Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions

DeAnna Maganias: Something is in the house

20 May 2016 – 10 January 2017

Something is in the house, 2016, ceramic tiles (700 pieces) 300 × 500 cm

Rebecca Camhi Gallery

Leonidou 9, Metaxourgeio
Athens 10437, Greece

DeAnna Maganias’ exhibit entitled, “Something is in the house” features a selection of works from 2011 to 2016. They are about the abstract nature of the cosmos surrounding us, versus a seemingly predictable reality. Ranging from architectural installation, collage, photography and video, these works use humor and existential darkness in the search for the representation of the unknown.

Each of DeAnna Maganias’ works begin with an abstract idea or concept: in some cases this derives from a subtle shift in perceived or mundane reality; in others fundamental ideas of astronomy/astrophysics serve as starting points.

The works take form through a dialogue with the initial idea, and the evolving process of creating the object. Often involving obsessive repetition and accumulation, the process is made apparent in the end product: the finished pieces are rigorous in the physical presence they assert.

(left to right) The Geometry of an infinite storm / Saturn South Pole, 2016, mixed media 65 × 65 × 65 cm; The Geometry of an infinite storm / Jupiter, 2016, mixed media 65 × 65 × 65 cm; Something is in the house, 2016, ceramic tiles (700 pieces) 300 × 500 cm

(left to right) In a Sibyl’s galaxy, 2010-2012, mixed media on paper, 196 × 150 cm; The Geometry of an infinite storm / Jupiter Polar Winds, 2016, mixed media 65 × 65 × 65 cm; The Geometry of an infinite storm / Saturn North Pole, 2016, mixed media 65 × 65 × 65 cm; The Geometry of an infinite storm / Saturn South Pole, 2016, mixed media 65 × 65 × 65 cm; The Geometry of an infinite storm / Jupiter, 2016, mixed media 65 × 65 × 65 cm

DeAnna Maganias: ‘Something is in the house’ installation view

Something is in the house (white), 2015, acrylic on canvas, 102 × 76 cm

(left to right) Sirius / Peleponnese, 2007-2016, inkjet on paper, 70 × 70 cm; Peleponnese / Sirius, 2007-2016, inkjet on paper, 70 × 70 cm; In a Sibyl’s galaxy, 2010-2012, mixed media on paper, 196 × 150 cm

DeAnna Maganias: ‘Something is in the house’ installation view

Dark energy dark matter, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 76 × 102 cm (detail)

DeAnna Maganias: ‘Something is in the house’ installation view

Something yet unknown, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 142 × 130 cm (detail)

The Geometry of an infinite storm / Jupiter, 2016, mixed media 65 × 65 × 65 cm;

In a Sibyl’s galaxy, 2010-2012, mixed media on paper, 196 × 150 cm; The Geometry of an infinite storm / Saturn North Pole, 2016, mixed media 65 × 65 × 65 cm

Sirius / Peleponnese, 2007-2016, inkjet on paper, 70 × 70 cm; Peleponnese / Sirius, 2007-2016, inkjet on paper, 70 × 70 cm; Trifid Nebula / Spetses c7000 BC- 2014 AD, inkjet on paper, 70 × 70 cm; Spetses / Trifid Nebula c7000 BC- 2014 AD, inkjet on paper, 70 × 70 cm

Paul Desborough: Misheard Lyrics

7 September – 30 November 2013 extended until December 31

Paul Desborough Landscape with Car Incident VII, 2010, acrylic, 49×127.5 cm

Organized by TFA in collaboration with:

Rebecca Camhi Gallery

Leonidou 9, Metaxourgeio
Athens 10437, Greece

This exhibition is presented as part of the Athens international gallery event:

ReMap 4 – http://remapkm.com/4/

The paintings of Paul Desborough challenge our most basic assumptions about the nature of painting. By being neither on canvas or panel, his works sever the conventional bond between medium and support to develop a new strategy of painting for our time and in turn to celebrate the physical materiality of the paint. The act of making the paint mark is preserved in its essence: unconstrained by framing edges, each paint-skin is stretched through space or over a surface, to activate and become one with its setting. By blurring with the boundaries of sculpture and installation the formal limits of painting are challenged afresh.

Paul Desborough’s portable murals are not site-specific works: rather they are the means by which the site is conditioned. They take charge of the space they inhabit they activate the walls by breaking through their confining nature, engendering a spontaneous flow of colour, light, depth and thought.

A close inspection of Desborough’s paint-skins – characterised by an intuitive instinct for abstraction combined with a technical facility in the classical tradition – reveals the presence of photographic images from consumer product packaging grafted into the skin of each painting. In his works the commercial aspect of the appropriated and embedded images is corrupted and re-individualised to serve as a platform for the interpretative reading of the work.

Desborough’s intuitive pictorial approach to appropriated print media images unleashes the potential of narrative transformation: in the flash of awareness before conscious understanding we become aware of layered references, from which the impulse of new meaning self-generates. An exuberant pallet of venetian colour, a Baroque grandeur of scale, and a gravity defying lightness seemingly revel with the molten metallic edge of a rock-riff or cinematic sequence, to create a cultural fusion all its own: an aesthetic arena unconfined by the framing edge of categorisation – a pictorial space in which the most unexpected cultural synergies are brought into play to create a new narrative for the present.

Paul Desborough makes his paintings in series: he calls these Albums to underline the influence of counter-culture rock-pop music and those band’s recording achievements, which he likens to his approach to image making. The exhibition entitled Misheard Lyrics presents a selection of Singles from his recent Albums – notably the Earlier Influences: works that fully reveal the artist’s refinement and control of a seemingly informal technique.

Curating and text by: Francesco Nevola, TFA | Teverina Fine Art, Cortona

Installation view with, from left to right: Sub Plot III, 2010, There’snow Escape, 2011, Landscape with Car Incident VII, 2010 and Sub Plot I, 2010 by Paul Desborough

Installation view with, from left to right: Untitled, 2011, Sub Plot III, 2010, Earlier Influences Informing Mishearing I, 2011, and There’snow Escape, 2011, by Paul Desborough

Installation view with, from left to right: Earlier Influences Informing Mishearing I, 2011, Sub Plot III, 2010, and There’snow Escape, 2011, by Paul Desborough

Installation view with, from left to right: Earlier Influences Informing Mishearing I, 2011 and There’snow Escape, 2011, by Paul Desborough

Installation view with: Untitled, 2011, by Paul Desborough

Installation view with: Lair of the Still Outdoors, 2001 by Paul Desborough

Installation view with: Landscape with Car Incident VII, 2010 Sub Plot I, 2010 and Sub Plot II, 2010 by Paul Desborough

Installation view with, from left to right: Earlier Influences Informing Mishearing II, 2011 and Untitled, 2011 by Paul Desborough

in the country of last things

Jack Early | Alexandros Georgiou

Alexandros Georgiou The Elevator to the Celestial Powers 2008, digital print on paper 54 × 80 cm

Summer 2011 | 16 July – 9 October 2011

via Roma 22, Cortona

English, scroll down for Italian

‘These are the last things she wrote. One by one they disappear and never come back. I can tell you of the ones I’ve seen, of the ones that are no more, but I doubt there will be time. It is all happening too fast now and I cannot keep up. / I don’t expect you to understand. You have seen none of this, and even if you tried, you could not imagine it. These are the last things.’

