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Amikam Toren

Armchair Paintings

24 September — 9 November 2003

Armchair Paintings
, the title of an ongoing series by Israeli/British artist Amikam Toren, is taken from Matisse’s knowing reference to paintings as essentially comforting and domestic. In Toren’s case, the work consists of cheap oils on canvas, purchased by him from second-hand shops and markets, then defaced as he cuts a stencilled text into the picture plane. Like the paintings, the texts are ready-mades appropriated from graffiti and improvised signage, often tough and sometimes offensive. At Ikon the painting were located in non-gallery spaces including the restaurant, stairwell and men’s toilet, quietly challenging conventional definitions of art, its material nature and notions of its proper place in the world.