‘Ram Samocha’s work has foregrounded drawing for a number of years - drawing of a very physical kind, prominently featuring a frenetic layering of lines that serves to trace a history of performative gestures over time. In fact he has also engaged quite literally in the act of drawing through physically demanding drawing performances.
Samocha has always freely experimented with a variety of materials, processes, media and forms of representation. In his latest body of work Samocha is exploring the medium of metalpoint. Using metalpoint slows down the act of drawing - the hectic pace of now is replaced by a slower tempo from another time. But every mark made by the metal is an uncompromising feature on the paper - an almost sculptural presence that can never be removed. In Samocha’s words - “There is no way back.” In some of the works, such as the Heavy Duty drawings (2011), the paper has buckled and heaved under the weight of accumulated metal markings, becoming a kind of contour map. The insistent materiality of the working process and the hardness of the materials seem more akin to sculpture than drawing, including the paper Samocha uses, which is manufactured from limestone dust.
The metals employed in this body of work suggest an alchemist’s laboratory: silver, copper, bronze, gold. As the metals will continue to oxidize, changing colour in unpredictable ways over time, the finished drawing is only the beginning, not the end of the alchemical process. The notion of “finished” in the case of this work is provisional and once again the emphasis returns to the performative. It is as though the drawing itself takes up the performance at the point where the drawer has left off.’
Visual artist and Professor Emeritus, Department of Fine Arts, University of Waterloo, Ontario
Artist Bio / CV
Education: 2007-2009 Master of Fine Art (MFA), University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. 1988-1992 Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA), Bezalel academy of arts, Jerusalem.
Selected solo exhibitions: 2011 From Scratch, Red Head Gallery, Toronto, Canada. 2010 The restless line, Julie M. Gallery, Toronto, Canada 2009 No Peace, Artery Gallery, Kitchener, Canada. 2007 Scarring, The Bookshelf, Guelph, Canada. First Impression, Loose Canon Gallery, Hamilton, Canada.
Selected group exhibitions: 2009 Parallel Worlds, ScalaMata Exhibition Space, Venice, Italy. (ab strak’tid), Headbones Gallery, Toronto, Canada. Deviant Detour, Kunsthaus Santa Fe, Guanajuato, Mexico. 2008 Traces III, contemporary drawing in Israel, the Artists House, Jerusalem. 47th Annual Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Toronto, Canada. 2007 Desert generation, Meneer de Wit, Amsterdam, Nederland.
Video & Drawing Performances: 2010 Blood Work, Red Head Gallery, Toronto, Canada. 2009 Cover Up, Artery Gallery, Kitchener, Canada. Abstract Peace, Headbones Gallery, Toronto, Canada. 2008 Night Falls, Front Gallery, Waterloo, Canada. Seasons of Immigration (with the MT Space Theater), Centre in the Square, Kitchener, Canada. 2007 Don't give up, Loose Canon Gallery, Hamilton, Canada.
Publications: 2009 No Peace, Art Book, Lambert Academic Publishing. Köln, Germany.
Awards: 2008 Centre for International Governance Innovation Art Award. University of Waterloo: Keith and Win Shantz Fellowship. 2007 University of Waterloo: International Masters Student Award. 2002 Award for a young artist, The Israeli Ministry of Culture.
Selected Collections: Colart Collection, Montréal, Canada.Senvest Collection, Montreal, Canada. CIGI Permanent Collection, Waterloo, Canada. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel. Ein Harod Museum of Art, Israel. Benno Kalev, Israeli Drawing Collection, Tel Aviv, Israel. Various Private and Corporate Collections.