Yoram Chisin is a French-Israeli painter who creates abstract artworks that explore notions of time, experience, conflict and beauty.
The Israeli-based painter Yoram Chisin creates abstract works that explore the conflicting realities of war and beauty. He was born in Toulouse, France, and emigrated to Israel with his parents in 1973. Prior to being an artist, he worked in the fashion industry and developed an admiration for aesthetic elegance by working for Christian Lacroix in his twenties. Since making the transition to painting, Yoram constantly fuses his love of beautiful fabrics and colours with working through his own emotions of pain, despair and bereavement. Using large, dripping squares of colour on a variety of supports including wood, jute, and raw linen canvas, Yoram aims to create works of arresting visual depth and sculptural surface.
For Yoram, art is different from other forms of design and decoration because it “can live in a space without any connection to its surroundings.” In order to achieve this, he spends up to 6 or 7 months on each of his canvases in order to create deep colour fields that completely absorb the viewer. The textural, tactile and chromatic dimensions of Yoram’s paintings offer ways for him to translate his generational and personal trauma. As the grandchild of Holocaust survivors and himself a widower and veteran of the Lebanon-Israeli war, Yoram works through existential questions and experiences of suffering through his art. “I work with mystical colours and different materials that have a meaning.” explains the artist, “that can help create a feeling of calm in the chaos of this world.” The square is a motif that Yoram constantly returns to that provides a “framework” that gives shape to the chaotic emotions Yoram expresses. “The square is part of my identity: I want to create my own language through art,” he explains.
Recently, Yoram has hit upon an essential element of his artistic language: Nuclear blue. Inspired by Yves Klein’s signature matte deep blue pigment, Yoram slowly worked on creating his own shade of blue with a particular textural quality. His source of inspiration was the unearthly blue glow emitted by water exposed to nuclear radiation; this phenomenon first discovered by the Nobel Prize winner Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov occurs when radiation passes through water faster than the speed of light, creating shock waves and interference that produces a bright blue light. Yoram’s use of blue blends his preoccupations with pigment, colour and materiality, with his personal history and memories of his time in the military. Nuclear blue bears witness to a world below the surface where the intensity of colour means danger. Beauty and danger are never far apart - his memories of war encompass images of the beautiful sea and coast of Lebanon, masking a reality in which land mines and death hover below the surface.
Yoram has exhibited in Paris and New York. His debut in London is taking place from 14 February to 23 April 2023 at 45 Park Lane.
In this conversation with Yoram, we hear about his artistic process and in particular how he manuipulates pigments to create textures and shadows. Yoram's work is experimental - he plays with colours, but also explores how different support react to pigments to create visual effects. From wood to linen to the jute of coffee bags, he uses materials to vary the expression of his painting.
Yoram's artworks, their very texture and 3D aspect reflect his history, his wounds and his soul. His paintings are expressions of his inner turmoil, and attempts to work through them.