Lent by Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, NY
Born 1953, Tel Aviv, Israel
Works in Long Island City, NY
Ilan Averbuch makes indoor and outdoor sculptures in different combinations of common building materials—stone, wood, metal, and glass. Many components are recycled; their former uses are revealed through the remnants of surface details. Some of Averbuch's works appear to defy gravity, as hidden complex constructions allow wooden planks to float and fragile glass to support heavy stone. His sculptures balance whimsical forms against serious themes and heavy, chunky carved elements with elegant results. Architectural, archaeological, and Biblical subjects are common in the artist's pieces—no doubt influences of his Israeli heritage.
My Three Lilies, fantastic in size and emerging from a ground of stone, appears to be a primitive monument to Stone Age flora—rough-hewn granite forms of long-extinct flowers reconstructed from an archeological dig. Other references to the passage of time and ancient cultures are seen in the channels that trace the veins of the sculpture's petals—allusions to ancient aqueducts, agricultural irrigation systems, and the gradual water-induced erosion of canyon walls. The appeal of this piece comes from its stark contrasts: the fragility, softness, and temporal nature of real flowers versus the strength, roughness, and longevity of stone.