Vera Mota - levar a cabeça aos pés, Galeria Pedro Cera

  levar a cabeça aos pés , 2018, installation view.

levar a cabeça aos pés, 2018, installation view.

  levar a cabeça aos pés , 2018, installation view.

levar a cabeça aos pés, 2018, installation view.

  levar a cabeça aos pés , 2018, installation view.

levar a cabeça aos pés, 2018, installation view.

  Encontro afectuoso , 2018

Encontro afectuoso, 2018

  levar a cabeça aos pés , 2018, installation view.

levar a cabeça aos pés, 2018, installation view.

  levar a cabeça aos pés , 2018, installation view.

levar a cabeça aos pés, 2018, installation view.

  Antecipação , 2018 (detail)

Antecipação, 2018 (detail)

With its title describing a physical action, levar a cabeça aos pés brings together a series of new sculptures, which like most of the works by Vera Mota, revolve around the politics of the body. Although, as a subject of (non)representation, the body has occupied a central position within the practice of the artist, the strategies of its scrutiny and politicisation have undergone a gradual transformation throughout the past years. Stepping aside from performance as a medium and the performative act of production, best characterised by Mota´s studio-based compositions, her recent exhibition at the gallery, marks a major shift in the practice of the artist, materialising a new form of sculptural animism and a new agency, while shifting the instrumentalization of the performative into a series of coincidental and strictly conceptual acts.

The body has not vanished but has been dematerialised and reborn into a new materiality of anthropomorphic sculptures. The form of these sculptures, their context, palpable physicality and suspended function, operates as a continuous reminder of the bodily, which in fact, in many ways, affirms the presence of the body, through its obvious absence. On the one hand the display has been choreographed to perform the role of the figure, while on the other, to construct an arena for it to perform its labor. Through the final installation and the build-up of relations between individual sculptures and their parts, Mota addresses our present-day understanding of the dematerialised body, where its physicality, through the possibility of its interchangeability has been rendered secondary, feeding thus our understanding of the body as a (virtual) container, which accommodates the brain.

The obvious prioritization of the head as a re-occurring motive in the exhibition, despite its assumed hierarchy, is levelled with other elements through strategies of display, inversions and through repetition that suggests an interchangeable identity.

Photos by Bruno Lopes.

Vera Mota - levar a cabeça aos pés
Galeria Pedro Cera, March 8 - April 7



No one knows me like Dawn from the Jobcentre is Richie Culver’s first solo show in Hull, where he grew up.

Spread across two floors of the gallery, No one knows me like Dawn from the Jobcentre features mainly paintings. An honest, sometimes humorous account of time spent on Job Seekers Allowance underpins this body of new work. It invites the viewer to look at the fleeting yet significant relationships we encounter as we strive for success in the face of adversity. Richie’s work draws on many personal references, from his working-class roots, to metropolitan living, as well as his own experience of the darker side of urban life.

With a fascinating creative path that has taken him all over the world, as a model, a photographer and as a self-taught artist working in paint and mixed media (including collaborating with the likes of Topman) Richie’s work is highly sought after.

Richie’s work, especially his paintings, has become progressively abstract to bring together different elements of his works as a multi-disciplinary artist and he is collected by Blain|Southern, Adele and Tate. Last year, Hull 2017 commissioned Richie to create Costa Del Wiv, a series of shop fronts in Hull’s Whitefriargate, celebrating his roots and the coastal town of Withernsea.

Richie Culver - No one knows me like Dawn from the jobcentre
Humber Street Gallery, March 16 - May 27

Wilhelm von Gloeden and Vivian Greven - L’esule e le Grazie, SOYUZ


SOYUZ is pleased to present "L'esule e le Grazie", an exhibition that brings together works by Wilhelm von Gloeden and new works by German artist Vivian Greven - for the first time in Italy - curated by Marialuisa Pastò.

There is no presence without absence. We could even argue that the latter sharpens every visual manifestation, because it exists only in relation to a presence that makes it evident. Much of the intrinsic power of the very concept of universality owes its existence to something that is actually absent. From this perspective, loss becomes the space where real and ideal meet, blending into each other. The place where the form becomes eternal and only Beauty can reveal its truth.

“Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, creeds follow one another, but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity.” - wrote Oscar Wilde.