The title of TFA’s summer exhibition is taken from Paul Auster’s eponymous novel that depicts a dystopia of fallen civilization. Using pathos, irony and humour, the works of Jack Early and Alexandros Georgiou narrate with photography, collage and music, from disparate places – New York City and Varanasi respectively, describing a disintegration of social and cultural systems while also distilling poetry from shards of contemporary reality.

Jack Early’s text piece Poster will be on display. It recounts the story of his rapid ascent and decent as part of the art duo Pruitt-Early in the New York art world of the late 80’s early 90’s. Their career climaxed with The Red Black Green Red White Blue Project at the Leo Castelli gallery in 1992 (re-installed Tate Modern, Pop Life: Art in a Material World 2009). The exhibition was notoriously slammed, almost unanimously, by the critical community and led to the artists being ostracized from the art world. In the aftermath of the 1992 show Early ceased to make visual art for a decade and a half, turning instead to writing and music. Early recounts his life experiences of the last 15 years in his lyrics and melodies, expressing the melancholy and joy of finding happiness after lost love, fame and fortune. American folk music and oral tradition underlie Early’s narratives in which sentimentality and irony are used to underpin the sometimes-dark aspects of American culture. TFA will display 9 of Early’s brightly coloured hand-pressed vinyl recordings – encased like Grammie Award winning LPs, these works are both iconic pop objects and conceptually ironic plays on the notion of ready-mades.

Alexandros Georgiou’s work from his Without My Own Vehicle series takes us Eastward. Arduously making his way overland from Athens (the artist’s home) to Varanasi, India, via Turkey, Iran and Pakistan, Georgiou explores places experiencing hardship and social upheaval, where the majority of inhabitants are isolated from the economic prosperity of the ‘developed’ world. It was one of Georgiou’s intentions to embark on this journey and come face to face with places that we hear about from the perspective of the western press through the filter of banal association and prejudice. Transcending what could be exotic trappings of his oriental subjects, Georgiou reveals the spiritual resilience of the people he has lived with. The poetry of his images captures and exalts fleeting beauty in the everyday mundane, while critically engaging with the ugliness and brutality of life. Georgiou’s images all originate as hand made postcards – montages of collected objects, fragmented pictures and writing in which he recounts his impressions for a chosen recipient, often the sponsors of his project, thereby belying the precarious ambiguity of his own position.

Installation view: Jack Early Poster 2008-2011, digital print, hand made record and turntable; Making Me Smile (Red Record); Sunny Sun Day (Blue Record); Making Me Smile (Lip Red Record); It Don’t Rain In Beverly Hills (Light Pink Record); It Don’t Rain In Beverly Hills (Pink Record), each 2008-2011, hand made records

Installation view: Jack Early Two Ships 2008-2011, hand made record

Installation view: Alexandros Georgiou Without My Own Vehicle Athens – Chewing Gum Constellations and Without My Own Vehicle Athens – Inside the Elevator to the Celestial Powers each 2007-08, digital print on paper

Installation view: Alexandros Georgiou Without My Own Vehicle India – Kids Wearing MacDonalds Clown Masks 2006-07; Without My Own Vehicle Iran – Poster in bus 2005-06, each digital print on paper

Italiano

‘Queste sono le ultime cose che ha scritto. Uno per uno svaniscano e non tornano più. Ti poso raccontare di quelli che ho visto, di quelli che non ci sono più, ma dubito che ci sarà tempo. Adesso sta tutto succedendo troppo veloce e non riesco a mantenere il passo. / Non pretendo che capirai. Tu non hai visto tutto questo, e anche se ci provasi, non te lo potresti immaginare. Queste sono le ultime cose.’

Il titolo della nostra mostra estiva e tratto dal romanzo eponimo di Paul Auster in cui descrive una cultura caduta, distopica. Appellandosi al pathos, l’ironia e la commedia i lavori di Jack Early e Alexandros Georgiou raccontano con fotografie, collage e musica, da luoghi sconnessi – New York e Varanasi – la disintegrazione di sistemi sociali e culturali, nel contempo le loro descrizioni distillano una poetica dai frammenti della cultura contemporanea.

Sarà in mostra Poster di Jack Early. Questa iscrizione racconta la storia della sua rapida ascesa e discesa come parte del binomio d’arte Pruitt-Early nel mondo dell’arte di New York nei ultimi anni 80, primi anni 90. La loro carriera è arrivata ai massimi livelli con la mostra del 1992 alla Leo Castelli gallery: The Red Black Green Red White Blue Project (nuovamente istallato nella mostra Pop Life: Art in the Material World, Tate Modern 2009). Notoriamente, la mostra venne quasi unanimemente schiacciata dalla critica col risultato che gli artisti venereo ostracizzati dal mondo del arte. In conseguenza della mostra del 1992 Early smise di produrre arte visiva per più di una decade e mezzo, interessandosi invece di scrittura e musica. Early racconta le sue esperienze dei ultimi quindici anni attraverso le sue liriche e melodie. Esprime la malinconia e la gioia inerenti nella riscoperta della felicità dopo aver perso l’amore, la fama e la fortuna. Informati dalle tradizioni orali e la folk music Americana i racconti di Early gestiscono sentimentalità ed ironia per rivelare aspetti a volte torbide della cultura Americana. TFA esibirà 9 dei dischi in vinile di diversi colori appariscenti stampati a mano da Early. Questi lavori sono sia oggetti Pop iconici, sia commenti ironici sul concetto del ‘ready-made’.

I lavori di Alexandros Georgiou dalla sua serie Without My Own Vehicle ci portano verso l’Oriente. Col suo arduo viaggio via terra da Atene (città natale del artista) a Varanasi in India, per via della Turchia, l’Iran ed il Pakistan, Georgiou esplora luoghi sottoposti a difficoltà opprimenti e convulsioni sociali dove la maggioranza degli abitanti sono esclusi dalla prosperità economica del mondo ‘sviluppato’. Era l’intenzione di Georgiou imbarcarsi in un viaggio che l’avrebbe portato faccia a faccia con posti che conosciamo soprattutto attraverso l’ottica della stampa occidentale tramite associazioni e pregiudizi banali. Trascendendo quelli che potrebbero essere gli ornamenti esotici dei suoi soggetti orientali, Georgiou rivela la forza spirituale dei popoli tra cui ha vissuto. La poesia delle sue immagini cattura ed esalta la fiutante bellezza delle cose comuni, di tutti i giorni, e al contempo attiva una critica astuta della rude brutalità della vita. Tutte le immagini di Georgiou hanno origine come cartoline fatte a mano – sono montaggi di oggetti trovati, immagini frammentarie e scritti in cui racconta le sue impressioni per una persona scelta – spesso lo sponsor del suo progetto – smentendo quindi la precarietà della sua posizione.

