inner truth. I personally find it hard to possess those certainties, so I usually just defy the need to have one. I’m very suspicious toward righteousness, predictability, authority.

What kind of things, events or encounters inspire you?

Music is the most powerful inspiration for me. It makes me move in the world. It defines my feelings. I can't paint or draw in silence. The music i hear makes me draw-paint in a certain way. I cry a lot and music is the trigger. Painting and crying is a good combination.
Frequent trips to the library or book shops serves my passion of pursuing work of art. I have huge addiction to looking at art, especially paintings.
I’m also very intrigued by nature and extreme weather. Living in the USA and Canada for several years has made me more aware of the powerful effect of nature on people. I had a small balcony which was a great place to sit and look at different sunsets every day. Each time the light looks different. You feel like you live in a new reality.

I wanted to ask you to share a thought or an idea that has touched you lately with our readers.

A few weeks ago i returned to Israel after living and working in NYC for three years. I’m watching this familiar place, this home of mine with much more compassion and acceptance than before. Maybe i got more mature. I took a little trip back to Beer Sheva, my hometown, and it was so familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. Exploring it further might be one of my next goals.

What makes you afraid and how do you overcome it?

Time passing by too quickly, which I have no control over. Bad things that could happen to the people I love, Unfortunately, no control over this issue either. I accept these fears and try to live in peace with it. It’s part of life.

What’s the hardest subject you’ve worked on?

The hardest subject I’ve worked on was a painting titled “Parents”. My father just passed away a short while before. I was overwhelmed by the understanding that parents will not be there forever, that you need to break up, to say goodbye. At the beginning I tried to draw reclining female figure, i erased part of her face and gradually recognized my father's face in it. It was so disturbing for me because it looked like my dead father is lying there with a dress. it was absurd but I decided to keep it as it was. The day after I turned the canvas to the side so the figure would stand straight and added another figure holding his/her hand. It was an unusual attempt to draw myself, which was actually quite difficult. Another figure was added later. The painting went through so many changes during the months, so many characters appeared and left before I was satisfied. Each left their marks and footprints, you can still find plenty of small “surprises” within this painting. It’s the result of a very long and difficult process.