The most sublime absence is the one that legitimise its presence in the form of the past, to which the concept of beauty is origin and essence. Even though it recurred throughout time in various forms, the past always implies the sense of the Arcadian return to that untouched world lived in the golden age of Classical Civilisation, which in turn becomes measure for present experiences. The Greeks deemed that beauty had ontological foundations and searched for its expression in nature and particularly in the human body – the most noble and high of the natural beings – with the inevitable erotic and sensual aura that distinguishes it. Looking to von Gloeden and Vivian Greven, the spirit of classical art seems to walk along the perceptions of our time. The firm and primitive beauty of the subjects of the German photographer reminds of the still poses of Classical Greek sculpture. Stripped of any additional ornaments, the models reach their essence in the perfection of their muscles. Magna Graecia’s loyalty to light, tableau vivant in the open air, and the evocative atmosphere that frames them pay tribute to the myth dimension. The decorum of the ephebes – even when implicitly vain – makes the body the place of their own representation. These are images of voluptuous bodies – of some kind of disturbing voyeurism – that praise a triumphal youth. 

“It’s Ellade, its ancient ideal of beauty, which lives on [...] in those bodies that look carved like Greek sculptures.” – wrote Peyrefitte.

In Gloeden’s images (1856 – 1931) they become arcane beings that live in the dimension of possibility. They are ideal models in the enchanted and metaphysical atmosphere of Taormina, “the last phase of a Mediterranean dream where one can reconnect with lost unity” – as the Island is described in “L'Exilé de Capri”. In the words of the very same Roger Peyrefitte, written in its “Les Amours singulières”, baron von Gloeden says: «The whole history of Italy, Sicily and Greece, in one word the Mediterranean, was summed up in Taormina [...] I stood on the Acropolis of Beauty». In the works of German artist Vivian Greven (*1985), classic aesthetic ideals chase one another on the canvas, appearing as composed gestures and harmonic elegance of the forms. The majesty and kindness of her subjects remind as much of the Olympic Greek sculptures as of Canova’s aesthetics. The soft and discreet lines that shape her faces embody the internal tension that underlie Winckelmann’s neoclassical postulates, which he himself used to describe as “noble simplicity and quiet greatness, both in posture and expression” ("edle Einfalt und stille Größe"). Greven’s Graces stand as untouched creatures that answer to the principles of the purest classicism: objects of an ideal, universal, eternal beauty. The subjects of the works presented in this exhibition define the ability of the sign to convey meaning to the form – ideal models legitimised in the space of all times, which is per se outside of time. The beauty of their untarnished perfection tells the absence of discontinuity of past references to present experience, in turn reinforcing their original greatness. 

Curated by Marialuisa Pastò.

Wilhelm von Gloeden and Vivian Greven - L'esule e le Grazie
SOYUZ, February 24 - March 30

Valentina Novikova - The Last Party Before the End of Times


“I am not concerned with the trivialities of Christmas. I am concerned with the terrible consequences we must face as the war drums beat ever stronger,” the Queen said.

We are the last analog representatives on our planet. Retrograde Mercury took away the remains of life in motion, so we arranged an event in the middle of nowhere. We met the other within an insular territory of the endless return. The black gut, leading the posthuman to the abandoned isolated dance-floor, is a wormhole, an error of time and space, the last reminiscence of a mother’s amniotic sac that had nurtured us long before the arrow of time appeared. On a threshold there lay a superman, had passed the warrior’s way, lifeless and unnecessary. Behind the console stood a lean bearded DJ, lighting up afterpulses of life inside our bodies. Coagulates the room, coagulates the milk, smolder beslobbered butts. Flowing from one to another a quality ceases functioning, it is gone with the black polyethylene and vanishes, leaving only a chirper sense of the anxiety.

We are a sovereign community. We have two legs, two arms, one head. Two eyes – to see, two ears — to hear, a nose — we smell danger. The regular triangle of our habitat is paradoxical: the vertex of it is a putrid invariant. We chanted of «destabilization». We beat it rhapsodically, spreading ourselves beyond the outside.

”One must now make the necessary preparations to say goodbye to loved ones as one cannot assume who will live and who will die. Many will die in these final days.”

Curated by Elizaveta Danilycheva.

December 18, 2017



The American painter Josh Smith, whose practice encompasses prints, drawings, and sculptures, creates works characterised by dramatic brushstrokes, compulsive repetition of subjects, calligraphic lines and the intensity of colour.

In I Will Carry The Weight, the title being the artists answer to Gang Starr’s song Who’s Gonna Take the Weight?, Josh Smith presents a series of new, large and small scale, oil canvases depicting variations of the personification of death: the grim reaper. In each canvas the grim reaper is portrayed with the customary black robe and scythe, positioned in surreal and hallucinatory dark landscapes marked by multi-coloured and vibrant brushstrokes.

