Avi Sperber is an artist who leaves his mark by means of large monumental sculptures that symbolize earth’s struggle for survival. His sculpture often includes traditional symbols and cultural and artistic signs. His exhibitions deal again and again with the universal and cosmic topics, which disturb him and provide inspiration for his sculptural creations in materials taken from the earth and collected locally.
Avi Sperber creates stone sculpture in an obsessive process of continuing experimentation and self-awareness. His connection with the root, the essence, the place and earth are the basis for continuing research that he conducts through his art. There is a special meaning to the placement of his work in the public venue. Sperber, who is a traffic engineer, is well aware of the role that location plays as well as its nature. According to Michel Fouchault we live in an era of simultaneousness, in a world where a net connects points and where its strings cross. In Sperber’s work, local stone is treated to a human meaning, symbolic, one which reflects on Israeli reality both as a citizen and an artist. Sperber refers to other realities, compares different traditional and cultural processes and through this, each and every sculpture becomes a cultural reference, a symbol of process.
Avi Sperber tries to leave the original shape of the stone as close to its “natural” state as possible. He uses his own special language of design that leaves the creation in its natural simplicity. Often, the creation is divided into two parts, one “treated” and the other left natural and preliminary. This is reminiscent of the early work of Brancusi that was “faithful” to the material, as he said, “We must proceed with the material until the point where the viewer understands its language”. According to Avi Sperber – he prefers that his studio be close as possible to nature in general, and specifically to the mountains. It is located in Kibbutz Ein Carmel – near Mt. Carmel and its Mediterraean beaches. His chiseled works are loyal to the principle of preserving simplicity and preparation of that which is worthy. Avi Sperber pierces the stone, splits its parts, only where “suitable” to serve his creative ideas. He takes visions and symbols mostly from nature itself and combines them in his direct and simple artistic language into the sculpture.
In many of his works, Sperber chisels and takes away layer after layer from the sculpture until a slim piece of stone is left, through which occasionally natural light can penetrate and be projected. In his sculptures one can find shapes and movement inspired by many objects found in nature. He moves to the rhythmic beat of the lines of the landscape, arches taken from mountains and lines borrowed from valleys. Avi Sperber does not usually sculpt human figures, except for sculptures such as “Icarus”, which was made in Italy, or “Pieta 2020”, the “baby” breaking out of the stone. However, his sculpture is definitely “assertive” and humane. This empathetic sculpture gives rise to a deep and dramatic experience
One can understand Avi Sperber’s “mission” as an artist in raising universal and social topics which comprise an integral and important part of his work: the state of the world at this moment, both ecologically and culturally.
Doron Pollack, Curator