Installation view: Jack Early Poster 2008-2011, digital print, hand made record and turntable

Installation view: Jack Early Making Me Smile (Red Record); Sunny Sun Day (Blue Record); Making Me Smile (Lip Red Record); It Don’t Rain In Beverly Hills (Light Pink Record); It Don’t Rain In Beverly Hills (Pink Record), each 2008-2011, hand made records

Installation view: Alexandros Georgiou Without My Own Vehicle India – Dawn of New God; Without My Own Vehicle India – Group Forgotten Gods both 2006-2007; Without My Own Vehicle Varanasi – Red Light District 2009-2010; Without My Own Vehicle Iran – Persepolis 2005-2006, all digital print on paper

Installation view: Alexandros Georgiou Without My Own Vehicle Iran – Poster in Bus 2005-06; Without My Own Vehicle Iran – Tea in Tehran 2005-06, each digital print on paper

same place same time –

Phyllis Baldino | Paul Desborough

Paul Desborough The Still Outdoors 2008, acrylic, 180 × 460 cm

Spring 2011 / 2 April – 3 July 2011
Primavera 2011 / 2 aprile – 3 luglio 2011

via Roma 22, Cortona

English, scroll down for Italian

The formal contrast between the two artist’s works in this exhibition is immediately discernible in their differing media. Phyllis Baldino works predominantly with video to explore the varying nature of perception, while Paul Desborough’s paintings, severed from any conventional support such as canvas or panel, challenge the formal limits of their materials to blur the boundaries of sculpture and installation. Both artists use photographic imagery ironically while also conducting an attentive dialogue with the art of the past.

Eleven short silent videos from Phyllis Baldino’s Out of Focus Everything Series will be exhibited. This series is comprised of forty pieces that are inspired by the “theory of everything” trying to unify Einstein’s general relativity (the very large) with quantum theory (the very small). Filmed in the United States, France and Italy, they also reveal the range of places that have influenced her, from Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty and the house of Camille Claudel to the ancient architecture of the Pantheon. Conceptual rigour, formal coherence and a delight for colour characterise Baldino’s works. In her video Monet’s Atelier Baldino parallels the ‘absence’ or blind spot in her own sight (a collateral effect of recent open-heart surgery) with Monet’s failing vision during his last years at his Giverny home and studio, today a popular tourist destination.

Paul Desborough calls his innovative method of image making ‘Cast Transfer’ painting – the term alludes to the action of casting/throwing paint to make a picture and to casting/moulding paint so that it becomes its own support. It is also suggestive of the means by which he integrates found material from print media or commercial packaging into his constructions. By inserting mechanically produced images alongside his painterly gesture, Desborough eloquently appropriates fragments of consumer icons and claims them as art objects. Desborough’s two large-scale works exhibited at TFA exemplify his method of ‘Cast Transfer’ painting and fully reveal his refinement and control of a seemingly informal technique.

This is the second in a series of three TFA exhibitions for 2011: a site (winter), same place same time – (spring), in the country of last things (summer). Each is concerned with the idea of place – and its counterpoint – the essence of the thing the artist saw.

PAUL DESBOROUGH

Paul Desborough lives and works in London. He has exhibited with: Diving For Pearls (in your own Soup) at Morgen Strasse, Karlsruhe (2011), Lothringer 13, Munich (2010) New Quebec Street, London (2008-2009); and at: Hauser & Wirth, Swallow Street, London (2009) Experimental Arts Festival, Zbaszyn, Poland (2009) Sassa Trulzsch, Berlin (2008) Centre Clark, Montreal (Solo Exhibition, 2006) ADI Projects, London (2005) Beijing Academy of Fine Art, China (2005) and Tramway, Glasgow (2005)

PHYLLIS BALDINO

Phyllis Baldino lives and works in New York. She has exhibited extensively, at among others: Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA (1994) Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997) SoHo Guggenheim, New York (1997) Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania (1997) Brooklyn Museum of Art (1997) Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1998, 2002) Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1998) Whitney Museum, New York (2000) Malmo Konstall, Sweden (2000) Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (Solo Exhibition 2001) De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, UK (2006), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2007) Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Florida (2007) Musee D’Art Contemporain de Montreal, Canada (2007) PS1, New York (2009) Wiels, Brussels (2010)

Baldino’s works are in public and private collections including: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Harvard University, Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; Peter Norton, Santa Monica, California; Cinemedia, Melbourne, Australia; Fundacion Salamanca Ciudad de Cultura, Salamanca, Spain

Installation view showing Monet’s Atelier 2011 by Phyllis Baldino and The Still Outdoors 2008 by Paul Desborough

Phyllis Baldino Monet’s Atelier 2011 (video still)

Paul Desborough The Still Outdoors 2008 (installation view detail)

Paul Desborough The Still Outdoors 2008 (detail)

Paul Desborough The Still Outdoors 2008 (detail)

Paul Desborough Study for The Still Outdoors 2011

Installation view showing Out of Focus Universes #90.752 (0-1 dimensions) by Phyllis Baldino

Phyllis Baldino Out of Focus Universes #90.752 (0-1 dimensions) 2005

Installation view showing Out of Focus Everything Series: sun tun sun (for nancy) 2007 by Phyllis Baldino

Installation view showing Out of Focus Everything Series: one take spiral (for smithson) 2007 by Phyllis Baldino

Italiano

Il contrasto formale nell’opera dei due artisti in mostra si evidenzia immediatamente dal loro diverso uso di materiali. Phyllis Baldino lavora prevalentemente col video per esaminare la varia natura della percezione, mentre i dipinti di Paul Desborough, recisi da ogni supporto convenzionale come la tela o la tavola, sfidano i limiti formali della materia per sfocare i confini tra scultura ed istallazione. Entrambi gli artisti usano elementi fotografici con ironia e conducano un attento dialogo con l’arte del passato.

Undici brevi video silenziosi dalla Out of Focus Everything Series di Phyllis Baldino saranno esibiti. Girati negli Stati Uniti, in Francia ed in Italia, rivelano la gamma dei posti che hanno influenzato l’artista, dalla Spiral Jetty di Robert Smithson e la casa di Camille Claudel alle antiche architetture del Pantheon. Rigore concettuale, coerenza formale e un diletto per il colore caratterizzano il lavoro di Baldino. Nel suo video Monet’s Atelier Baldino pone in parallelo l’assenza o punto cieco nella propria vista (l’effetto collaterale di un recente intervento chirurgico al cuore) con la crescente cecità di Monet durante i suoi ultimi anni vissuti nella sua casa-studio di Giverny, oggi diventata una popolare destinazione turistica.