The artists commenced the series by drawing cartoon sketches, and slowly started to render the sketches in oil. The weightiness of the subject was for Josh Smith a gift, allowing him to devote more energy to the paintings themselves, giving each painting “enough personality to warrant its existence”. The artist assigns to the paintings titles that he felt nebulously amplified his desire for what each work might convey. About the viewers potential quest for a meaning in the series Josh Smith states “There is no meaning except that they mean everything you want them to. I believe any good painting could just as easily mean nothing as it could mean everything. Ideally you look at the paintings and then think about whatever it is that you end up thinking about. That’s what happens with me”.

The exhibition also includes a group of monotypes, made a few years earlier, portraying the same subject. Josh Smith will usually go into the print shop before he starts to make a new set of paintings and is able to test out everything and see if an idea is worth pursuing. Monotyping produces a unique print, made by drawing or painting on a smooth, non-absorbent surface. The image is then transferred onto a sheet of paper by pressing the two together. In this case, this was done with a printing press. About making the monotypes Josh Smith says, “I feel as if the monotypes are a type of painting. The process of creating a monotype allows for reaction and reflection as you are creating. In this exhibition you will notice the changes between the monotypes and the paintings.”

In both the canvases and the monotypes, Josh Smith creates a series of expressive and colourful memento mori. The inevitability of death is depicted not as an evil or sinister fact, but rather as a harmless reality. 

Josh Smith - I Will Carry The Weight
Massimo de Carlo, January 18 - March 24


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FICTIONS aims to investigate the issue concerning the emphasis on what happens to a traditional form of image-making when it enters a digital framework, with a strong interest in the mediation that an artwork under- goes when it is consciously documented, investigated and distributed using digital technology. Both Richard Dupont and Michael Staniak are deeply involved in the question of truth, between the erasure of truth in itself and the revelation of a new aesthetic code, which is still in the process of being defined according to the virtual constellation of infinite possibilities.

On one hand, this exhibition will debut a new body of work that Dupont has been developing over the past year. Infusing raw canvas with chemicals used primarily in cyanotype photography, these new works achieve their deep blue color in the sun as the sensitized canvas undergoes a chemical reaction. The resulting hybrid between painting and photography has metaphysical overtones, as the presence and absence of an image simultaneously converge.

The exhibition will focus on a series of new works derived from radiography scans of several other artworks, which were first downloaded as digital les and then manipulated by Dupont, before being printed on large films and then, finally, transferred via the process to canvas.

The exhibition will consist of a central room with four new, large-scale works, all titled “Untitled Drawing c. 1953”. These works have Robert Rauschenberg’s proto-Conceptual artwork, “Erased de Kooning Drawing”, as their starting point. Visibility itself is examined in these new painting/photo hybrids. While researching for the new series, Dupont came across an infrared scan of “Erased de Kooning Drawing”, which had been created by the Elise s. Haas conservation department at SF MOMA. The scan reveals some aspects of what had been erased. The conjuring of the invisible drawing reframes the gesture of erasure via the scan process. Dupont downloaded this image and imported it into photoshop, where further attempts to reconstruct the erased marks were made.

It is unclear which elements of these new works are recovered de Kooning marks, and which, instead, are digital manipulations by Dupont. The digital le generated by the scan further obfuscates Rauschenberg’s radical non-gesture, as the erasure is itself erased-replaced by an in nitely corruptible digital code.

The Michael Staniak’s new paintings, all titled under the series “HDF”, are an extension of his investigation into the effects that digital media has on the production and viewing of painting. Utilising various materials, including a custom-made casting compound and acrylic paints, textured layers are built up over time using both nger gestures and random studio tools. The resulting surfaces are a record of an organic, painterly process, which then undergo a slow application of hand-sprayed colour that achieves a trompe-l’œil effect. This, at once, attens the gestures and produces an image that seems digitally mediated.

The letters HDF are an acronym for Hierarchical Data Format, digital file extension used mostly in satellite data and imagery gathering in order to extract multiple points of information from a single digital image. This is reflective of the way we view most of our world via the mediated digital lens, where oftentimes more truths about an image can be revealed using new technologies. At the same time, the screen can hinder our understanding of physical reality; we question the truth value of edited images that can often have a attening effect on the physical subject. Staniak’s paintings are demonstrative of both these phenomena - his gestures are heightened in saturated color or contrasted in a facsimile-like monochrome; yet the gestures themselves are hidden and revealed only between painterly layers of visual data attened by a process that renders the works to appear more digital. 

