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Galia Bar Or, Director Museum of Art, Ein Harod (2011)

In Koki’s Doktori works a distinctive blend becomes possible between elements that on the face of it contradict one another: a conceptual approach, which guides each single series to direct the overall dynamic of Doktori’s painting, and a dimension that is essentially experiential, of personal experience in time. The analytical and idea context exists in the deep structure of the work and does not contradict a fundamental state of openness to the world of experience and feeling…
The equilibrium of color and form, and a sophisticated shifting of the classical equilibrium, create a dynamic in the space of the work, and stimulate an alertness in the viewer’s gaze…
Doktori integrates in his painting a sculptural approach and a pictorial- pictographic approach, which is consolidated in each series into a structure of unique “writing” or language.

Prof. Shimon Schocken (2011)

For me, more than anything else, these mysterious images reflect bursts of inner energy radiating from violent implosions deep inside Doktori’s psyche. And, through the magic of his art, these primal forces are committed to paper and become sculpted flames that haunt and intrigue. Some of them are figures of extreme beauty, while others are difficult to behold. Yet, they are all reflections of a total surrender to an unyielding inner truth.

Irit Miller (2011)

Traces of the manifestations of late modernism became embedded in Doktori’s work. Basic forms appear in his painting through his recurrent endeavor to achieve a bared, skeletal structure that makes any stylized toying redundant…
Doktori specifies the curling Near-Eastern calligraphic line as a motif that appears constantly in his work. “The line is ‘the central note’ in my work, changing, developing, shaping, even defining the boundaries of the work. It’s like a repetition, a variation and a transformation of a single note that determines the whole.” For him, this calligraphy is a foundation stone, connected with childhood memories and with earliest experiences; it is a source of the signs of script, the language, the picture. The close relations between concept and picture, and between letter and concept, are of the essence in Doktori’s work.


Rina Gallery, January, 1975

Doktori’s new work is not only better in terms of mastering a style, but also as personal expression. Though his older work is interesting as painting becomes sculptural, it seems overly ambitious, lacking in economy; as if carried away by the potentials of the medium.

In his new work, by coating studs with latex in many layers, with the drips and the flow of the liquid preserved, peeling the dried shape from its mold and hanging it on the wall, all that goes into the basic module remains apparent; while the hanging determines the final form, as gravity and the elasticity of the latex compromise. This kind of procedural rigor has an impact outside the broader visual impressions the work might make. The half-way position his basic shape occupies- it can be both cast and mold- is solidified and hung up in an interim, as if the moment of change last forever.

The non-specific, organic sensuality of Doktori’s work contrasts with the coarseness of the drippings and metallic pigments. But what is perhaps most striking about these pieces is the nonchalance of their placement, an act which attests to the latent eloquence of the work itself.

Walter Robinson
Edit deAk


Since the Abstract Expressionists freed the surface of the canvas from its literal dimensions and pictorial stability, artists have experimented with new investigations to liberate spatial contingencies within a work of art. One such method, the projection of the canvas into sculptural form by means of  three dimensional- material, has been developed and refined until it now describes a new media. Doktori’s work is within this genre, for since his early experiments with latex his has delved into the problems presented by the overlap between maintaining a two-dimensional aspect within a three-dimensional form.

Throughout the various stages of his work, Doktori has maintained a strong respect for the innate two-dimensional, gravitational character of the latex, all the while pressing it to full three-dimensional expression. In his recent work he restates the primacy of the canvas base suggesting once again that this departure from traditional definitions is incidental when considering the full evolution of the merging of multi-dimensions of form and space.


Judith Van Baron



Diversification, Imagery, Experience… I’m always trying to keep my work as diversified as possible. I’m interested in images for the various kinds of thinking and processing they engender. When we look at things we always try to compare. For example, when we see a landscape painting, we immediately relate other landscapes that we have experienced visually. Oriental landscape painting is more difficult for us to understand than western painting because our system of representation is specific to our culture, as our language to our thinking.


I grid the images into sections which appear abstract if seen in isolation. The composition of the painted parts is intended to be abstract, yet held together within these large recognizable images. Similarly, the abstractness of my thoughts always exist alongside the world of known things.