Paul Desborough chiama il suo metodo innovativo di creare immagini ‘‘Cast Transfer’ painting’ – il termine allude sia a l’azione di gettare/lanciare il colore per creare un immagine sia alla possibilità di gettare/modellare il colore in modo che possa sostenersi autonomamente. Il termine accenna anche al modo in cui Desborough integra immagini fotografiche trovate, o in riviste o negli imballi di prodotti di consumo, nelle sue costruzioni. Inserendo immagini meccanicamente riprodotte a fianco al suo gesto pittorico, Desborough appropria frammenti d’icone del consumismo per ricostruirli come oggetti d’arte. I suoi due lavori grandi in mostra da TFA esemplificano il suo metodo di ‘‘Cast Transfer’ painting’ e rivelano per intero il suo controllo raffinato di una tecnica apparentemente informale.

Questa è la seconda di una serie di tre mostre alla TFA per il 2011: a site (inverno), same place same time (primavera), in the country of last things (estate). Ciascuna si occupa del idea di un posto – ed il suo contrappunto – l’essenza della cosa che l’artista ha visto.

PAUL DESBOROUGH

Paul Desborough vive e lavora a Londra, ha esibito con: Diving For Pearls (in your own Soup) a Morgen Strasse, Karlsruhe (2011), Lothringer 13, Monaco (2010) New Quebec Street, Londra (2008-2009); e a: Hauser & Wirth, Swallow Street, Londra (2009) Experimental Arts Festival, Zbaszyn, Polonia (2009) Sassa Trulzsch, Berlino (2008) Centre Clark, Montreal (Solo Exhibition, 2006) ADI Projects, Londra (2005) Beijing Academy of Fine Art, Cina (2005) e Tramway, Glasgow (2005)

PHYLLIS BALDINO

Phyllis Baldino vive e lavora a New York. Segnaliamo tra le sue mostre collettive quelle tenute al: Santa Monica Museum of Art, California (1994) Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997) SoHo Guggenheim, New York (1997) Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania (1997) Brooklyn Museum of Art (1997) Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1998, 2002) Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1998) Whitney Museum, New York (2000) Malmo Konstall, Svezia (2000) Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (Solo Exhibition 2001) De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, UK (2006), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2007) Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Florida (2007) Musee D’Art Contemporain de Montreal, Canada (2007) PS1, New York (2009) Wiels, Bruxelles (2010)

I lavori di Baldino si trovano in collezioni pubbliche e private, tra cui: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Harvard University, Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; Peter Norton, Santa Monica, California; Cinemedia, Melbourne, Australia; Fundacion Salamanca Ciudad de Cultura, Salamanca, Spagna

Installation view showing Landscape with Car Incident IV 2009 by Paul Desborough

Paul Desborough Landscape with Car Incident IV 2009

Paul Desborough Landscape with Car Incident IV 2009 (detail)

Paul Desborough Landscape with Car Incident IV 2009 (detail)

Paul Desborough Landscape with Car Incident IV 2009 (detail)

Installation view showing works from the Out of Focus Everything Series by Phyllis Baldino and Earlier Influences Informing Mishearing Now by Paul Desborough

Phyllis Baldino Out of Focus Everything Series: back round 2010 (video still)

Phyllis Baldino Out of Focus Everything Series: bend back trevi 2007 (video still)

Phyllis Baldino Out of Focus Everything Series: picabia-abia 2010 (video still)

Installation view showing Earlier Influences Informing Mishearing Now 2009 by Paul Desborough and the Out of Focus Everything Series by Phyllis Baldino

Paul Desborough Earlier Influences Informing Mishearing Now 2009 (detail)

Installation view showing drawing in eleven dimensions: constant (upper/left) 2010 and the Out of Focus Everything Series by Phyllis Baldino

Phyllis Baldino Out of Focus Everything Series: for camille claudel 2010 (video still)

Phyllis Baldino Out of Focus Everything Series: round snow convexo 2007 (video still)

Installation view showing drawing in eleven dimensions: constant (upper/left) 2010 by Phyllis Baldino

a site,

Edwina Ashton | Phyllis Baldino | Paul Desborough | Jack Early | Jennifer Graber | Scott Grodesky | Guy Haddon-Grant | Sara Jessie Kane | DeAnna Maganias | Giacinto Occhionero | Luca Padroni | Maria Papadimitriou | Sharon Thomas | Nicola Tyson

Winter 2010 / 11 December 2010 – 20 March 2011
Inverno 2010 / 11 dicembre 2010 – 20 marzo 2011

via Roma 22, Cortona

The works in TFA’s winter show a site have been selected for reference to each artists experience of a place.

Four works are characterized by architectural motifs and distorted renditions of perspective. In Luca Pardoni’s painting Binari the stripping down of architectural form and the removal of human presence transforms a familiar train station setting into an abstract linear space. In the work Fledglings by Giacinto Occhionero, we see an image of a room through the reflective flip side of painted plexiglas. The artist’s studio walls open out onto vistas of towering buildings of art historical and archaeological import; in Maria Papadimitriou’s informal drawings we are introduced to the fluid patterns of her movements through the confining structures of her formally conceived apartment. While the stark minimalist exterior of DeAnna Maganias’ sculpture View from Bed (model 1) belies the unsettling reality of its interior.

Other works use fragmentation as a means of expression. The tone is set by Phyllis Baldino’s video 19 Universes / My Brother. Here a single, formally austere, dynamic image is built up from multiple vertical sections of individually recorded film of the same subject. This process, reminiscent of Cubist approaches to representation, subverts conventional ideas about objectivity. The fractured dynamism of the light source fanning out from the centre of Scott Grodesky’s painting, Explosion 2009, orchestrates his composition. Using his technique of “reverse perspective” he subverts reality: a scene of tragedy is transformed into a place broken up as in a moment of dream-like psychological intensity. Paul Desborough’s Kid Sank NY is from his ‘album’, Kandinsky Anagrams. His technique underlines fragmentation by using the painted surface as its own support, suspended and stretched across uneven wall surfaces. His references to classical figure painting collide with the informality of abstraction and popular print media. In a meeting of cultural shards, Desborough’s work creates an explosive landscape of allusion.

In other works figures become the protagonists: the anthropomorphic caricatures inhabiting Edwina Ashton’s drawings with their cryptic inscriptions belie their rooting in scenarios of everyday reality, the subject that animates the finely wrought drawings by Jack Early in the exhibition. Near by Guy Haddon-Grant’s perceptive study of a young athlete is juxtaposed with Sharon Thomas’ Coffee Morning Series in which middle aged men are represented in bucolic landscapes playing out roles traditionally deemed for women. By contrast Sara Jessie Kane’s Hydra reveals the ambiguous ground on the edge of representation and abstraction, inviting us into another precarious territory of uncertainty. Finally, the abstract works of Jennifer Graber appear to magnify and examine a landscape of decomposition to reveal the raw flesh of rot beneath colourful blooms of surface decay.