Curated by Domenico de Chirico.

Ricard Dupont and Michael Staniak - Fictions
Eduardo Secci Contemporary, January 19 - March 10


 Mature Themes, 2018, installation view, Foxy Production

Mature Themes, 2018, installation view, Foxy Production

 Mature Themes, 2018, installation view, Foxy Production

Mature Themes, 2018, installation view, Foxy Production

 Mature Themes, 2018, installation view, Foxy Production

Mature Themes, 2018, installation view, Foxy Production

 Kiki Kogelnik,  Untitled Hanging , c. 1970

Kiki Kogelnik, Untitled Hanging, c. 1970

 Cindy Ji Hye Kim, Sore Throat, 2018

Cindy Ji Hye Kim, Sore Throat, 2018

 Brian Kokoska,  Love Triangle (Goofy Cage Slave) , 2018

Brian Kokoska, Love Triangle (Goofy Cage Slave), 2018

 Julia Wachtel,  Tree , 2016

Julia Wachtel, Tree, 2016

A scene from a movie:

Beatrix is sprawled on the bathroom floor, crying. Her tears are those of exhaustion, of joy, and of trauma.

“She covers her mouth so B.B. won’t hear her crying and get worried or confused.”

A long wall separates her from her child. On one side lays Beatrix, consumed by an overflowing catharsis; on the other sits her daughter, B.B., blissfully watching the 1946 cartoon, The Talking Magpies. Beatrix hopes for this wall to be a barrier, holding back the crashing weight of consequence and emotion from her idle, and seemingly unaffected, child.

“She washes her face in the sink, when she’s presentable, she walks out of the bathroom, jumps on the bed with her baby, hugs her from behind as the two watch Saturday morning cartoons.”

For the moment, it appears that the mother has shielded her daughter from the abyss. Yet for all the care taken by Beatrix to muffle her own cries, she has only made more audible the jangle of the cartoon and its slapstick dialogue. What will happen when, months later, she jumps into bed again to watch the weekend cartoons with B.B. and a rerun of The Talking Magpies plays? Will the opening melody take Beatrix back to her moment of collapse on the bathroom tiles? And what about B.B.? Will she remember her mother’s stifled weeps through the barricade?

As they cuddle side-by-side watching that same lively cartoon play out, will they see it through new eyes? The animated violence now more real than caricature; the conversation suddenly more biting than playful. What has become of this sweet, innocuous cartoon to have made it so cruel and wrong?

Exhibiting artists: Cindy Ji Hye Kim, Kiki Kogelnik, Brian Kokoska, Bjarne Melgaard, Chelsey Pettyjohn, Erika Vogt, Julia Wachtel.
Curated by John Garcia.

Mature Themes
Foxy Production, January 14 - March 11

Contribution by Timothy Hull.

Matias Faldbakken - Effects of Good Government in the Pit, Astrup Fearnley Museet


Faldbakken has received great attention and critical acclaim on the international art scene. While he has established a central position in the national and international art world, he remains engaged in a process of great creativity and continuous renewal. 

A visual artist and a writer, Faldbakken references both modern and contemporary art history, as well as literature in his work. Deconstructing and undermining forms, altering ready-made objects, finding new configurations in collages, and experimenting with the use of words and the alphabet in his works, he invents his own artistic languages.

This exhibition, entitled Effects of Good Government in the Pit, presents Faldbakken’s works and preoccupations from the last decade, during which he has developed his project of questioning the function of objects and images in contemporary art and society. Conceived by the artist as a coherent installation, the constellation of videos, sculptures, collages, paintings and installations showcases his research and experimentation within different media.

Photos by Christian Øen.

Matias Faldbakken - Effects of Good Government in the Pit
Astrup Fearnley Museet, September 22 - January 28

Contirbution by Marialuisa Pastò.

Jacana’s frontal shield or frontal as shields are frontal - THE WORKBENCH INTERNATIONAL

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The “frontal shield” is a colorful element present in nature in the anatomy of a number of species of birds. Set on the bird’s forehead, the “shield” is used to visually attract while at the same time functioning as a protection device. There is also a link between the frontal shield and levels of testosterone production by the males.
A shield, by its own definition, manifests itself in a relationship of constant and potentially infinite “frontality”, interpreted in the exhibition as a determining aspect of the work itself in a parallelism as direct as possible between the work and the beneficiary.
The project will amount to the exhibition of six works, set up in a way that permits their individual reading, avoiding thus an obvious visual relationship between them. This has the aim of turning the frontality in a specific factor and not a collateral element, subordinated to the display, but a precise medium, actively chosen by the artist.