As I looked at and lived with the early pieces in the studio I began to see evolving shapes. First, I saw simple shapes form; then came shapes I was familiar with and could identify. Finally, I began to exploit those recognizable shapes to form the basis for my recent work. I have always sought to translate the raw force of life that I am familiar with into the abstract forms and free colors seen in my work.

My background may also have contributed to the factionalization within my work. I was born in one country with its own language, raised in a second land with its own culture and settled in a third country. At each stage my background has created itsown ambiguity and contributed to my framework.


Wade Saunders 




In my work I’m trying to create an image of the face that is not attached to any particular person. I want to create an image type. By dividing the expressions into several parts, each part has more of an abstract feeling to it, almost like an abstract landscape when you see it section by section, but as a whole it becomes a portrait. Some are divided into two parts, four parts, nine parts, up to twenty-five. The more I divided up, each section becomes totally abstract, even to the point of minimal abstraction. The less is divided the closer it is to the image. I want to deal with both aspects of the image, being closer to it and further away.

…Years ago I had a thought, which I expressed in this way:  the secret of the world is that the secret of the universe is so simple it cannot be told. Koki Doktori’s work puts me in mind of simple verities. T the same time as it addresses such “profound” issues as human nature itself, the work is completely simple – the dissection of an expression in a way that is more sculptural than painterly but which results clearly in paintings nevertheless.

I don’t work now in the traditional way that painters do. I don’t use sophisticated brushes to brush my canvas. The technique is almost mixed media. I start out with paper because I like the surface- very smooth. The base is acrylic and then I build on top of that with oil paint, and n the final stages instead of using brushes I’m using oil sticks. I like oil sticks because they give me the freedom of working with clay. It’s like sculpting my painting. I feel like I’m smearing clay on top of the surface. I enjoy the physicality of what I do, probably that’s why I started as a sculptor. I like to feel the paint with my hands. Although the surface is not as thick as some people’s, nevertheless it has been applied by physical touch, like working the surface.

Koki Doktori paints like a sculptor. He refers to his work as “the piece” not as “the picture”. He’s involved in formal issues of space as well as in portraying a person who represents us all. Doktori holds up a mirror to nature and comes up with a face lost in a wilderness of painted papers. He likes to work in relatively small size because this enhances the object-hood of what he produces. Instead of entering into his portraits, you have to look at them, often with the addition interference caused by dividing the image into several parts. His work has fully matures yet retains his youthful concerns and a kind of purity associated with conceptual art with none of the academic trappings that are so often a large part of conceptual art. What is perhaps most surprising of all is to discover this sculptor working with gobs of paint, making statues that hang on the wall and put us in mind of some of the truths of life without delivering a speech. Doktori’s work has the utter simplicity of a natural design solution, a leaf, for example, which is also a rather complicated manufactory of life process.


Frederick Ted Castle

New York, September 1985.


KOKI DOKTORI, Autumn 1992


The morphology of a given surface-whether a wall or a human face is the result of a complex set of factors operating over time. By transferring the surface directly to his work, Doktori is raising questions of form, anti-form and time- questions which concern the very nature of art itself.

The works in the exhibition at the Ein Harod Museum of Art were produced in pastels and acrylic on paper and belong to three series dealing with “Language” and “Writing”. Rather than imprinting his face on the material, Doktori here imprints his handwriting, a reflection of an individual’s personal rhythm as well as his mental and emotional state.

Hence, this too represents the morphology of a given condition conveyed not only through direct casting, but through an independent energy which the artist transfers both consciously and unconsciously to the paper on which he draws. As he sketches in a sort of automatic movement not intended to create any particular image, a form or sign a character- takes shape. It is produced through a process of interweaving, not as a closed linear sign. This interweaving makes it possible, in principle, to create an infinite pattern in which the forms emerge from the language of the material itself.

