Yoram Wolberger: The Petting Zoo
September 10 - October 23, 2004
Mark Moore Gallery is pleased to announce the first Los Angeles exhibition of the work of Israeli-American sculptor Yoram Wolberger. Wolberger is drawn to familiar objects known to us from ordinary domestic life. By physically inverting, slicing or –in the case of his new work to be shown at Mark Moore Gallery—enlarging these objects, Wolberger exposes that which we choose not to, or simply do not, see. Wolberger shows us the 'familiar' in a new light and re-contextualized, uncovering hidden and unexplained significance from the iconic objects.
In Wolbeger’s spring 2004 exhibition War (What Is It Good For?) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago last spring, viewers were presented with a dramatic confrontation. A life-size, green toy soldier took aim at three machine gun-toting men dressed in camouflage fatigues. With flanges of plastic not yet removed from its seams, Wolberger's Toy Soldier appeared freshly pulled from its mold, one of perhaps thousands of identical units ready for action. Its lurid color and elastic anatomy elicited memories of heroic battle on countless household floors.
In his show at Mark Moore Gallery, Wolberger will utilize life-size, digitally sculpted foam and pigmented resin sculptures, confronting the viewer with objects simultaneously overt and covert. These pieces, like Wolberger's Toy Soldiers and Bride and Groom, are appropriated from the childhood plastic molded toys of youth—in this case, an entire set of animals from a “Petting Zoo” complete with giant toy bunnies, sheep, and calves. The work once again strikes a subversive chord in the celebration of those things we as parents offer to our children as playthings, as toys, as surrogates, as models, and as talismans – and what that means to us all. Every Barbie, every Monster Truck, every plastic model Fighter Plane has a lasting impact. Wolberger begs to ask, “What do the objects we give to our children as toys have to say about our culture on the whole?”
Yoram Wolberger lives and works in Tel Aviv and San Francisco. Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Yoram Wolberger has exhibited, performed and co-curated shows in the United States and abroad. Wolberger received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and was a recipient of the Murphy Fine Arts and the Schmidt Family Foundation Fellowships. His installations and sculptures have been shown in galleries and museums such as Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Orange County Museum, CA, Tufts University Gallery, NY Armory, Scope Art Fair Miami, Scope Art Fair, New York, and the San Jose Museum of Art, CA