New York

Sharon Ya'ari

Lombard-Fried Projects

LIVING IN ISRAEL, a country with a painfully acute sense of the mutual dependency of geography and national identity, Sharon Ya'ari is particularly aware of the socially constructed character of the landscape. His new series of photographs, “Last Year,” 2000, portrays the environment beyond the city limits, where the Israeli terrain is open and only sparsely populated. Those few individuals who do appear in the images manage to destabilize what would otherwise be a fairly classical depiction of verdant pastures and rolling hills.

Ya'ari sets up his shots with a plein-air painter's sensibility for framing devices, paths leading the eye into the distance, and figures grouped according to compositional rules established centuries ago. Yet unlike, say, the people in Renaissance pastoral scenes, who are in tune with their surroundings, those who occupy these spaces appear to be trapped, implying

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