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Artist Ghiora Aharoni Remixes the Origin Story of the Universe

04.25.22 | By
Artist Ghiora Aharoni Remixes the Origin Story of the Universe
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Israeli-born American artist Ghiora Aharoni re-mixes time, science, and multiple religions into dazzlingly complex glass assemblages. Seven sculptures from “The Genesis Series” take center stage along with other glass works in an exhibition titled “Inception” on view at Sundaram Tagore Gallery in New York this month.

Alternate view of installation of works from Genesis Series at Sundaram Tagore Galleryof works with Day VII at center

Ghiora Aharoni: Inception, installation at Sundaram Tagore Gallery

Aharoni began the “The Genesis Series” in 2008, incorporating iconography and text referencing scientific, spiritual, mystical, and cultural beliefs surrounding creation narratives. The works contain antique glass lab equipment dating from the 1920s-1970s, bird skeletons, miniature trees, and an expansive variety of religious artifacts. In this brief video interview produced by Joods Cultureel Kwartier, Aharoni points out several specific elements, including Torah finials and Muslim ceremonial objects. The glass is etched with the entire first chapters of Genesis.

"Day I B" Sculpture

The Genesis Series – Day I B, 2021

Buddha sculpture and tree within "Day I B" sculpture

The Genesis Series – Day I B, 2021 (detail)

"Day III" Sculpture featuring miniature tree

The Genesis Series – Day III B, 2021

Detail of "Day II B" sculpture showing two bird skeletons

The Genesis Series – Day II B, 2021 (detail)

Equal parts beautiful and jarring, each sculpture feels like a time machine: futuristic, ancient, and unbelievable. Biblical scholars may be additionally confused:  Aharoni explains that each sculpture was first constructed to hold only items that represented that specific day of the story (note that each work is titled after the “day”), but upon the completion of the 7th day sculpture, he mixed up the elements across the works to “challenge the linear story of creation.”

Skeleton of a bird in "Day IV B" sculpture.

The Genesis Series – Day IV B, 2021 (detail)

Two model trees and a rams head in "Day V B" sculpture

The Genesis Series – Day V B, 2021 (detail)

The Glass "Day VI B" sculpture

The Genesis Series – Day VI B, 2021

Two views of "Day VII B" Sculpture

The Genesis Series – Day VII B, 2022

Best of all, this collision of science and multiple religions doesn’t feel like a conflict to be solved, but a joyful and curious celebration of humanity and wonder. Or, in the words of Aharoni: “The idea that we are all connected, that the fabric of humanity is inherently interwoven.”

Installation of works with Day VII at center

Ghiora Aharoni: Inception, installation at Sundaram Tagore Gallery

Entrance of "Inception" exhibition at Sundaram Tagore Gallery

Ghiora Aharoni: Inception, installation at Sundaram Tagore Gallery

Check out more amazing images of these and additional series on Sundaram Tagore Gallery’s website now, and visit Ghiora Aharoni’s Inception in person if you can, on view through April 30th. It’s a surprising discovery with every step.

What: Ghiora Aharoni: Inception
Where: Sundaram Tagore Gallery, 542 W 26th St, New York, NY
When: March 31 – April 30, 2022

All images courtesy of the artist and Sundraram Tagore Gallery.

David Behringer visits over 200 galleries every month to uncover and share the most exciting contemporary art in New York today. Subscribe to his exclusive weekly newsletter at www.thetwopercent.com and learn about his private gallery tours. And be sure to check out his YouTube.