Exhibiting artists: Alice Ronchi, Apparatus 22, Mirko Canesi, Marco Giordano, Pedro Matos, Ricardo Passaporte.
Curated by Pietro Di Lecce.

Jacana’s frontal shield or frontal as shields are frontal
December 20 - February 20

Valentin Dommanget - ESC(ape)/CTRL, Lily Robert


In his second solo exhibition, Valentin Dommanget shows a profound evolution in his practice, and changes that mainly concern associations and visions that one may have towards the outside and possible social exchanges. The young French artist – who has always worked in the field of abstraction and having now internalised an aesthetic of digital reference that embraces the geological sciences and the hypercolor, the natural and the artifcio – in these new works also inserts human figures. He does this in order to analyse the interferences to which humanity in general is continually subjected and the new complexities arising in the distorted contemporary moment, in which a phantomatic and latent dark force tries to make us believe in the emptiness and lack of logic of content dissolving our minds through the saturation of data administered daily.

The theme of transhumanism gains increasing significance in this new body of work. The binomial Human/Machine developed through the use of randomness in painting and the use of software seems to lose the sense of a conceptual gap. The separation of these two entities is understood as a misunderstanding and the concept becomes simpler and more effective. The pursuit of artificial intelligence could be an evolution of the human brain, therefore technology as a concept or stage of this evolution is no longer conceived as something to separate from the natural progress of the human being. In fact, Transhumanism, sometimes abbreviated with the formula > H or H+ or H-plus, is a cultural movement that supports the use of scientific and technological discoveries to increase physical and cognitive skills and in view of a posthuman transformation, improve aspects of the human condition which are considered undesirable, such as disease and aging. It is believed that the term “transhumanism” was coined by the British biologist, geneticist and writer Julian Huxley in his 1957 text “In New Bottles for New Wine” in which he imagined scenarios for the emancipation of humanity. Huxley originally conceived transhumanism as “the man who remains human, but who transcends himself, realising the new potentialities of his human nature, for his human nature;” “Transhumanism shares many elements with humanism, including respect for reason and the sciences, the commitment to progress and to value human (or transhuman) existence in this life.”

Dommanget is not creating a bridge between mankind and computers, but rather seeking the reality of these extensions in changes in our traditions and social behavior directly in the status quo. Artificial means being created by man, and if we actually accept that humans are nature, then artificial is nonsense. It is fundamental that we understand that man, because of his nature, is driven to the artificial. Evolution itself is natural and with it the progress of human intelligence in material and virtual ways. The works caress this rift, smoothing it, raising the material to the virtuosity of the virtual and the virtual to the flesh of matter. There is a reflection on the meaning of spirituality in a time when the machine can either cancel humanity or live in harmony with it.

Curated by Domenico de Chirico.

Valentin Dommanget - ESC(ape)/CTRL
Lily Robert, February 1 - February 28



Barry McGee is an artist who takes uncertainty and unpredictability as his guiding principles. Every exhibition is different. He arranges paintings, drawings, sculptures, found objects, and works by other artists into freely improvised installations that roam across the walls, floors, and ceilings of an exhibition space. In the past, his installations have featured everything from robotic graffiti writers to entire shipping containers and automobiles.

For his new show at Cheim & Read, McGee has assembled hundreds of artworks and objects into an installation that is at once boisterous and fluid. The gallery’s compact “dome room,” facing the entrance foyer, is outfitted with shelves and pedestals holding dozens of painted ceramics, including a totem-like stack of vessels covered in geometric patterns. Paintings on scrap wood, cardboard, and canvas hang on the walls or sit on the floor, while a spray-painted banner, reading “Do Your Part for the Resistance,” and an enormous black-and-white photograph dominate the upper portions of the space.

The walls of the front section of the main gallery are covered with paintings featuring optical patterns, geometric shapes, and stylized heads, along with the occasional acronym — “THR” (“The Human Race” or “The Harsh Reality”) and “DFW” (“Down for Whatever”). One corner of the space is occupied by a small, self-enclosed room (designated the “L. Fong Healing Arts Center,” an allusion to one of McGee’s pseudonyms), which the artist built to house a floor-to-ceiling installation of artworks and videos by his friends and acquaintances. Nearby, three vitrines are filled with magazines, chapbooks, drawings, and hand-painted bottles and artifacts by the artist and others.

