New York

Tzvi Ben-Aretz

Ape Gallery/Dooley le Cappellaine Gallery

Tzvi Ben-Aretz, an Israeli-born artist working and living in New York, became known in the late ’70s for his photo-documented performances featuring his own inert body in a variety of settings. In the tradition of Ana Mendieta and Joseph Beuys, these “live installations” were staged against the stark, urban backdrop of New York City, or in galleries, as part of sculptural ensembles with both natural and industrially fabricated components. His was a unique synthesis of body art and Minimalism—two very different modes of challenging the border between life and art culminatingin a number of “exhibits” exploring the most overdetermined and fundamental image in the history of art, the cross.

During the object-oriented ’80s, Ben-Aretz put aside his “body installations” in favor of painting, only to return to them in two recent works to resume his investigation of the cruciform. Thankfully free

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