Buck is the name of the quarter of the village in the southern black forest I grew up in. Actually it’s not a real quarter, because it’s only an accumulation of five to six houses on a hill at the edge of the village surrounded by woods. Buck, pronounced [buk] in german, is an old slangword, an idiom of the area for hill. But nowadays nobody uses it anymore nor even knows its meaning. I also didn't know its meaning for a long time. I always liked the sound of the word. It has this onomatopoetic quality to me, it could have a certain meaning by its sound, but it didn't have one or more precisely I didn't know. I used to fill it with a specific content and imagined what content the word could carry.
Since Obama’s inauguration on January 20, 2009, Rob Pruitt has created a two by two foot painting of the president every day, with imagery drawn from the news of that day. Upon completion, The Obama Paintings will comprise 2,922 paintings.
The Adolfo Pini Foundation is proud to present a site-specific project by Michele Gabriele, curated by /77. The co-operation between such two different realities as the Foundation and the artist-run-project /77, which nevertheless share the same commitment to the promotion of young artists, was made possible by Adrian Paci, who has recently joined the Foundation's board.
STOP BATH relates to last photographic process which affixes images physically in time. On view will be sculptural representations of sleeping masks, face masks, and tables of arranged photographic collages based on images sourced from eBay listings selling clock faces.
In 1886 Georges Seurat developed a technique of painting with tiny flecks of pure colors inspired by scientific theories of light and perception prevalent at the time. Though Pointillism was heavily criticised, its principles are now the standard manner in which we see all screen based images, where tiny dots are placed in an array. The technique relies on the ability of the eye and mind of the viewer to blend the spots into a fuller range of tones. Acknowledging this parallel between the screen and the history of painting, Overworld presents a new body of work where pattern and repetition are employed alongside hidden surface manipulation in a series of paintings that seek to merge tradition with contemporaneity.
Rodolphe Janssen is currently exhibiting Illustration, an exhibition of new paintings by Los Angeles based artist Sayre Gomez. In Illustration, Gomez’s works further elucidate his discipline of painting and the understanding of the airbrush medium, as a material and as a concept of representation.
Reading the email exchange between the artists, I realized the setting of curatron emphasizes the role of text as I noticed their use of key words. Using a word count tool, I render the patterns like an algorithm, first in an auto-generated fashion with the 50 words most used in their exchange combined with the key words, then by order of appearance with the 200 words most used.
Imagine a painting of the sea. A full moon partially hidden by thin clouds. The inky sky reflected in the expansive ocean. The image is completed on both sides by a rocky crevice that frames the image leading the eye from foreground to background. This crepuscular scene — a symbol of a certain type of escape — is an idea of the rural reduced to a signal. It is landscape as road sign, to be read quickly and recognised at distance. This is a common strategy within the work of Danish artist Ditte Gantriis. Think of a candlestick. What does a whicker basket look like? Now imagine them scaled up. What would these objects look like in a cartoon? The archetypal becomes astronomical and absurd.
Fiberglass and epoxy, adaptable industrial materials, dry to a sturdy finish that confers a density to the works and belies their hollow interior. Still, there is an illusive fragility, a remnant of the delicate cardboard and tape molds that once contained them. Tarp laid down during the casting process imprints wrinkles and folds on the surface, lending a deceptively plush appearance to the hard, unyielding shell. And if the glossy wall-mounted works recall the lineage of painting-cum-sculpture, there is no painterly trace: resin adheres to paint that has been applied to the mold, coating the work in color in one immediate, irreversible swoop.
Art knows no zero point. It has no concept of an outside place, no indefinite expression; it is impossible to represent "nothing". French cultural theorist Roland Barthes was the first to point this out. According to Barthes, every work carries with it the illusions of the culture in which it was made. The mesh of everyday myths is unavoidable; art history’s thicket of the codes impenetrable. But for all its impossibility, the desire for this kind of zero point, the yearning to see without codes and connotations, remains essential. We all long for it. Astonishingly, the works of young Cologne artists Michail Pirgelis and David Ostrowski diligently strive toward this precise way of seeing. The sculptor and painter have been close friends since attending the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where they studied under Albert Oehlen and Rosemarie Trockel. Though their projects could hardly be more different, they are pursuing a similar artistic vision. In this sense, the succinct, ironic title of the exhibition Nothing Happened could also be understood as a programmatic, shared objective. Both artists try to explore the "zero point" of art while completely aware of the futility. They seem to ask what would happen if nothing had happened, and raise the almost heretical question of whether it would be possible to start over from scratch.
Coco Fesse also known as coco de mer, love nut or double coconut belongs to an endangered species of palm trees found in the Seychelles. The mature fruit is 40-50cm in diameter, weighs 15-30kg and contains the largest seed in the plant kingdom. It used to be an important trade item and European nobles in the 16th century would have the nuts polished and decorated with valuable jewels. Its suggestive form resembling female buttocks on one side and belly and thighs on the other, has made it a sought after collectible. It is also the source of many legends and allegedly an aphrodisiac, resulting in illegal harvesting further reducing its own fertility. Their exploitation continues until today, mostly due to tourism, transforming the, literally and figuratively speaking, bearer of fertility into a mere depiction of itself.