The rear gallery of the main space is dominated by more than eighty wooden surf boards stacked against the east wall until they touch the ceiling, where they seem to join with the skylight and the apartment tower looming above. The opposite wall bellies outward as if struck by an earthquake. Here McGee has installed a tight-fitting cluster of black-framed drawings and watercolors that becomes its own overall shape, contrasting with a similarly tight cluster of unframed paintings hanging on the wall to the right. Recurring motifs ricochet around the entire gallery space, tying together the disparate forms and materials into a buzzing, dynamic whole.

Barry McGee
Cheim & Read, January 4 - February 17

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo - STANDARD (OSLO)


STANDARD (OSLO) is proud to present the exhibition ""Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo", which is gathering works with an interest in inane insistence on same while implying the impossibility of identicalness.

Exhibiting artists: Gardar Eide Einarsson, Matias Faldbakken, Jaya Howey, Chadwick Rantanen and Josh Smith.

Photos by Vegard Kleven, courtesy of the artists and STANDARD (OSLO).

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

STANDARD (OSLO), January 26 - February 24

Contribution by Marialuisa Pastò.


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It had been speculated that the world would end in 2012, or at the very least mankind would enter a new eon. While the date came and went without a bang, unbeknownst to most humans on earth it may have actually happened, as we replaced our own minds as the smartest things on earth with quantum computing. This form of computing has led to the rise of Artificial Intelligence, and the last 5 years have seen major leaps towards creating machines smarter, stronger, and potentially more powerful than mankind. AI has now even crossed into the home with smart speakers, TV’s, and phones that have first names and know yours. What AI fundamentally means for us is impossible to calculate but we can’t deny its here and growing smarter every day.

Having something on the planet that can think for itself, invent its own language, and gain access to our most secured networks is troubling enough in fantasy films, but this is increasingly closer to the truth of our time. In Mathew Zefeldt’s installation we are confronted by the frightening side of AI, with the image of terminator painted on all surfaces of the gallery. The floor and all the walls are covered with repeating grey scale of it. Zefeldt has then installed 4 painted canvases with pink and red terminators on top of this motif. Being inside of Zefeldt’s installation one can’t escape the feeling of being overwhelmed and in the midst of something both awe inspiring and frightening.

Mathew Zefeldt - Hunter/Killer
Big Pictures, January 13 - February 24

The Hired Grievers - Galeria Madragoa

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The Hired Grievers is a group exhibition curated by Jason Dodge that will take place in both gallery spaces, Madragoa and Madragoa Encima.

Many cultures hire mourners to participate in funerals. They are a chorus, they are decoration, they are guides to the underworld and guides to the range of feelings that come with grieving. In Matthew Dickman’s poem Grief, grief comes as a purple gorilla. He writes: “We sit for an hour / while she tells me how unreasonable I’ve been, / crying in the checkout line, / refusing to eat, refusing to shower, / all the smoking and all the drinking. / Eventually she puts one of her heavy / purple arms around me, leans / her head against mine, / and all of a sudden things are feeling romantic. / So I tell her, / things are feeling romantic. / She pulls another name, this time / from the dead, / [...]”.

In Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven frieze grief also comes as a gorilla, with scales and fins and reflective eyes, but this exhibition is not about grief, it is about reflective eyes, and the shimmering gems and decoration that are the witnesses to mourning, the incense, the frankincense, the gilded and shining.

In this exhibition, Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt types drawings of time. Anna Betbeze changes carpets to portholes, Freek Wambacq visualises things where sound is supposed to be, magnetic tape is rustling grass, potato starch is footsteps in the snow. Elena Narbutaite shining and staring lamps are blinding empsthetic strangers that speak in toungues. Penny Slinger’s collages are maps of an inner life, they can be read both as a representing and mapping a “dance of death”, or “repentance” while Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili’s photographs recreate time of day / time of life with in the capsule of the dark room, one exposure is the morning, one exposure the dead of night, it is not the negative that has the time of day in it, it is her hand, like a magician, telling you: not that, this, over here, I have invented a new hour.

Grief is not an idea, that is the weight of it. Grief is the way that life interferes with life — the breath on the window, an outgrown shoe. The hired grievers are the barrier between grief and the idea of grief. Strangers that guide the family and loved ones who are suffering the loss of one of their own, and are the hired grievers the strangers that usher the dead into death. The juxtaposition between being the focus of mourning to the anonymous body that is being mourned.

