Yehudit Sasportas

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)

The Carpenter and the Seamstress, 2000–2001, the first major work by Yehudit Sasportas to be seen outside her native Israel, was a room-scale installation (at Deitch Projects in New York) pitched at an uneasy juncture between painting, sculpture, and architecture—a collapsed or compressed architecture, in fact, that seemed to convey a concentrated emotional tension whose reason could not be reconstructed from its form. Even once told that the underlying structure referred to the floor plan of the artist’s childhood apartment and that the seemingly archetypal figures of its title are her parents, the work’s combination of formal austerity and coloristic lyricism remained as hermetic as it was seductive.

Sasportas’s new installation, By the River, 2002, builds on the framework of The Carpenter and the Seamstress yet allows more points of entry. It’s not exactly that the new work is less

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