Shay Kun

Shay Kun

About Shay Kun

These works are an infusion, a hybrid of absurdities. Drawing on the style and subject matter of the Hudson River School, particularly Thomas Cole's reverent paeans to nature and Albert Bierstadt's awestruck visions of the sublime in the American West, these works capture the grandeur of nature. Despite acquiring a newly cultured look, these landscapes, made with sincerity and attention, are transformed into a juxtaposition of nature and its human invaders, who appear in the guise of tourists or adventure seekers. The contrast between these contemporary characters and their stylized environment is abrupt and, despite their small scale, they are an almost offensively inadequate substitute for the deities or characters of noble bearing that filled their place in the painting of the past centuries.

The elements populating these series of paintings of the American West are small but obnoxious, infesting nature more so than enjoying its restorative powers. While Cole and his colleagues ascribed spiritual qualities to the environment, and warned of the destruction being caused by expansion, here the damage has been done. Lakes are littered with junked cars and pristine vistas blighted by tightropes, rickety bridges and other evidence of human interlopers. Still, what these visitors leave are their traces; they have not overwhelmed the environment and its magical possibilities.


Shay Kun
Born in Israel in 1974
Lives and works in New York

2000 MA in Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, London, England
1998 BA in Fine Art, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, Israel

Selected Solo Exhibitions
2013 Feast and Famine, Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago, IL
Untitled, Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel
2012 Domestic Sticky Wildlife, Martine Chaisson Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Be First, Be Smarter or Cheat, Benrimon Contemporary, New York, NY
2011 Rebreather, Lamotagne Gallery, Boston, MA
VOLTA NY, “Take Off,” New York, NY
2010 Exfoliations, Benrimon Contemporary, New York, NY
Overcast, Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Slack Tide, Lamontagne Gallery, Boston, MA
2009 Opportunities multiply as they are seized, David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL
2008 Nails & Feathers, BUIA Gallery, New York, NY
2007 Old Flames Don't Die Out They Build New Fires, Tavi Dresdner Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Perversion Is The Love We Feel When Others Feel Love, SEVENTEEN Gallery, London, UK
2006 Melting Midlands, BUIA Gallery, New York, NY
2005 I Care Because You do Too, BUIA Gallery, New York, NY
1999 Desktop-The Reunion, Efrat Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel
1992 Gesher Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Selected Group Exhibitions
2012 Summer Exhibition, Zemack Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
Figuration Y?, Galerie Favardin & De Verneuil, Paris, France
Illoulian Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA
SIGHT (UN)SCENE, Benrimon Contemporary, New York, NY
Good Intentions, Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel
2011 Russ and Liz Ultimate Playlist, Four Eleven Studio, Provincetown, MA
Update your Reality, Alexander Ochs Galleries, Berlin, Germany
Art Cologne, Alexander Ochs Galleries, Cologne, Germany
Savage Grace, Russell Projects, Richmond, VA
Pulse NY, Benrimon Contemporary, New York, NY
Fresh Paint, Israeli Art Fair, Tel Aviv, Israel
2010 The Law of the Jungle, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, NY
Interrupted Landscape, Champion Contemporary, Austin, TX
Generations, DNA Gallery, Provincetown, MA
Fresh Apples, Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Sky Was Yellow, Sun Was Blue, Russell Projects, Richmond, VA
LABA, 14TH Street Y, New York, NY
The Artist's Guide to the L.A. Galaxy, West Los Angeles College Art Gallery, L.A.
2009 Animamix, The Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum, China
Golden Record: Sounds of Earth, The Collection, Lincoln, England
Three Painters, BUIA Gallery, New York, NY
2008 In Your Face, BUIA Gallery, New York, NY
Pole Shift, Project Gentili, Berlin, Germany
Somewhere To Elsewhere, Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago, IL
Pulse Art Fair, Saatchi online, New York
Golden Record, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland
Fresh Paint, Israeli Art Fair, Tel Aviv, Israel
London Confidential, MEWS 42, London, UK
Artfutures, Bloomberg Space, London, UK
2007 Holiday!, BUIA Gallery, NY
…A Landscape Show, Samson Projects, Boston, MA
Slick Art Fair, Vanessa Suchar, Paris, France
Sunny, Clear and Cool, BUIA Gallery, NY
The Most Curatorial Biennial, Apexart, NY
The Juddykes, John Jones Gallery, London, UK
Subreality, Aftermodern Gallery, SF
Reddot Art Fair, Vanessa Suchar booth, New York
Invisible Jet, Buia Gallery, NY
2006 Winter Salon, Lesley Heller Gallery, NY
Bridge Art Fair, Vanessa Suchar, Miami
Art 212, Aftermodern Gallery, NY
Learning How to Make New Friends, Mackb Gallery, Florida, U.S.A
Shifting Landscapes, Aftermodern Gallery, SF
Breezer, BUIA Gallery, NY
Draw_Drawing 2, The Foundry (in conjunction with London Biennial), London, UK
The Pop Art Show, The Kaufmann Arcade, NY
2005 Children of the Grave, the Agency, London, UK
Our World, World Arts Media, New York, NY
Utopia, Fournos Center For Digital Art, Athens, Greece
Poles Apart / Poles Together, 51st Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
In the Ring, BUIA Gallery, New York, NY
This dream, America, Art League of Long Island, Dix Hills, NY
Tsunami Benefit Auction, at Philips de Pury, New York, NY
Wandering, a part of Artis05' (Israeli Art Week), Makor, NY
"...and death", New Space Gallery, Manchester College, CT
2004 Boundless Joint, Oslo, Norway
The Peekskill Project, HVCCA, Peekskill, NY
Wandering Library, Book Art Museum, Lodz, Poland
Draw_Drawing, Gallery 32 (in conjunction with London Biennial), London, UK
Primo, Buia Gallery, New York, NY
Feast or Famine: Artists and Food, DNA Gallery, Provincetown, MA
Social Order, Buia Gallery, New York, NY
Raid Projects, The Armory Show, New York, NY
Sub-Plot, Barthelemy Gallery, New York, NY
The Mouth Breathers, Nurture Art Gallery, New York, NY
2003 Banners III, Lubbock, TX
The Bill Clinton Show, Locus Media Gallery, New York, NY
Puppy Love, Pelham Art Center, Westchester, NY
Eickholt Gallery, New York, NY
2002 PoT, Joint Exhibition, Gallery Fortes Villaca, Sau Paulo, Brazil
PoT, Joint Exhibition, Liverpool Bianalle, Liverpool, England
Artists Respond, Joint Exhibition, Somerville Museum of Art, Boston, MA