Doktori’s character is thus an entity breadth, vigor and rhythm. Koki Doktori attributes his attributes his interest in writing to his heritage, his bond with the ritual writing of the Biblical scribes with its personal rhythm. But this is only one side of the coin. Underlying this interest is the probing and consistent modernistic investigation of the basic elements of the language of art. S Doktori himself says: “ My works are closely linked to calligraphy, perhaps due to my background, the Eastern connection. This abstract element of the character is not only emotional and psychological, but also conceptual.”


Galia Bar-Or




                                                                                                          Press Release


Koki Doktori
May 22- June 22, 1996
Tuesday- Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm



Implied (adj.): alluded to, allusive, connoted, constructive, figured, foreshadowed, hidden, implicit, indicated, indicative, indirect, inferential, inferred, inherent, insinuated, intended, involved, latent, lurking, meant, occult, parallel, perceptible, potential, significative, signified, suggested, symbolized, tacit, tacitly assumed, undeclared, understood, unexpressed, unsaid, unspoken, unuttered, wordless.


In his latest work, Koki Doktori has focused on the ‘process’ of painting. Artists often find that their work has a way of taking them where they didn’t necessarily plan to go—and Doktori has actively used this axiom in making the work for “Implied”, his new exhibit at the Kim Foster Gallery. “ my work is never finished as a final product. I feel there is always room to go back to the painting and work on it—and the difficulty is deciding when to stop. Sometimes stopping before the end leaves the work fresher than a perfect, complete ending—if there is such a thing,” Doktori says.

During his 25-year painting career, Doktori has discovered that a perfect painting often can become banal, labored, wooden. When work on a picture stops just sort of the threshold of perfection, it remains dynamic and vibrant—and allows the viewer to mentally complete the implied intention. “ I would like my viewers to use their own ideas and feeling when they look at my work, to ‘complete it ’ with their own vision. A good work is one that reaches everyone differently,” Doktori says.

Doktori’s May 22- June 22 exhibit will include a number of mixed media drawings made on paper from standard spiral pads. In his paintings, all made in the same exaggerated vertical format, Doktori has constructed imposing totems of sculpturally- oriented shapes.


Gail Gregg
May 1996

62 Crosby St. New York, NY 10012   Phone/Fax 212-966-9024




There are two intriguing aspects in the current work that are appealing to talk about because their cultural associations are innately rich. There is the connection between the paintings and modern music in their compositional rhythm as well as their level of painterly tonality. The other topic that whets one’s discursive want, quite opposite to the contemporary analog of the music which is the topic of calligraphy- is as ancient as culture itself.

The foundation of this work connecting the compositional issues (i.e., modern music) and the referential issues (i.e., calligraphy) is the very foundation concern with line. The accumulations of lines are the structural strata of the paintings. We are not concerned with painterliness so much as the force by which these paintings are born; the line is this force, as if there were even a sculptural definition of the line—paint- line.

If we consider classical music, for example, as a symphonic structure, working with given formulas, then the work of Phil Glass and Steven Reich is a valid comparison.

What I appreciate in the work of these composers, Doktori notes, is the use of one single tone in its repetition, phasing, looping. The rhythm of the single tone defines the overall structure. The mutation of the single tone creates a perception of change.

Obviously, says Doktori, what I am delving into here is what is at the essence of my own work. While it might be tone in music, for me it is the line which is the “central character” in my work, that mutates rhythmically, evolving. Forming and finally even defining the boundaries of each work.

In Doktori’s work it is the process the importance of allowing rhythm to take over, the strokes of your hand, reverberating, traversing, through the visual field—which becomes the armature.


What’s behind letting the hand create this way is the body language, which is an important issue for me, says Doktori, because the line is  direct extension of me creating, the quality gesture, tension and intensity of the line influencing the feeling of the specific pieces. The feelings range from anger to violence to sexuality. Anger and sexuality being synonymous for me.

States of mind, through unmitigated, undisturbed, raw process, pour out emotional fields varying from raga to sexuality.

Aggressiveness, violence, sexuality, rage, forging in balance, create tranquility. As in Zen teaching, tranquility is based on rhythm and the clarity of state of mind and gesture. In Zen there is no value judgment of right and wrong. Rather, achieving the affect of harmony through all the different forces working together, surfacing together as tranquility.

