Pavel Wolberg | Hide. and. Seek
Pavel Wolberg | Hide. And. Seek.
Pavel Wolberg’s HIDE. AND SEEK. is a portfolio of 18 color photographs published in 2014 as a limited edition by Andrea Meislin Gallery and the artist. An inimitable documentation of religious rituals and ceremonies enacted by Hasidic sects in Israel, HIDE. AND SEEK. offers a rare glimpse into the highly insular lives of the ultra-orthodox.
Originally trained as a photojournalist, Pavel Wolberg’s photographs are informative in nature, yet spiritual, almost mystical, in their visual presence. Informed by the works of European Old Masters, Wolberg uses light and shade to create baroque-like scenes that are purely documentary. Through vivid images, sharp contrasts and dynamic compositions, the 18 images in this portfolio display the obtrusive traditions and inconspicuous mechanisms that drive some of the world’s most claustral communities.
Effortlessly yet sensitively, Wolberg—the perceptive observer—captures the essence and ethos of commonplace Hasidic rituals. Depicting ceremonies such as weddings, Purim celebrations, or the act of Tashlich, this body of work forms a nuanced outlook on the throbbing heart of these ancient traditions: the delicate relations between the individual and the group, male and female, man and god, reverence and revelation.
In his painterly sensibility, and deep understanding of how light can structure perception, Wolberg masterfully transposes the viewer into a different, unearthly world where contradictions harmoniously coexist. As such, he presents a unique correlation between form and content, documentation and mysticism, realism and religion, sacred and mundane.
HIDE. AND SEEK. presents a complex web of connections, connotations and relations rarely exposed to the secular eye. Being immersed in these communities, yet still an outsider, Wolberg created a body of work that “inhabits an intermediary space with much room for reflection.”
Images from HIDE. AND SEEK. were the subject of Wolberg’s 2014 solo-presentation A World Apart at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY.
Born 1966 in Leningrad, Pavel Wolberg works and lives in Tel Aviv. Major solo museum exhibitions for the artist include Gemak Museum Hag; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester; Ashdod Art Museum; and Herzliya Museum of Art.
Wolberg has participated in numerous group exhibitions at institutions including the 52nd Venice Biennale; the Martin-Gropius-Bau, KIM-Kunst Im Tunnel, Düsseldorf; La collection Antoine de Galbert; La Maison Rouge; Paris; Jewish Museum, Amsterdam; Passage de Retz, Paris; Krefeld Museum; Exit Art, New York; and Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
His work is represented in prominent public and private collections, among them the TAMA Museum of Modern Art, Tel Aviv Museum; Fondation Carmignac, Fond National d’Art Contemporain, France; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The Jewish Museum, NYC; La Maison Rouge, Fondation A. de Galbert, Paris. Wolberg received the Leon Constantiner Prize for Israeli Photography in 2005, and the Sony World Photography Award in 2011. In 2017, Wolberg was shortlisted for the seventh cycle of the global Prix Pictet award.