Hadar Sobol: GO

January 11 – February 9, unhealthy 2013

Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden, Dallas

 

The commitment to her one-of-a-kind technique alone makes Hadar Sobol an interesting artist.  She draws like a dream and her beautifully simple small-scale pen and ink figurative drawings show one level of her artistry.  When she recreates those drawings with thread and fabrics on antique linen, the work is elevated to another level.  Collections of figures, figurative movement, and abstract thread and textile drawings are a third level of mastery.  And finally, wall-sized collaborative work using other women’s thoughts and dreams to create art with her is Hadar Sobol at perhaps her finest – as an artist, a woman, and a social commentator.

Hadar’s fabric work is quiet and respectful.  It often is small scale – the size of a linen handkerchief perhaps.  Drawing with black thread, she sometimes uses other ivory shades of fabric to “dress” her figures, other times presenting them nude.  The women she depicts are real women – not stylized female models, but women you’d see on the street.  They emanate strength and solidarity of spirit – these are women who have met the world and survived.

Hadar’s art honors ancestry and heritage.  She is a storyteller.  In that role, she created a wall-sized piece of collaborative work with 20 women she knows titled, “The One who brings forth something from nothing is not deficient (a quote by Rabbi Azriel translated from Hebrew).”  The women came together to an event armed with responses to Hadar’s thought-provoking questions about life and love.  She provided linen strips for them to write their responses.  Finally, the linen strips became part of a huge labyrinth populated with an army of her women figures marching shoulder to shoulder.  It is a masterpiece of the strength of women united to meet the challenges of life.

Included in this show are two large portraits done with mixed media – pastels and paint.  One is a composite of Hadar’s face and her mothers.  They are both bold and spectacular.  Hadar Sobol seems to know who she is, where she comes from, and where she is going.  Her works, and her viewers, are the beneficiaries of this groundedness.

The show ends February 9.

— KENT BOYER