As with my work, I believe: the different forces depart and arrive simultaneously, creating a feeling of hrmony.

Edid deAK:     Publisher: Art- Rite
                       Contributing Editor: Art in America, Flash Art
                       Columnist: Interview Art magazine
                       Editor: Art Random Book series, Japan.




 Coming from Israel, Doktori felt an instinctive connection with these new structures in art. He interpreted them less as a puritan mode of expression, which was often the case for American criticism, than as a kind of ecstatic recognition of consciousness, an internal manifestation of time and space. In the Middle East, the tradition of writing—the calligraphic gesture—functions as a continuum of life, an indelible expression. Sings flow from one level  of significance to another, a flow of language that ultimately succumbs to the gestural vibration of the body in a controlled moment of ecstatic release.

To understand Doktori’s ecstatic writing one cannot avoid the Middle Eastern context in which the flow of language is felt; it is the feeling of the flow—the process, as Doktori would have it—that matters more than the isolation of speech in relation to meaning. As a result, one may speak of Doktori’s aesthetic as a conjugation of many differences—of mind and body, of time and space, of parole and longue. In grammatical terms, one may speak of his art of conjugation of Arabic script and Judaic contemplation. In the best sense, it is an obsessive art form. It is intent upon a desire to control the excess of language. In doing so, his paintings and calligraphic sketches embed a tradition of reductive thought where “less is more”.

In the tradition of writing, structure defines itself in relation to overall space. (This idea has been appropriated in American Modernism ranging from the architectural decorum of Louis Sullivan to the action painting of Pollock). In the paintings of Doktori, writing is contingent upon decoration. Decoration and writing are virtually synonymous. One cannot separate writing from ornament. It is non- figurative and non-anthropomorphic. It is the ecstacy of the spirit.

Influenced early on by Structuralist music and related experimental forms, Doktori proceeded to adapt that language into a visual from that was inherently connected to his own tradition. His painting has always been meditave, a search for tranquility amid the chaos of existence.

When the philosopher Derrida talks bout metaphysics, he refers to a “science of presence”. Whereas the artist Doktori is interested in absence at the outset of a painting and the ecstatic gesture feeds the void and transforms it into presence. Presence emerges from the shadow of consciousness into an ecstatic union of art with life. In the Bergsonian sense, space become vital. This is the point—the interval—where Doktori’s vision finally proves ethical within a finely attuned system of thought; with Doktori’s painting, the system of thought is completely at one with the body. The structure is not ancillary to the ecstatic moment. It is completely engaged and enraptured with it.

Robert C. Morgan

New York, January 1994



Painting and drawing are a process of integrating different ideas, which take place as the work is being executed. The process itself leads you to different ideas. Categorizing the work limits it. Yet the same categorization allows you to go beyond the limits to further discover and enhance the work. The evolution from naturalistic to abstract retains a distinct thread that identifies my work. The personality that does the work remains constant, thereby identifying clear similarities whether the work is abstract or naturalistic.

 I am doing a series of flowers that appear as a delicate object, but after bringing force or tension into the line, at some point the fragility of the flower withers and becomes an object of its own.

From an artist’s point of view, the confusion and uncertainty is more a blessing than a curse. We should all be driven to work that stimulates and provokes us rather than to work that satisfies us. Each stage has produced different emotions in the process, fusing the object and the medium into a whole.

My goal is to engage people’s emotions through my work, even though at times it seems very hard to engage myself in what I do. I try to keep my work from being emotional, but it end up being reactive. Whether it is a flower, an image, a line or just an abstract form, my work evokes somehow a reaction and this small accomplishment is good enough for me.





Kochi Doktori (b. Israel, 1941, lives in new York) shows a series of mixed- media paintings devoted to an investigation of letter forms and numerals as both abstract object and cultural subject.

The written word, either as a legible calligraphic sign or a symbolic cipher, has been used by the likes of Picabia and Picasso, Davis and Demuth, Johns and Indiana, Gershuni and Ne’eman—and countless Japanese Zen masters.

