Tirtzah Bassel: The Line Starts Here

Tirtzah Bassel, Ikea/Couple, 60”x72”, acrylic and oil on canvas, 2014 (courtesy
Tirtzah Bassel, Ikea/Couple, 60”x72”, acrylic and oil on canvas, 2014 (courtesy of the artist)

Etty Yaniv reviews the exhibition Tirtzah Bassel: The Lines Start Here at Slag, Bushwick, Brooklyn, on view through May 11, 2014.

Yaniv writes: "Charged with urgency, precision and an acute sense of place, Tirtzah Bassel's luminous oil paintings at Slag capture figures lingering in uncannily familiar public spaces. Whether the subject matter of these canvases are crowds, couples, or single figures, the related verbs are of present continuous tense; standing, sitting, resting. These paintings, waiting in line at Trader Joe’s, sitting on an Ikea sofa to check a text message, or stretching horizontally on a bare mattress in the bedroom section, all entail the action in non-action. Although the commercial spaces these figures populate are filled with utilitarian objects such as red (and empty) shopping carts and a row of colorful sofas or beds, these interiors convey a strong sense of void. Objects multiply, proliferate and are caught along with their creators at the same space in an odd symbiosis."