Norah Engler


An early rite of initiation into the ways of contemporary art might be said to involve learning disdain for beautiful landscape painting. London-based Israeli artist Nogah Engler ignores this taboo, or at least she works her way around it: Her recent paintings may be landscapes, but at least they are not entirely beautiful. In fact, there is something distinctly creepy about them. It’s not just that the skies are dark and threatening, the trees bare, the terrain sere and desolate; it’s that these elements don’t quite add up. They seem to have been collaged together from torn-up bits and pieces that almost match up—but not quite.

There are passages within each painting that feel, spatially, quite definite and meticulously worked out, but these bleed into areas that seem nebulous, confusing, somehow deceptive, and even threatening. Although the eye may be led from these ominous zones to others

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