Etty Yaniv had never been to the Midwest, much less Macomb. But the Israeli born artist now working in Brooklyn was looking at web sites of art galleries, looking for a place to show her work.
She happened upon Western Illinois University’s Art Gallery web site, and was attracted to the building.
“I looked at the web site and I saw this building that looked very curious,” Yaniv said while taking a break from installing her work in the building’s upstairs gallery. “It’s industrial, and I have this thing with industrial buildings and industrial environments, and I thought ‘Maybe this will be interesting, let me talk to them’.”
Yaniv was also impressed with the past exhibits at the gallery, so she submitted her application, and was chosen to show at WIU.
Yaniv’s works are three dimensional, including sculptures on pedestals, works that hang from the ceiling and wall reliefs that seem to come right out the wall at the viewer. And while they are three dimensional, each work is made up of small pieces of paper that are fashioned into the larger work.
Those pieces of paper include bits of paintings, drawings, photographs, and in one piece, the safety instruction cards from airplanes.
Yaniv says her art brings people in for a closer look – sometimes too close.
“I notice that people find it very hard not to touch my work. I don’t particularly want them to touch my work, but I want them to want to touch my work,” Yaniv said.
Yaniv started out as a two-dimensional artist, but now takes the elements of her painting and drawing and adds in a third dimension. She also likes how her work looks at the WIU gallery.
“I like that idea of the enclosed space. With no windows, it’s very good for my work. It closes out the outside world and creates it own environment,” Yaniv said.
Etty Yaniv: Variable States of Suspension will be on display at the WIU Art Gallery through September 25. Yaniv will return to Macomb to give a lecture during the closing reception from 4:30-6:30 pm Thursday, September 25. This exhibition is funded in part by a Visiting Lectures Committee Grant Award.