Doktori’s vertical panels emulate Far East scrolls but their abrasive handling and unrelenting use of raucous color combinations highlighted by barbs of black, are an attempt to merge a contemporary style of western painting with the roots of the artist’s oriental Jewish heritage. Doktori looks upon letterforms as another would look upon a still life, as shapes and forms to be observed, dissected and re-assembled as pure expression. The heavy layers of pigment, aggressively applied in both angularized and arabesque gestures, are syncopated to follow the crisscross rhythmic patterns of the compositions.

Works on paper by Doktori on the same theme are currently exhibited at the Museum of Art in Ein Harold. (Tova Osman Gallery, 100 Ben Yehuda, Tel Aviv). Till September 23.




Some of Israel’s finest artists made their names in New York.
Art Correspondent Joanne Stark reports from there on a cosmopolitan sculptor-turned-painter.

Having started his career as an abstract sculptor, Kochi Doktori’s work is constantly involved with all three dimensions. Born in Iraq, Doktori came to Israel as a child and is best known for his sculpture, which is heavily influenced by pre-Columbian art and African primitivism.

Turning to painting after his arrival in the US nearly a decade ago, Doktori still feels impelled to make elements “stick out” of his canvas to bring the composition alive.

Even his flatter early paintings, with their heavy brush strokes and layered applications of color, invite the viewer to touch the textures. Doktori handles color as another sculptural raw material. Primary red, blues and greens are built up, layer by layer. “I hope my paintings ring new pleasure and insights with each viewing—from far, and from near—a continuous journey of discovery”, says Doktori. Since it is his artistic philosophy to leave the interpretation of his work to his audiences, he rarely titles his works.

Formerly, Doktori’s works were abstract “tension studies” where two lines directed the energetic movement of the swirling color background. An exhibition of this period was held at the Gimel Galleries in Jerusalem earlier this year.

Doktori was a student of the Avni Art school in Tel Aviv—for years the vanguard of the Israeli abstract movement. His teachers were Israel’s pioneering “New Horizons” artists: Streichman, Zaritsky and Steimatsky, Doktori feeling limited by the abstract mode, has for the first time begun to work with recognizable shapes (human stick figures and arrows are examples).

Doktori has found in New York an acceptance for artistic diversity he felt lacking in Israel. Obviously the larger art- buying provides this luxury. In Israel, museum curators virtually create the art scene because they have the funds to put on the country’s best exhibitions. However, Doktori quickly adds, “the quality of art in Israel is very high by world standards.” Cohen-Gan, Tumarkin, Lavie, Ben- Haim and Doktori are all famous names in New York because their art is gutsy, honest and political. “ We are not only commercial artists,” comments Doktori, we are deeply involved.”

Profoundly self-critical and preoccupied with the country’s political and security situation, the community of Israeli artists, in New York as in Tel Aviv, is marked by its own brand of in-fighting: perhaps the price paid for strong, individualistic expression.





These new latex wall sculptures show this Israeli-born artist to have become more sensitive to the coarse, aggressive medium in which he chooses to work. Whereas before, Doktori created large surfaces studded with repetitious, almost too-playful details, he now makes wholistic forms that, having responded during their fabrication to the pull of gravity, hang with ironic rigidity in flaps and sags. Several works form narrow container-like spaces; others open up into wigs and lapels. A recent painting-drawing, in which a rectangle of mottled black texture is framed by open surface, also shows promise, even accomplishment.

March 1975, ART NEWS



ART FORUM (1975)

DOKTORI. I remember his show of latex paintings. A glut of rubberized pigment, the work simply a dramatization of its medium. His new pieces are less ostentatious in their physicality. More subtle in their transition from painting to sculpture. And more involved with a search for personal expression. A number of the works are elongated verticals, slit in the middle, the opening asserting their three-dimensional presence. The surfaces are motled, drips and strokes of latex traces of coppery metallic powders, vestiges of wood grain from the original base. One thinks of a canvas pried from its support, the paint solidified into a material, which shapes its extent as well as its surface. The work pinned to the wall, hanging there, the shape sagging around its central opening, the elasticity of the latex subjected to the pull of gravity. The sensuousness of the imagery, the skin-like texture of the material, the female biomorphism of the slits, suggestive of a recurrent theme. Eva Hesse, Hannah Wilke come to mind.