One could see Ana Manso's exhibitions as a series of occurrences responding to certain contexts— they take place under particular sets of conditions. Her paintings are windows that grasp excerpts of the real; occasionally their qualities are turned into art pieces. Space is surely an expansive dimension in which painting can be set against; so far Ana Manso's works follow a serious historicity. But out of relevant conventions, they truly touch upon an informal and empathic practice.
It is surprising how Annabelle Arlie’s work, although very materialistic, graphic and plastic, is undoubtedly and foremost a conceptual practice. Conceptual in the way she challenges our contemporary art world’s means of production and broadcasting, locating herself in-between an obsessive isolationism (geographical and social) and an extreme connection (Wi-Fi, 4G, social networks).
In the last several years, Lili Reynaud Dewar has created a complex oeuvre that continuously revolves around the concepts of cultural, social and even emotional identities, that recalls various artistic and social liberation movements and subcultures of the 20th century. She deliberately breaks with conventions and traditions in order to explore them and to create a space for thought in which the viewers can and must form their own opinions. In her first large solo show at the Kunstverein in Hamburg, the artist brings together elements of science fiction and rap with discourses on emancipation and colonialism in an installation that pushes against the boundaries of its space.
“All of this was made with a lot of pleasure despite various feelings of terror, grief and worry. El Niño never came, the cops shot over 500 people, demonization of the other is at an all-time high, the planet is choking, my mom died. And now Trump. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. No more icebergs. This is just the tip of death’s boney middle finger. If I could say one thing, I’d tell you that scientifically speaking, snakes only ever eat their own tails when they are having a severe anxiety attack due to heatstroke. They are self-destructing in a hot panic. While the image of a snake eating it’s tail has been used to refer to the cyclical nature of life and death, to eternity and the infinite in many cultures—from Greek, Indian, Norse and South American mythology to systems of thought in Alchemy and Yoga — the ancient Egyptian idea of a circling “formless disorder that surrounds the orderly world and is involved in that world’s periodic renewal” seems to most closely reflect the wildness of worry, especially that which is brought on by hostile environmental conditions. Severe drought; the unregulated heat of citizen disempowerment in a two-party system seemingly air-locked with no cross-stream; love and family in late capitalism atomizing the body-mind connection faster than you can say dialectic. It’s getting hot in here. Tail in mouth, we are eating the wrong thing.” —Kahn
1 All men who repeat a line from Shakespeare are William Shakespeare.
2 It seems like a simple case of real versus copy, a mimesis with two terms. Rather they renounce direct imitation by using colors that are clearly artificial and fantastic: greens, reds and blue. As much as they imitate canvas they dramatise their status as independent form. Which is to say that three degrees or levels of representation are in play, not just two: the surface of the actual canvas, made of cotton and bought at the store; the hand woven canvas, whose simulation is both approached and renounced; and the painting itself, the lines and color patches that have their own autonomy, in a median space between the poles of original and copy. When a representation is placed alongside or against the original, representation is raised to a higher power: it becomes ‘simulation’. After all, that something can be accurately represented need have no bearing on the status of the original: representation does not necessarily produce of itself the idea of competition between the original and copy, or of the copy’s independent power. But when the copy stands adjacent to or in the place where one would expect the real thing, something more is involved; the original loses its autonomy, it becomes the first in a series that also includes fictions.
Steven Cox’s newest series of horizontal stripe paintings examine the visual conflict that arises through the fusing of disparate painterly languages. The works pay testament to the history of painting as an intensifying visual language. Throughout Language Barrier, the materiality of the canvas is scrutinized as a physical barrier that demands disrupting and interrogating. Cox challenges the traditional substrates of painting by exploring the conflicting action of applying paint to both sides of the canvas.
BASEMENT ROMA is extremely proud to present Truth Table, Montreal-based artist Ed Fornieles’ first solo exhibition in Italy. Highly responsive to the movement of information, Fornieles’ work operates within the logic of immersive simulations, enacting change through constructed environments and events. His ambitious, large-scale projects often involve cultural, social, and infrastructural production, making interventions that reconfigure the viewer’s position and sense of self.
The pioneer of a still loosely defined practice, Amalia Ulman uses social networks as a stage for her performances. From Downtown Los Angeles, she has begun a narrative arc impregnated with false pretenses and strangely familiar twists and turns. Having moved into an office, she discovers herself as a business woman and adopts a pigeon named Bob; a grotesque alter ego. Adept at the paranoiac- critical method, she begins a descent into which the US elections and viral dynamics accumulate in a Piranesi labyrinth of psychoses. Gradually transforming the world into a magnetic field of evidence, her online persona becomes the point where all the signs of a conspiracy delirium converge.