Ballad of Spread

As a trained scientist and artist, Michal Gavish works at the intersection of art and biology. Inspired by the colors and shapes produced by genetic DNA and viral sequencing research, Gavish adopts these visual languages to construct immersive environments. Gavish works with microscopic imagery to inform the resulting large translucent paintings that are thinly layered to create her environments.  As visitors interact within the space, these fragile works shift and react, immersing the visitors in both the complexity and vitality of the microscopic structures.

Gavish additionally investigates the social implications of the genetic matter within her installations, specifically the interwoven connections ranging from personal identity and emergent diseases to environmental degradation. Her current work, and the installation presented, represents Gavish’s exploration of the COVID viral sequence, a piece of genetic material that is still so foreign and mysterious. As the world remains immersed in the emotional and life-altering wake of the virus, Gavish highlights its biological structure as a way to further visually understand its presence. 

Gavish’s work allows visitors the opportunity to intimately explore the building blocks of life, a rare visual examination through contemporary art. The thoughtful layering of material elements creates vibrant color combinations, resulting in a stunning display. And while this first look provides an elegant and immersive atmosphere, the color combinations become something more. The layered effects begin to construct a larger setting of exploration of the self. What makes us who we are? How do these microscopic structures frame life? The process of  introspection allows the viewer to acknowledge the nature of genetic material, while personalizing its very existence.

Constance S. & Robert J. Hennessy Project Space

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