Other pieces expand on the iconic potential of the single image- object. A masklike presentation, oval in shape. The edges of the form folding over its interior, a crown at the top, a jawing projection at the bottom. The inside face mysterious in its blackness. Perhaps too conventionalized in its notion of primitivism. The taste of a formula for expressiveness. More directly personal, and a bit of an anomaly within the context of the other images, a Self-Portrit. Twelve pink-hued latex facial casts, each crumpled within the confines of a narrow frame. The physiognomy is the same throughout, but the countenance alters as the form folds differently to fit the contours of its encasement. There is a muteness to these visages similar to the eyeless gazes of jasper John’s heads. Yet at the same time, there is a humanness to these masks as they shape their expression almost as gesture. Is this piece a step toward a more self-referential base for the image?
Or is it simply a digression from a more established  idea of the icon? I don’t know.



ARTnews (1972)

Doktori (Benedek; June 12-30) pours thin coats of latex over sidewalks, floorboards, wood and tiles, usually adding color before the cast dries. By varying the thickness of his color or using several layers of variously colored latex, Doktori gives his casts an Expressionistic appearance. Hung loosely from walls, they look more like tapestry than pavement. Doktori transposes surfaces (even while “documenting” them): outdoor becomes indoor, horizontal becomes vertical, rigid planes become flexible—while bsic patterns remain intact. J.G.



DOKTORI (1974)

These are not so much process pieces as works that explore the properties and formal possibilities of laytex. In fact the most original of Doktori’s works are not those which rely on the flexibility, color and raw edges of unadorned laytex but those in which the material has undergone the greatest transformation. Number 5, for example, uses cast sections of laytex, squashed horizontally close to one another so that the surfaces look like shingles. The surfaces themselves are enriched with pourings of liquid laytexwhich form vertical and horizontal drips and portions of the work are reinforced with metallic paint. The total effect is subtle and, like all of Doktori’s best pieces, it has dignity. Also notable are Number 6 and Number 8, the former because it uses simple techniques of folding and pinning to create an effective sculptural shape, the latter, a sagging grid form, has a smoky, yellowed look and  sufficient surface marring and marking to make it appealingly vulnerable. (Rina, January14- February 15)


ARTS MAGAZINE / September-October 1972

The latex wall hangings of DOKTORI are not especially innovative, but their formal and dignified appearance gives them a greater appeal than most of the work in this area. The material, cast directly on loft floors, is played off against the stark forms and powerful textures: the patterns suggest poured concrete even though the piece is super-thin and flexible. Most of them are roughly geometric compositions, but a few experiments are worth making special note of. One hung is an open space between rooms, uses the translucence of the material to convert an area cast from tiles into a kind of window. Another involves the pouring of different colors and brings to mind some of the modest rainbows of Morris Louis. (Benedeck, June 12-30)




Meir Ronnen

Kochi Doktori graduated from Tel Aviv’s Avni Institute in 1968 and from the Brooklyn Museum of Art School in 1972; since then he has been working and exhibiting in New York. His first show here is an elegant bore. All the numerous works are the same size and of the basic format and technique, though there are perceptible ( I nearly said subtle) differences between them, apart from moderate changes of color (each is drawn in monochrome).
Doktori’s thing is to rule up a grid on a square and then fill in the background with thousands of overlapping freehand circles, leaving tiny flecks of white. The effect is like looking at the exam heavens through a large leadlight window. In some works, parts of the grid are accented; in others, bands of darker tones move across the background.

Doktori writes: “My work relates to a space-time continuum,” a phrase we had hoped we would never come across again. He aims at creating “ a tension between the grid and the more random circular motions,” and notes that “ ending the piece is a matter of timing.”  So it is, surely, with any other work of art? I must confess a growing antipathy to conceptual pretentiousness, particularly in an art that is basically decorative and essentially repetitious in concept (Bertha Urdang Gallery, Bialik 7a, Belt Hakerem).



