Digital Drawings: Natan Nuchi March 13 - June 21, 2000 - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Digital Drawings: Natan Nuchi March 13 - June 21, 2000

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Thursday, June 1, 2000

Natan Nuchi explores abstraction, scale, and time, as the pixel unit of the computer image becomes the artist's brush stroke, representational figures dissolve and reappear, and the computer process enters into an art tradition which emphasizes gesture, intimacy, and humanism. Nuchi created the iris prints in this series directly on the computer, using a mouse instead of a pencil or a brush and a monitor instead of paper or canvas. He formed the images in low resolution with the intention of enlarging them in such a way that the pixels (the single units of the computer image) show in the enlargement. Nuchi believes that the pixel is "the equivalent of the single brush stroke in painting. To maintain the essence of the computer image it is important to make the pixels apparent." The artist uses the pixels for shading, color, and linear effects.

Although the primary preoccupation in these works of figures and faces is humanistic and existential, visual perception and the process of image making are reconsidered as a result of the use of a new medium: Lines which appear to be the result of fast gestures "slow down" when closer inspection reveals they are built up of "stable" vertical and horizontal pixels. In a similar way, images and organic shapes break down into abstract, hard edge shapes and pixels when viewed up close. There is a lack of concrete congruence between the drawing hand and the drawn image, the hand rolls the mouse on the pad and the image is being drawn in different size, speed, and sometimes at a different time on the monitor and is ultimately printed out in a different size on another medium. The Israeli-born Nuchi remarked, "In these works I have attempted to enter a wider existential visual tradition and at the same time 'warm up' the computer and enter it into the tradition which emphasizes gesture, intimacy, and humanism."

Nuchi's work is included in many collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, the New York Public Library, and the Israel Museum. His work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Israeli Art (Ramat Gan, Israel), the B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum (Washington, D.C.), the Haifa Museum of Modern Art (Haifa, Israel), the Klarfeld Perry Gallery (New York, NY), and La Mama's La Galleria Second Classe (New York, NY); and in group exhibitions in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Israel, England, and Germany.

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.