Yossi Milo Gallery is pleased to present “Lazarova,” an exhibition of black-and-white photographs by Israeli artist Michal Chelbin. The exhibition marks not only the North American debut of Ms. Chelbin, but also the inaugural exhibition in the new Second Floor space of the Gallery, which expanded this month into both floors of the Gallery's current location.
The exhibition consists of photographs (black-and-white gelatin silver prints) that Ms. Chelbin, 27, took at three circuses with which she traveled for weeks at a time through Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Although the performers range in age from 2 to 86, Ms. Chelbin's subjects are primarily the younger performers, with particular interest in the children and adolescents when they are not performing. The images are staged during the performers' private time, and none are taken during performances or before an audience.
“Lazarova” refers to the name of the circus performer who opened the door to the artist to life in these family circuses, which have traditionally been closed to outsiders. Ms. Chelbin was thus able to travel with three circuses of varying means, but all of which operate on a shoestring: the Circus Maderano, by comparison the wealthiest, with elephants and horses; the Madigan Circus, which consists of a single family with a strong hierarchy; and a Ukrainian government-sponsored circus.
Completed in 2000 and 2001, images from this exhibition are in the permanent collection of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Ms. Chelbin's work has been exhibited in Europe and Israel, and this is her first solo show in New York.
In addition to the “Lazarova” exhibition, the Gallery will debut another body of work by Ms. Chelbin—entitled “Vitalina and Friends”—at the Gallery's booth (#234) in the Armory Photography Show, which runs from October 24-28 at the Jacob Javits Center.