Exhibiting artists: Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Anna Betbeze, Elena Narbutaite, Penny Slinger, Freek Wambacq, Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt.
Curated by Jason Dodge.

The Hired Grievers
Galeria Madragoa, January 27 - March 10


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Thomas van Linge's work embraces popular culture, musical heritage and the effects of technology and commodification on contemporary society. For Deep Down Inside he has created a series of sculptures that mimic the form and function of heavy duty flight cases, acting as archives for a reimagined history of electronic dance music. The Velociraptor-narrated short film follows a similar thread, aligning natural, industrial and cultural phenomena through the notion of sound as a conveyor of the past. Thomas consecutively runs two experimental dance music record labels, BAKK and RUBBER. He also performs under his music moniker Randstad.

Thomas Van Linge - Deep Down Inside
J Hammond Projects, February 1 - March 10



Tilman Hornig’s works emerge from a reaction to current events. His way of working is both intuitive and conceptually cross-media.
For his solo exhibition “Flipmode” in the gallery Gebr. Lehmann the artist has developed a new series of works with white wall paint and the European flag. The flag with its centered circle of stars, stretched in square format on frame, is extensively painted and presented as a rhomb. Each of the works remains untitled and is similar in form and aesthetics.

In 1955, the flag was introduced by the Council of Europe as a clearly defined symbol. It stands for unity, solidarity and harmony. The EU is at the same time an abstract and real structure that remains constantly ambivalent in terms of physics and idea. The painting of the flag is not an annihilation, but refers to the abstractness of reality.

The pointed symmetric rhomb is geometrically an unstable state.

Flipmode is an ambiguously definable term. It does not describe any concrete upside or downside, but is best understood as steady state change.

Tilman Hornig - Flipmode
Gallery Gebr. Lehmann, January 20 - March 23



A new installation of paintings by New York–based artist Nate Lowman in Galleries 2 and 3 explores the timeless, palpable concept of desire using imagery and language drawn from American popular culture. Angels, poppies, hearts, pine-tree air fresheners, smiley faces, iconic celebrities, crosses, and news articles—all presented through the lens of desire and longing—tell part of the American story and confront viewers with the things of modern life that are often left unsaid and unexamined (Aspen Art Museum). 

Photos by Tony Prikryl.

Nate Lowman - Before and After
Aspen Art Museum, December 15 - June 10

André Butzer - Gió Marconi


André Butzer is one of the most relevant contemporary German artists. His work explores the possibilities of the pictorial medium and develops a personal and strongly expressive universe. Butzer’s paintings reference German and American history, culture and politics, art history, science fiction, comics and animation.

At Gió Marconi both colourful figurative paintings and abstract black paintings from the N-series will be on display.  

The series of abstract oil paintings was initiated in 2010 and has been developed over the last eight years.
“N” stands for NASAHEIM (NASA Home), a neologism conceived by the artist and consisting of a combination of NASA (the acronym for the American space agency) and Anaheim, the original home of Disneyland. “N” is an imaginary, unreachable destination, invented by the artist, a non-place situated on the edge of abstraction where, according to Butzer, all the colours are conserved and where creation will find its true realisation.
The N-paintings constitute a sort of zero zone in painting, where relationships between colours, compositional structure and pictorial unity are taken to their extreme.

In every single piece on display, the massive black pictorial field is interrupted by a freehandedly painted white gap.
André Butzer considers himself a colourist, explaining the use of black and white as being an exploration of the maximum potential of colour and the consequence of the acceptance or inclusion of all tints.
These works create their own chromaticity in accordance with different lighting: black does not only absorb light but also becomes a source of light itself, as does the white part, hovering above the painting like an interstice, creating a visual flash.

The artists stated "(... ) it's a dark light. It inhabits the painting so that the painting itself becomes a source of light. It's the creator of light and a hint at the origin of life. Life and light are deeply connected terms. I'm a big fan of this over determined term matrix, because matrix loosely translated is mother.I think of painting as the origin of life (...) "
(Expressionism, Now with Added Black, Michael Slenske, Vice, 11.09.2017).

The cartoonish audaciously coloured female figures are a reference to both Expressionism but also to Walt Disney characters and science fiction. The artist has described these kinds of works as “Science-Fiction Expressionism".
On a large-scale painting a blonde girl in a bright red dress seems to be walking happily out of the golden background. In “Untitled (Paula Modersohn-Becker)” André Butzer pays homage to the German painter whose small portrait with golden hair and blue eyes emerges out of a vivid red background.

