Deliberately ambiguous, S.T.A.T.E. suggests multiple meanings, both within its acronym and its etymology : a delineated space governed by a unifying structure; a psychological platform that engenders an introspective mind-set; a variable condition used to measure a system that can be programmed.
Timofeev is perhaps most recently known for creating installations with digitally generated imagery, interactive games and rule-based performances. This work runs parallel to a drawing and painting practice from which his logic and inventions spring and which are collectively grouped as S.T.A.T.E., a title conceived by Timofeev in 2013. It is this body of work – drawings with ink, graphite and coloured pencil on paper, plus a selection of publications that will be included in this exhibition.
In his exhibition Put the Cobwebs Back in Place, Christian Andersson creates a dramaturgically dense ensemble of works. His new installations, sculptures and photographic works unfold a complex network of metaphysical speculations exploring and questioning our seemingly given reality. His multimedia works draw references from diverse fields such as science and science fiction, the history of art and popular culture as well as the canon of western civilisation. His practice is deeply rooted in the legacy of surrealism and a firm trust in a mysterious, hidden aspect of life.
In the first room we are confronted with skilfully crafted wooden objects of a complex nature. For the funnel-shaped objects titled Now Wait for Last Year Andersson worked with a woodturner to excavate the annual rings of 120-year old oak trees. Cutting progressively deeper from the bark to the trunk’s core and vice versa, every single annual ring is being revealed. Due to this process the rings become stretched in their width.
The presentation of the objects on a functional steel shelving system is reminiscent of how artefacts would be tucked away in a museum’s storage or how materials and tools are stored in a workshop. They remain oscillating between measuring tools or precious artefacts from the past. Smaller than table size these objects might also be seen as models of four-dimensional space-time curved by the presence of matter, for example a black hole, as described in the General Theory of Relativity. The work evokes the tradition of the Bicycle Wheel by the great doubter Marcel Duchamp. Not merely a ready made, it was an object of pseudoscientific speculation aiming at visualising the invisible fourth dimension (that —before Einstein—was conceived of as a dimension of space).
The installation Chroma Key Twine has a similar character as a model of thought. Conceptualising time and history as constructs subjected to mediation and debate, a green background paper woven into a grid and supported by two tripods fills the entire visual field of the viewer. The green screen, or chroma key technique is commonly used in film and TV productions to digitally insert virtual backgrounds, merging two images together. A powerful metaphor for our progressively dematerialised, mediated world the work offers an open space for projecting alternative, and in this case parallel, future realities.
In his installation One Day, which is on view behind a curtain in the back room, Andersson gives us a glimpse of the deep personal shock that might be caused by the realisation of the fallibility of established truths about our reality. The installation uses light―an even with current knowledge still not fully explicable phenomena―as medium. Six gobo-lights, casually stored in a crate, seem to live a life of their own, projecting faint light in the shape of texts onto the ceiling and walls of the gallery. The words form the story of a macabre joke or a science-fiction nightmare.
From here the exhibition’s choreography leads back into the first room. Gazing (back) through the bronze-tinted curtain, the front room now appears distant, dreamlike and somewhat unfamiliar.
Christian Andersson, born 1973 in Stockholm, currently lives and works in Malmö.
He recently had solo exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Thun in 2015, as well as the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and Moderna Museet, Malmö (both 2011). Lately, his work has been on view in group exhibitions at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2016), Medizinhistorisches Museum, Berlin (2015), Magazin 4, Bregenz (2014), Matadero, Madrid and the 12th Biennale de Lyon (both 2013). Later this year, his works will be on view in group shows at the Boimans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam and the Living Art Museum in Reykjavik. He is currently working on an exhibition project in Le Havre curated by Marc-Olivier Wahler and a solo exhibition at CIAJG, Guimaraes in 2017. Put the Cobwebs Back in Place is his fifth exhibition with Galerie Nordenhake.
« Mes travaux s’inscrivent dans une relation équivoque avec la nature » souligne l’artiste suisse Michel Huelin qui procède par une approche transdisciplinaire. Peintre, ses paysages des années 90 étaient déjà tributaires de pratiques aussi diverses que la vidéo et le ski de haute montagne ! Des paysages tellement détournés dans leur représentation que celle-ci apparaît comme la manifestation d’un trouble, à commencer par celui de la vision.
Depuis le début des années 2000, Michel Huelin brouille les repères, offrant un mélange d’éléments de l’espace intime (issu de ses études sur le design mobilier) et de l’espace interne (issu de son travail sur l’imagerie médicale), initiant une esthétique organique qu’il développe autant de manière physique par la peinture (huile et résines alkydes) que de manière numérique par des images générées par ordinateur. Le processus lancé par l’artiste crée des variations phénotypiques offrant l’illusion du principe fondamental de l’évolution.