Installation view showing Kid Sank NY (2010) by Paul Desborough

Installation view showing Explosion 2009 (2009) by Scott Grodesky

Installation view showing 19 Universes / My Brother (2004) by Phyllis Baldino

Installation view showing Binari (2005) by Luca Padroni

Installation view showing Hydra (2009) by Sara Jessie Kane

Installation view showing Untitled 7 (2009) by Jennifer Graber; Fun in the cornfields (2008) by Sharon Thomas and Untitled Study (2010) by Guy Haddon-Grant

Installation view showing Fledgelings (2009) by Giacinto Occhionero and View From Bed (model 1) (2004) by DeAnna Maganias

Installation view showing View From Bed (model 1) (2004) by DeAnna Maganias and Fledgelings (2009) by Giacinto Occhionero

Installation view showing View From Bed (model 1) (2004) by DeAnna Maganias and Blue Chair (2007) by Scott Grodesky

Preview to a site

Edwina Ashton | Paul Desborough | Scott Grodesky | Guy Haddon-Grant | Sara Jessie Kane | Giacinto Occhionero | Sharon Thomas

Edwina Ashton Lovely Day Indeed 2008, watercolour and biro on hand painted paper, 10 × 9 cm

From 28 November 2010
Solonos 42, Athens

Sara Jessie Kane | Sharon Thomas | Edwina Ashton

14 August – 14 November 2010
via Roma 22, Cortona

Sharon Thomas Fruits of the Forest, 2006, Charcoal on paper, 140×100 cm

ENGLISH

The works of Sharon Thomas, Sara Jessie Kane and Edwina Ashton presented in this exhibition explore ambiguous territories balanced between the mundane and the obsessions of ritual.

Sharon Thomas’s Coffee Morning Series take us on a disconcerting journey through the artist’s Fairy Hill landscapes in which a young girl – perhaps a metaphor for the artist herself – is both witness, spectator and occasionally participant, in a sequence of obsessively played out, male dominated rituals.

By contrast the abstract forms of Sara Jessie Kane’s paintings present us with fractured scenarios of a psychological intensity that border on representation. By simultaneously hiding and revealing her subject, the ambiguity of our role as viewers is magnified, to create a precarious condition of uncertainty.

In the video works of Edwina Ashton we are confronted by figures dressed in grotesque costumes reminiscent of animals and insects, at once friendly and frightening: their actions reveal the obsessive rituals of mundane existence, at first comic, giving way to the tragic as the repetition is perpetuated.

With entirely divergent means each artist leads us into conflicted territories in which gender, status and identity are tested and pushed to breaking point. The results, whether frightening or fascinating, demandingly serious or absurdly humorous, disclose surprisingly informative means of perceiving the realities by which we are constantly buffered.

EDWINA ASHTON
Edwina Ashton lives and works in London. She obtained her first degree in philosophy at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge before pursuing a year’s Fine Art Foundation at Camberwell College of Art, London and a degree in Fine Art at Goldsmith’s College, London. She has had major solo exhibitions at Arnolfini, Bristol (2003), MoCA, Miami (2004), Peer, London (2005) and Camden Arts Centre, London (2006). Edwina Ashton is also represented by Works|Projects, Bristol. She is currently showing at Tate Britain in the exhibition Rude Britannia: British Comic Art from June-September 2010.

SARA JESSIE KANE
Sara Jessie Kane lives and works in Long Island City, New York. She studied at Parsons School of Design, Paris and at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has exhibited regularly in Europe and America since 1994 and has had solo exhibitions at: Velocity Gallery, Williamsburgh, Brooklyn (1998) and at Galerie Michael Nef, Frankfurt-am-Main (2001). She has been in group shows at: Galerie Van Gelder, Amsterdam (1994); Here, New York (1995); Velocity Gallery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (1998); Galerie Michael Neff, Frankfurt-am-Main (2000); Thomas Erben Gallery, New York (2000); Chase Freedman Gallery, West Hartford, CT (2001); ATM Gallery, New York (2002); KS Art, New York (2004); Spruth Magers Projekte, Munich (2004); Exit Art, New York (2005); Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY (2007); Big and Small Casual Gallery, Long Island City, NY (2010) and Both Sides of the Pulaski, project by Andrea Salerno, Long Island City, NY (2010).

SHARON THOMAS
Sharon Thomas lives and works in Glasgow. She obtained her degree from Glasgow School of Art (2001) and her Masters from the New York Academy of Art (2004); she received the Sainsbury Scholarship from the British School at Rome in 2005. Her studies were supported by the Villore Scholarship (2001) and by the Sainsbury Scholarship (2002-2005). She has had Solo exhibitions at the Museet for Religious Kunst, Denmark (2009) and North Wall Gallery, Oxford (2009). She has participated in several group exhibitions, at: Spike Gallery, New York (2004); Times Square Gallery, New York (2005); Transmission, Glasgow (2005); Roger Miller Gallery, New York (2005); Cornerhouse, Manchester (2006); British School at Rome (2006); PPOW Gallery, New York (2006); Gi:Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art (2008); Air Gallery, DUMBO, New York (2009).

ITALIANO

I lavori di Sharon Thomas, Sara Jessie Kane e Edwina Ashton presentati in questa mostra esaminano territori ambigui in bilico tra l’ordinario e le ossessioni rituali del giornaliero.

Nella Coffee Morning Series di Sharon Thomas veniamo trasportati nel sconcertante paesaggio fantastico dell’artista: Fairy Hill. Qui una bambina protagonista – forse una metafora per l’artista stessa – è sia testimone e spettatrice, che partecipante ad una sequenza di bizzarri rituali dominati da uomini.

A contrasto, le forme astratte dei dipinti di Sara Jessie Kane ci presentano con scenari fratturati d’intensità psicologica, confinanti sulla rappresentazione. Simultaneamente rivelando e nascondendo il suo soggetto, l’ambiguità della nostra posizione di spettatore viene amplificata per creare una precaria condizione d’incertezza.

Nei lavori su video di Edwina Ashton ci troviamo di fronte ad una sequenza di figure vestite di grotteschi costumi ricordanti le forme di animali ed insetti, al contempo simpatici e spaventosi: le loro azioni rivelano gl’ossessivi rituali della ordinaria esistenza giornaliera; essi sono da prima comici, cedendo poi al tragico con la perpetuazione della ripetizione.

Con mezzi assolutamente divergenti ciascuno degli artisti ci trasporta in confittati territori, in cui le nostre idee d’identità, di genere e di gerarchia vengono provate e spinte al limite. I risultati, se terrificanti o affascinanti, di serietà impegnativa o assurdamente arguti, schiudano un’ informativa gamma di modi di percepire le realtà che costantemente ci circondano.

EDWINA ASHTON
Edwina Ashton vive e lavora a Londra. Ha ottenuto la sua prima laurea in filosofia a Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge prima di seguire un anno di Fine Art Foundation a Camberwell College of Art per poi eseguire la seconda laurea in arte a Goldsmiths College, Londra. Ashton ha avuto mostre personali ad Arnolfini, Bristol (2003), MoCA, Miami (2004), Peer, Londra (2005) e Camden Arts Centre, Londra (2006); in Inghilterra è rappresentata da Works|Projects, Bristol. Il lavoro di Ashton è attualmente esposto a Tate Britain nella mostra: Rude Britannia: British Comic Art da giugno a settembre 2010.