A site-specific poem by the artist on the entrance wall of the gallery summarizes and completes the exhibition.

Photos by Filippo Armellin.

André Butzer
Gió Marconi, January 18 - February 23



Like A Little Disaster is proud to present “Risky Attachments”, a new collective project involving works by Andreas ErvikLara Joy EvansLauren GaultThomas HäménJocelyn McGregorPlasticityRustan SöderlingIttah Yoda.
L.A.L.D. is also very happy to present “Risky_Attachements / The_Guidebook”, an analog/ digital publication including interventions and contributions by all artists involved in the show + Penny RaffertySebastian RozembergFerdinando BoeroChristina Gigliotti and L.A.L.D.

Curated by Like a Little Disaster.

For more information, full text and more images please visit the project's website:

Risky Attachments
Foothold, December 17 - February 18

Josh Sperling - Chasing Rainbows, Galerie Perrotin


Perrotin Paris is proud to present “Chasing Rainbows,” Josh Sperling’s rst exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition brings together a number of new works by the New York-based artist: composites—or shaped canvases and plywood panels—a series of monochrome canvas reliefs, and a large-scale installation.  

Sperling’s dynamic clusters of brightly colored forms blur the lines between painting and sculpture, image and object. Though each shaped canvas is distinct, it relies on other forms in the eld for compositional coherence and energy. Often asymmetrical and happily off-kilter, a cluster is always satisfying in its surprising arrangement. In Poppycock (2017), three ovals compete for prominence in the center of the composition, shuf ing and re-shuf ing before settling into a makeshift pile. A maroon arch buttresses them, cradling them into stillness. These snaking forms—“squiggles”—appear throughout Sperling’s work and act, alternately, as instigators and appeasers of movement: the maelstrom of forms that characterizes Sperling’s work. To execute a single “squiggle,” sheets of plywood are laid on top of each other, resembling a topographical model, before they are covered in canvas and painted over in Sperling’s signature palate
of saturated, sometimes clashing colors. The ridges of the wooden armature, visible through the canvas, add sculptural contrast to Sperling’s interest in atness—of color, of form.

In Lovey Dovey (2017), a blue trident eclipses a pink orb. The overlap is rendered in a marbling of the two tones. So intense is the collision of shape and color, force against force, that the surface collapses and the colors co-mingle. Over this eclipse of forms, a single curve arches like an eyebrow in an expression of alarm, or like a crescent moon presiding over the collision and framing the event. Dots, one red and one white, act as a kind of punctuation. They are the only seemingly stable forms in an otherwise mercurial landscape of shape, color, and relation. Everything appears on the verge of balance, suspended precariously before it might tumble and fall into a new con guration. Motion seems imminent.

Sperling’s range of in uences is broad. Frank Stella and his shaped canvases are clear predecessors for the meticulously crafted supports over which Sperling stretches his canvases. In this, Sperling resembles another American abstractionist, Ellsworth Kelly, whose signature hard-edge shapes took near-sculptural form in his later work; no longer the subject, they became the object itself, dictating its edges and its projection into space. Sperling picks up where his precursors left off, combining the concerns of painting—color and composition—with the spatial potential of sculpture. Whereas Kelly and Stella’s forms are unwaveringly stark, Sperling’s are sinuous and surprising. 

The artist cites “Googie” signage, the exuberant graphic fad of the 50s —Jetsons-y asterisks and boomerangs—as an in uence. Sperling’s forms communicate a comparable uplift of feeling, both in color and in contour. Also in Sperling’s aesthetic lineage is the short-lived Memphis furniture trend of the 80s. (Sperling was born in ‘84.) That movement’s postmodern all-things-go design philosophy disavowed “good taste” and touted improbable shapes and outrageous colors instead. Sperling is as steeped in design as he is in art history, and borrows from both. More canonical sources like Jean Arp’s kidney-shaped wall-reliefs, for instance, or the motion lines surrounding Keith Haring’s gures are also echoed in

Sperling’s vocabulary of forms. This diversity of associations is to Sperling’s credit: his ability to marshal a great number of varied references deftly and seamlessly into a single work and a total oeuvre. He is capable of reverence without conceding originality or energy. The works in this exhibition are no exception, as they straddle painting and sculpture daringly, venturing from the wall and intruding into the space joyfully.

Text by Danny Kopel.

Josh Sperlin - Chasing Rainbows
Galerie Perrotin, January 10 - February 24