On the edge: Guy Yanai to showcase new extraordinary paintings of the ordinary everyday at Ameringer McEnery Yohe in New York

Painting of womans knees and legs going up a ladder
‘Ancienne Rive’ is an exhibition of new works by young Israeli artist Guy Yanai at New York gallery Ameringer McEnery Yohe. Pictured: Claire's Knee ll, 2015
(Image credit: TBC)

Appearing like pixilated images, brightly coloured weavings or even needlepoint, Guy Yanai (opens in new tab)’s oil on linen paintings depict simplified interpretations of the everyday painted in meticulously applied strokes of colour. From pot plants to sail boats, the artist paints ordinary still life subjects and sun-soaked landscapes but in a way that makes them current, gliding the brush across the canvas, one line at a time.

Titled ‘Ancienne Rive’, the young Israeli artist’s latest solo exhibition, opening 9 July at Ameringer McEnery Yohe (opens in new tab) in New York, showcases a collection of brand new works. ‘I really like the way these two words feel,’ says Yanai of the show’s title. ‘There is a lot of blue and water in all the works and all the paintings are deeply rooted in the contemporary context, yet somehow speak to the old, to the ancient. And of course edges, I'm obsessed with edges, both in painting and with people.’

Inspired by the Mediterranean climate and vegetation of his native Tel Aviv among many other things – ‘films, people, experiences’, Yanai’s use of bold blocks of colour and sunny coastal scenes has led to comparisons with Hockney – in particular his paintings of Californian homes and pools. ‘I pay homage [to Hockney] in a very personal way though,’ says Yanai. ‘I put my own memory and experience on top of some idealistic image of his,’ adding, ‘sometimes things aren't what they seem. In that way maybe the colour is a decoy for something else, to lure the viewer in at first.’

In the past, his multilayered approach has caught the eye of the fashion world, resulting in crossover collaborations with US label Band Of Outsiders on its 2014 resort collection and a skateboard for New York fashion brand Woodpoint & Kingsland in 2013. ‘Collaborating with different fields and different projects is something that I like,’ enthuses Yanai. ‘I get to work with other people - not so normal in the studio routine - and see results that could have never happened alone.’

Painting with abstract shapes of a building and pool

From pot plants to sail boats, the artist paints simplified interpretations of ordinary still life subjects and sun-soaked landscapes in meticulously applied strokes of colour. Pictured: Last Splash, 2015

(Image credit: TBC)

Abstract painting of a sprinkler on the lawn in front of a building

‘I really like the way these two words feel,’ says Yanai of the show’s title. ‘There is a lot of blue and water in all the works and all the paintings are deeply rooted in the contemporary context, yet somehow speak to the old, to the ancient. And of course edges, I'm obsessed with edges, both in painting and with people.’ Pictured: Sprinkler for Grandfather (After DH), 2015

(Image credit: TBC)

Abstract painting with bold colours of a boat on the water

Yanai lists the Mediterranean climate and vegetation of his native Tel Aviv among his many inspirations. Pictured: Boat with No Sailors, 2015

(Image credit: TBC)