SARA JESSIE KANE
Sara Jessie Kane vive e lavora a Long Island City, New York ha studiato a Parsons School of Design, Parigi e a Rhode Island School of Design. Ha esibito regolarmente in Europa e negli Stati Uniti dal 1994 e ha avuto mostre personali alla Velocity Gallery, Williamsburgh, Brooklyn (1998) e alla Galerie Michael Nef, Frankfurt-am-Main (2001). Ha partecipato in mostre collettive a: Galerie Van Gelder, Amsterdam (1994); Here, New York (1995); Velocity Gallery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (1998); Galerie Michael Neff, Frankfurt-am-Main (2000); Thomas Erben Gallery, New York (2000); Chase Freedman Gallery, West Hartford, CT (2001); ATM Gallery, New York (2002); KS Art, New York (2004); Spruth Magers Projekte, Munich (2004); Exit Art, New York (2005); Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY (2007); Big and Small Casual Gallery, Long Island City, NY (2010) and Both Sides of the Pulaski, progetto di Andrea Salerno, Long Island City, NY (2010).

SHARON THOMAS
Sharon Thomas vive e lavora a Glasgow. Ha ottenuto la laurea alla Glasgow School of Art (2001) e il Masters dalla New York Academy of Art (2004); ha ricevuto la Sainsbury Scholarship dalla British School at Rome nel 2005. I suoi studi sono stati sostenuti dalle seguenti borse: la Villore Scholarship (2001) e dalla Sainsbury Scholarship (2002-2005). Ha avuto mostre personali alla Museet for Religious Kunst, Danimarca (2009) e alla North Wall Gallery, Oxford (2009). Ha partecipato a varie mostre collettive: Spike Gallery, New York (2004); Times Square Gallery, New York (2005); Transmission, Glasgow (2005); Roger Miller Gallery, New York (2005); Cornerhouse, Manchester (2006); British School at Rome (2006); PPOW Gallery, New York (2006); Gi:Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art (2008); Air Gallery, DUMBO, New York (2009).

Exterior view showing Business Section (2008) by Edwina Ashton

Installation view showing Hydra (2009) by Sara Jessie Kane

Installation view showing Head and Heart and After (2009) by Sara Jessie Kane

Installation view showing Ripe for the Picking (band of brothers): Nice Peonies Mister; The Clown and Circus Master (2008) by Sharon Thomas

Installation view showing a selection of works from the Coffee Morning Series including The Waltz and The Chronicles of Fairy Hill – the Witness (2008) by Sharon Thomas and Beautiful Pot (2008) by Edwina Ashton

Installation view showing Business Section (2008) by Edwina Ashton and Fruits of the Forest (2006) by Sharon Thomas

Giacinto Occhionero | Jennifer Graber | Phyllis Baldino

Dissennato Paesaggio

19 June – 1st August 2010 | Extended until 8 August 2010 – Prolungato fino al 8 Agosto 2010
via Roma 22, Cortona

Giacinto Occhionero For thirsty people, 2008, aerosol paint on plexiglas, 150×200 cm

English

The work of the artists presented in this exhibition, are united by two intentions: the will to appropriate and reinterpret works by major artists of the past and the choice to engage with and question received ideas about our natural environment. Stylistically divergent, each of the three artists in the show lead us towards different areas of perception. By appealing to art works of the past, each artist casts his or her work in an historic present whereby their contemporary vision is juxtaposed with that of their predecessors’ intentions. Through the works presented here we are invited to look at the past and the contemporary present simultaneously. In doing so we recognise how each artist critiques received ideas to generate new modes of reception that are philosophically provocative.

In her video work Absence is Present: Dead Nature in the Dark Phyllis Baldino records in a single take, stolen while the museum guards were turned away, her experience of viewing André Derain’s still life painting Nature morte sur fond noir. In post-production she worked into her brief video footage the blind-spot that appeared after she underwent open-heart surgery a year ago. Having this blind spot close to the center of her vision, it follows her wherever she goes. This absence in her sight is perpetually present: her work efficiently reminds us how even an apparently objective activity like looking is in-fact entirely subjective and all that can be objective is the articulation of that experience.

In the drawings of Jennifer Graber we are taken into other regions. Stylistically Graber’s starting points may be recognised in the works of Symbolist painter Odilon Redon and Abstract Expressionist Arshile Gorky, however her pictorial intentions diverge from theirs. By referencing nature directly, Graber’s work leads us into a territory of metaphore. The abraded surfaces of her drawings recall the appearance of micro-bio-organisms seen under the microscope or growths such as lichens and moulds found in nature, yet her pictorial vision filters and transforms the natural form into powerful images bearing universal meaning: by revealing the beauty in decay Graber eloquently critiques the present.

The paintings of Giacinto Occhionero reveal a rewarding fabric of cultural references: read in unison, they unfold potent, often provocative comments on the present. The paintings presented here are concerned with man’s relationship to his natural surroundings. In the complex Spacebury, Occhionero appropriates John Constable’s iconic painting of Salisbury Cathedral to narrate a Darwinian tale of man’s progress. In the foreground we recognise the Apes from Kubrick’s film 2001 a Space Odyssey, while in the background, the spire of the cathedral, (a major feat of engineering that in c.1250 when it was built, was one of the tallest structures celebrating God in the western world) is turned into a launch tower for the Space Shuttle – perhaps the greatest science-engineering achievement of the twentieth century. Occhionero provides the key to this visual narrative in the painting’s pendent: here the cathedral is erased from Constable’s composition and replaced with a football pitch. A similarly ironic critique bears down on the artist’s comic representation of the philosopher Descartes as a suburban gardener seated on his lawnmower as if to suggest the consumer product he rides is the ultimate fruit of his revolutionary philosophy in our twenty-first century present.

Phyllis Baldino

Phyllis Baldino lives and works in New York. She is currently in the exhibition Do/Redo/Undo at Wiels, in Brussels (08.05-06.06.2010). Baldino is included in the section that features ‘45 Years of Performance Video from EAI’ which was also at PS1 in New York (01.11.2009-26.04.2010).

Jennifer Graber

Jennifer Graber lives and works in Boston, she has recently been in the group show From the Sublime to the Ridiculous organised by TFA, Athens (15.11.09-02.12.2009)

Giacinto Occhionero

Giacinto Occhionero lives and works in Rome. He has recently had the solo exhibition Nafta & Dafne at Studio d’Arte Pino Casagrande, Rome (12.2009-02.2010)

Italiano

l lavori degli artisti presentati in mostra sono uniti da due intenzioni: la voglia di appropriare e confrontarsi con opere di alcuni dei maggiori artisti del passato e la scelta di impegnarsi con, e di interrogare idee accettate riguardanti il nostro ambiente. Stilisticamente diversi, ciascuno degli artisti in mostra ci porta verso differenti zone di percezione. Mediante l’appello ad opere d’arte del passato, ogni artista propone il proprio lavoro in un presente storico nella quale la loro visione contemporanea entra in paragone con le intenzioni dei loro predecessori. Tramite i lavori presentati siamo quindi invitati a vedere il passato ed il presente contemporaneo simultaneamente. Così facendo, riconosciamo come ciascun artista commenta idee accettate per generare nuove forme di comprensione filosoficamente provocative.