ART IN AMERICA --Michael Sgan- Cohen.   (1974)

For his two earlier New York shows, Doktori made large, flat, wall-size reliefs, cast in latex and loosely hung up, which one could describe as” cast pictures”. In the first group (1972), there was a strong pictorial content, largerly derived from textures transferred directly from wall, floors or sidewalks. In the group (1974), these “found” environmental surfaces were replaced by arrangements of geometrically shaped wood units, imprinted into the latex surface, leaving indented negative volumes. These works were  involved  with composition in the sense of deliberate surface organization, and represented an attempt at tighter control of texture and form.

Yet Doktori seems to have little interest in composition as such, as his recent show revealed. He now enlarges and isolates the imprinted negative volumes from their “backgrounds”, thus establishing a more overtly sculptural conception. Technically this means that he coats the units ( or sometimes simple constructions) with latex and then peels the dried shapes from their molds. The geometrical volumes operate as a pretext for expensive deformations, as the loose skins, hung on the wall, droop like an Oldenburg pay-phone or a coat on a nail.
This free fall of sort material is an essential feature of Doktori’s work and part of its informality. But as important as chance is in determining the configurations, Doktori maintains a degree of control over his forms in various ways: for example, the thickness of the casting influences the way the empty skins fall. He also varies the color: the latex is yellowish and rather bright in its original state, but can be mixed with pigments for different expressive results.

The pieces are small ( they range from two to four feet) and call for an intimate, close-up viewing. This reveals textures, which are rough and drippy outside and smoother inside. The dripped exteriors carry Abstract- Expressionist connotations of the personal and hand- made. The interiors in contrast, imprinted with the grain of wooden molds, yield a “natural” image untouched by the artist. There is an erotic tension between the rough exteriors and the “virgin” inner surfaces. In a few pieces, totally hidden interiors incite a voyeuristic urge, particularly strong in works where only a narrow slit is left as an opening. In the single work where the piece is fastened wide open (thus interfering with its natural fall), the effect is reversed and therefore dramatic.

The context for Doktori’s work is a post- Minimalist one. Latex functions for him as an agent of anti-form the way felt served Morris. Hesse aand Nauman were also influences. The clumsy appearance of Doktori’s hung-up pieces also suggests Beuys’ felt suits which declare an anti-esthetic stance, an element of the absurd. In a serial work for which Doktori’s face is the mold, latex masks are crumpled into plexiglass boxes expressing a more explicit sense of self-mockery. In works such as these, a taste for the literary mixes with a deliberate clumsy formalism.

--Michael Sgan- Cohen.  


THE JERUSALEM POST MAGAZINE (Friday, January 9, 1981)

 KOCHI DOKTORI, who works in the US., is showing recent works on paper and on paper mounted on canvas. There are three series, at least one of them meant to be kept together as a whole. Each of the three consist of a number of variations on a thematic idea, presented in fairly simple and – at first glance—simplistic terms. But the longer one looks the more one sees in them and admires Doktori’s ability to ring the changes on these otherwise quite simple concepts.

The biggest and most interesting work is a “mural” of 28 sheets, each painted in different colors, the fairly uniform background being divided up, or qualified by, the addition of two stuck-on silver rods. Each fairly flat ground is cleverly made up of two complementary colors, not sufficiently melded together to deaden the resultant liveliness (complementaries, when fully mixed together before application, cancel out into dead greys). The sheets also relate to each other. Above all, the placing of the rods is throughout, quite masterly.
A second series of five canvases is even more tempestuous in use of effective impasto, which also covers two sticks placed in varying vee-like formations on each work.

The final series consists of pieces of flattened yellow metal rods affixed at both ends to sheets of white paper with blobs of a tar-like substance (actually black acrylic mixed with an impasto-forming gel). The configurations are, however, merely decorative, partly because Doktori falls for near- symmetry and uses too many elements; he is at his best when at his most austere. (Gallery Gimel, new premises, King Shlomo 4, J’lem). Till Jan. 23.



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