Michel Huelin obtient ainsi l’image d’espèces nouvelles dont le caractère fictionnel ne suffit pas à écarter le trouble qui saisit le spectateur en constatant que cet environnement artificiel prend une place aussi “naturelle”. D’autant que dans la nature, ces « invasive species » — ainsi que l’artiste les a lui-même désignés — possèdent des caractères très proches de ceux que l’artiste met en œuvre virtuellement, en particulier la capacité d’une reproduction asexuée, rapide et à ce point capable d’adaptation en toutes circonstances.
Michel Huelin délivre ainsi des images conformes aux représentations possibles d’un écosystème du futur génétiquement modifié. Avec cette évolution technique, les préoccupations éthiques prennent une place prépondérante. Michel Huelin imagine un univers de mutations suscitant à la fois la fascination et le malaise, manifestations d’une techno-nature en expansion selon un principe de prolifération, comme la nature elle-même sans contrôle ni limite hormis celle de la perception du détail, cette notion même devenant elle-même imperceptible et floue. La complexité du processus pictural lui-même renforce encore cet état d’hybridation.
Entre les Landscape Recovery et les Recovery Landscape la différence est, en premier lieu, technique: les premiers recourent au lambda print quand les seconds sont des images imprimées sur des transparents puis peintes, puis scannées et enfin imprimées en jet d’encre sur un papier légèrement texturé. Les peintures proprement dites ne donnent pas moins l’illusion de l’irréalité. Comme l’indique Michel Huelin : « cette prolifération est quantifiable, le fouillis et le désordre sont fictifs et ne cherchent pas à passer pour réels ».
“As a child, I first saw Xu Wei’s ink painting Grapes (Ming dynasty) in the Palace Museum. Its ineffable simplicity and beauty has remained with me, as the pinnacle of what I aspire to as an artist. Over the last 50 years, I have tried to remain true to the spirit of Grapes, regardless of the technique or style in which I paint. Pure beauty - beyond words - has left its indelible imprint on my heart. I’ve never taken art as something of extraordinary importance, despite experiencing the occasional euphoria of success. And I’ve never been weighed down by adversity. Nor do the ever-changing art trends of our time attract me. Instead, my gaze is fixed on creating simple, beautiful and intriguing works, combining tradition with modernity. I am unwavering in my on-going attempts to bring more beauty and food for thought to the world.”
- Mao Lizi, Beijing, May 2016.
Pékin Fine Arts:
May 28 – Aug. 10, 2016
Pékin Fine Arts (Hong Kong) is pleased to host our 1st solo exhibit of pioneering avant-garde artist Mao Lizi. A founding member of the 1979-1980 “Stars Group” of Beijing unofficial grass-roots artists, Mao Lizi’s first exhibitions were in protest against the lack of official recognition and support for artists working outside the State system. Initially self-taught, Mao Lizi later obtained a master’s degree from the Oil Painting Dept. of Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1987. After nearly ten years in Paris, Mao Lizi returned to Beijing and took up work as an artist, architect and designer. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world and is widely collected in China and internationally.
In his latest series of semi-abstract monochrome paintings Mao Lizi continues his study of traditional Chinese painting language, this time rendering ink wash and ink dry-brush painting techniques using oil on canvas. Remaining true to his avant-garde roots, Mao insists on employing oil on canvas to capture the spirit of ink painting. The results are subtle and highly skilled renderings of semi-abstract imagery, shadows of nature: focusing mainly on deceptively simple shapes of flower petals, water and landscape.
In approaching oil on canvas in the same way a traditional painter treats ink and brush on Chinese xuan paper, Mao takes big technical risks: There is little chance to correct the composition once brushstrokes touch the canvas in these minimalist studies of how paint moves across canvas. At the same time, the vast empty spaces of each composition must be treated with equal weight, so they remain “alive”, as integral fields to overall compositions. One slip of the brush, in and among the empty backdrop of his canvas, and the work must be discarded, and Mao Lizi must start over. The result is a hard-to-achieve cohabitation of restraint and boldness in the artist’s painting.
Mao Lizi’s art has transitioned over the years from highly skilled photo-realist painter to non-representational abstract image making, affirming with each canvas a shift of the artist’s focus, as he continues to move away from the concrete to the increasingly abstract painting world. In these recent paintings on exhibit in Hong Kong, we see a mature artist with rich experience, enjoying the action of abstract painting, and the freedom of expression that only comes later in life, after achieving great control of one’s medium and deep understanding of one’s environment.
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