Nel suo lavoro su video Absence is Present: Dead Nature in the Dark Phyllis Baldino registra in un’unica ripresa, rubata mentre non guardavano le guardie del museo, la sua esperienza di fronte alla natura morta di André Derain Nature morte sur fond noir. In post-produzione ha introdotto nella sua breve video ripresa la macchia cieca nella vista che è apparso dopo aver subito un intervento chirurgico al cuore l’ anno scorso. Questa macchia cieca, al centro della sua vista la segue ovunque ed e quindi una mancanza perpetuamente presente nella sua vista: il suo lavoro ci ricorda con efficienza come un’attività apparentemente oggettiva come l’atto di guardare è invece interamente soggettivo e che l’unica cosa che può essere resa oggettiva è l’articolazione di un’esperienza.

Nei disegni di Jennifer Graber siamo portati in altri luoghi Stilisticamente possiamo trovare i punti di partenza del lavoro di Graber nelle opere simboliste di Odilon Redon ed in quelle astratte di Arshile Gorky, comunque le sue intenzioni divergono dalle loro. Facendo riferimento diretto alla natura, Graber ci introduce in un territorio metaforico. Le superfici usurate dei suoi disegni ricordano l’apparenza di organismi visti sotto il microscopio o di lichene e muffe trovate nella natura, ma la sua visione pittorica filtra e trasfigura queste forme naturali in potenti immagini a sostegno di significati universali: nel rivelare la bellezza nel degrado Graber eloquentemente commenta il nostro presente.

I dipinti di Giacinto Occhionero rivelano una premiante stoffa di riferimenti culturali: letti in sintonia, spiegano un potente, frequentemente provocativo, commento sul presente. I dipinti in mostra concernono le relazioni tra l’uomo e la natura. Nel complesso Spacebury Occhionero si appropria del iconico dipinto di John Constable della cattedrale di Salisbury per commentare un racconto Darwiniano del progresso umano. Nel primo piano della sua tavola trasparente riconosciamo le scimmie dal film 2001 a Space Odyssey di Kubrick. Sullo sfondo, la torre a forma d’ago della cattedrale (al tempo della sua costruzione nel 1250 circa, una delle strutture in celebrazione di Dio più alte del mondo occidentale, e un trionfo d’ ingegneria) è trasformata in torre di lancio per lo Space Shuttle – forse il più importante ottenimento di ingegneria scientifica del ventesimo secolo. Occhionero offre la chiave di lettura del suo dipinto attraverso il pendente: qui la cattedrale è del tutto rimossa dalla composizione di Constable e rimpiazzata da un campo di calcio. Una simile ironia critica informa la rappresentazione comica fatta dal artista del filosofo Cartesio, il quale presentato nei panni di un medio borghese di periferia a bordo del suo taglia erba, pare suggerire che il prodotto di consumo che cavalca è il frutto massimo, nel nostro ventunesimo secolo, del grande pensiero rivoluzionario del filosofo.

Phyllis Baldino

Phyllis Baldino vive e lavora a New York, è attualmente nella mostra Do / Redo / Undo a Wiels, Brussels (08.05 – 06.06. 2010). Baldino è inclusa nella sezione ‘45 Years of Performance Video from EAI’ che è stata presentata a PS1 New York (01.11.2009 – 26.04.2010).

Jennifer Graber

Jennifer Graber vive e lavora a Boston, è recentemente stata nella mostra collettiva From the Sublime to the Ridiculous a cura di TFA, Atene (15.11.09-02.12.2009)

Giacinto Occhionero

Giacinto Occhionero vive e lavora a Roma. Recentemente ha avuto la mostra personale Nafta & Dafne a Studio d’Arte Pino Casagrande, Roma (12.2009-02.2010)

Installation view showing Fledgelings (2009) and Skywalk (2009) by Giacinto Occhionero

Installation view showing Goal Keeper (2010), Spacebury (2010), Fisherman (2010) and Cartesio e la deplorevole entropia vegetativa (2009) by Giacinto Occhionero

Installation view showing Absence is Present: Dead Nature in the Dark (2010) by Phyllis Baldino and a selection of works by Jennifer Graber including Untitled 26 (2009) Untitled 20 (2009) Untitled 16 (2009) and Untitled 11 (2009)

Installation view showing Untitled 14 (2009) by Jennifer Graber and Absence is Present: Dead Nature in the Dark (2010) by Phyllis Baldino

Sharon Thomas | Sara Jessie Kane

12 May – 14 June 2010
Solonos 42, Athens

Sara Jessie Kane Mist, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 51×41 cm

The contrasting styles of Sharon Thomas and Sara Jessie Kane reveal the complimentary nature of their objectives. Thomas’s Coffee Morning Series take us on a disconcerting journey through the artist’s Fairy Hill landscapes in which a young girl – perhaps a metaphor for the artist herself – is both witness, spectator and occasionally participant, in a sequence of obsessively played out, male dominated rituals. By contrast the abstractions of Sara Jessie Kane present us with scenarios of a psychological intensity that borders on representation. With entirely divergent means both artists lead us into conflicted territories in which gender, status and identity are tested and pushed to breaking point. The results, whether frightening or fascinating, demandingly serious or absurdly humorous, disclose surprisingly informative means of perceiving the realities by which we are constantly buffered.

SARA JESSIE KANE
Sara Jessie Kane lives and works in Long Island City, New York. She studied at Parsons School of Design, Paris and at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has exhibited regularly in Europe and America since 1994 and has had solo exhibitions at: Velocity Gallery, Williamsburgh, Brooklyn (1998) and at Galerie Michael Nef, Frankfurt-am-Main (2001). She has been in group shows at: Galerie Van Gelder, Amsterdam (1994); Here, New York (1995); Velocity Gallery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (1998); Galerie Michael Neff, Frankfurt-am-Main (2000); Thomas Erben Gallery, New York (2000); Chase Freedman Gallery, West Hartford, CT (2001); ATM Gallery, New York (2002); KS Art, New York (2004); Spruth Magers Projekte, Munich (2004); Exit Art, New York (2005); Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY (2007); Big and Small Casual Gallery, Long Island City, NY (2010) and Both Sides of the Pulaski, project by Andrea Salerno, Long Island City, NY.

