Nelly Agassi is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses media as diverse as sketching, knitting, video and performance.  Her work deals with materials, body and space.  For example, in her dress-centered performances, Agassi knits and sews a dress around herself – a dress that expands into the gallery (or outdoor) space and transforms itself from an item of clothing into a voluminous object.  During the performance, Agassi peels the dress off herself, and hangs it up like an empty skin, installing it in the gallery, testimony to her absence.  The infinite dress stands as the only residue of the drama.

The intimacy and interiority of Agassi's work and its reference to the female body identify it with post-feminist art.  As do the artist's physical presence and the use of knitting, classically attributed to the 'feminine.'

In 2003, Agassi won the prestigious Nathan Gottesdiener Prize for Israeli Art.  Ten years later, in a show in honor of the same prize, she presented Bedroom, a piece that stamped itself in the local imagination.  In this piece Agassi "conquered" a large hall by "building" a gigantic bed that filled the entire space while sitting still and tiny in the far distance in a perfect, white bed.  The resulting image reminds one of Alice in Wonderland's size shifts, but there's no childhood ease here; the work generates a tense hush.

Agassi's work has been shown in leading venues including the Herzliya Museum and Tel Aviv Museum in Israel, and the Chelsea Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.


Gallery Foksal, Warsaw
October 2008.

"At the heart of Nelly Agassi's solo exhibition at Galeria Foksal stands the endeavor to fulfill the creative drive. Through the meticulous use of diverse artistic media (live performance, sound, video, printed imagery and props), Agassi allows her viewers a glimpse into that moment in the story of art-in-the-making in which the question of potentiality is most acutely felt: the moment of zero-creativity, the nothingness which follows the erotic flirtation with the world and precedes the pleasure of creation. Forever a source of anxiety, Agassi confronts this moment as an inseparable part of the creative process and shows it to be a productive force. Rather than succumbing to the paralyzing possibility that the white sheet of paper should remain bare, she applies a stethoscope to the roaring white silence of the empty page." Adi Englman, curator, in collaboration with Ariel Krill.