SHARON THOMAS
Sharon Thomas lives and works in Glasgow. She obtained her degree from Glasgow School of Art (2001) and her Masters from the New York Academy of Art (2004); she received the Sainsbury Scholarship from the British School at Rome in 2005. Her studies were supported by the Villore Scholarship (2001) and by the Sainsbury Scholarship (2002-2005). She has had Solo exhibitions at the Museet for Religious Kunst, Denmark (2009) and North Wall Gallery, Oxford (2009). She has participated in several group exhibitions, at: Spike Gallery, New York (2004); Times Square Gallery, New York (2005); Transmission, Glasgow (2005); Roger Miller Gallery, New York (2005); Cornerhouse, Manchester (2006); British School at Rome (2006); PPOW Gallery, New York (2006); Gi:Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art (2008); Air Gallery, DUMBO, New York (2009)

Group Show

16th April – 15 June 2010
via Roma 22, Cortona

Edwina Ashton | Phyllis Baldino | Jennifer Graber | Scott Grodesky | Sara Kane | Giacinto Occhionero | Luca Padroni | Maria Papadimitriou | Sharon Thomas

Edwina Ashton Prepared for everything, 2008, coloured pencil & pen on paper, 14×21 cm

This exhibition presents a selection of work by nine of our gallery’s international artists. It divides into two sections: in the large room are works connected by landscape and the natural environment and in the long room are works related by architecture and the urban environment. The video work in the entrance atrium, unites these themes exploring the movement of people through an ancient building: by breaking the boundaries between figuration and abstraction it highlights the two stylistic idioms present throughout this display.

Edwina Ashton
Ashton’s drawings, studies closely related to her video works, are populated by insect and bird-like creatures, at times grotesque, frequently comic, their actions and gestures reveal the ineffectual hopes and mundane failures of human behavior.

Phyllis Baldino
Using humour, and implied narrativity, often informed by scientific or philosophical principles, Baldino questions the meaning of every-day actions. In the Out of Focus Everything video series, which Baldino has described as drawings, she explores what existence in eleven dimensions might look like, achieving highly abstracted results.

Jennifer Graber
Haunting and ambiguous, these images carry the viewer’s imagination into contradictory areas of perception. Graber states that with them she has sought to reveal: Things that are unseen and only imagined, the beauty in rot and decay, the ugliness in beauty’.

Scott Grodesky
Grodesky investigates in his paintings the impossible spaces of what he has called ‘Reverse Perspective’ whereby he creates ‘a descriptive space where objects are larger the further away they are from the viewer.’ In doing so he draws our attention to the full meaning of perspective. That is, not only the mathematical construct for representing the world, but also the notion that perspective is a review of the past from the present.

Sara Kane
Sara Kane’s paintings are representations, but they are not always representational. They are abstractions, but they are not always abstract. Such ambiguous boundaries in Kane’s work are unsettling provoking a tension of uncertainty.

Giacinto Occhionero
The work of Occhionero explores the intricate relationship between man and nature. With Skywalk, he creates an ironic visual pun. He transforms the Skywalk platform (a recently built tourist attraction) overlooking the majestic landscape of the Grand Canyon into a basketball net: a comic metaphor that captures the essence of our hopes for life, while revealing their insistent banality.

Luca Padroni
The formal construction of Padroni’s images projects a powerful sense of motion, through impossible architectural spaces. The poetic of dynamism and light in these paintings, their geometric severity, conspire to suggest the utopian condition of an ideal city.

Maria Papadimitriou
Underpinning the work of Maria Papadimitriou is the will to reconsider the role of art in contemporary society as a means to investigate notions of individual and collective identity. By predominantly using ephemeral or reproducible media she undermines received ideas about the ‘unique’ status of the art object.

Sharon Thomas
The work of British painter Sharon Thomas applies traditional methods of representation, landscape and figuration, to comment on issues of class and identity in contemporary society. This method of stylistic appropriation is used as a means to identify and comment on received notions of identity in past and present society.

Installation view of Phyllis Baldino’s Out of Focus Everything Series: panth-around another time (2007)

Giacinto Occhionero Herman Buhl and Nanga Parbat (2009)

Jennifer Graber Untitled 6, Untitled 7, and Untitled 19 (2009)

Luca Padroni, Fault Lines 0726 (2007)

Installation view showing works by Scott Grodesky, Maria Papadimitriou and Sara Jessie Kane

Installation view showing works by Sara Jessie Kane

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

15th November – 2nd December 2009

Edwina Ashton (UK) Phyllis Baldino (USA) Anne Sofie Bird Møller (Denmark) Paul Desborough (UK) Jennifer Graber (USA) Scott Grodesky (USA) Sara Kane (USA) DeAnna Maganias (Greece) Kirsi Mikkola (Finland) Giacinto Occhionero (Italy) Luca Padroni (Italy) Maria Papadimitriou (Greece) Sharon Thomas (UK) Nicola Tyson (UK)

Untitled, 2001, graphite on paper, 34×51.5 cm

From the sublime to the ridiculous … there is but one step.’ This now famous phrase, was adapted by Napoleon from the words of the Englishman Thomas Paine, one of the founding fathers of the Unites States, who observed in his book, The Age of Reason (1793) that: ‘The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately’. In this book, the radical political theorist applied enlightenment principles of logical methodology to contest the doctrinal orthodoxy of biblical authorship. In doing so he demonstrated how the subject matter of his analysis, intended to ‘raise thoughts’ and encourage virtue, could, viewed in the light of reason be understood in the opposite terms too. The popular success of this controversial work among supporters of the American Revolution, eventually led the phrase to be adopted in vernacular language to describe any process tying the actions of people, their reputation and the hazardous nature of fortune, in time’s turn of events. In this context however, fortune is not an entirely irrational force rather it is a mirror of prevailing opinion. It is in this sense that Paine’s idea, the title of our exhibition, concerns us.

Thomas Paine’s phrase was completed with the words: ‘One step above the sublime makes the ridiculous, and one step above the ridiculous makes the sublime again’. He thereby shifted emphasis away from the simplistic question: ‘what is sublime or ridiculous?’ to instead highlight the very similar nature of these two conditions and the mutable role reception plays in defining them. This quality of changeability in definition, administered by opinion over time, remains singularly resonant as a way of looking in the present.

Every human action is potentially ridiculous or sublime – one might say that what is sublime contains the ridiculous; what is ridiculous contains the sublime and what is neither contains elements of both – anything we undertake to do then, contains the seed of both possible extremes. These extremes hang like weights in the scale of fortune. And fortune may be understood as the mirror of the critical-mass of opinion, capable of deciding the scale’s tipping-point.

Where a mundane action, like house-cleaning or putting on a suit and going to work, may not seem to necessitate an opinion, the action of an artist, a writer, poet or composer (indeed any creative action) actively seeks the response of opinion in its audience. The action thereby becomes the mirror of the audience, while the audience’s response or opinion has the capacity to decide the fortune of the creative action.

We may then say that anything that generates an opinion is a mirror of the opinion maker. Here we find an engaging paradox. Is it the creative action or the audience’s response that is the opinion maker?

This grey-area is interesting because it concerns communication and its correlative, understanding. The creative action is performed for the purpose of communication but it is understanding that generates a response in the audience. What the mirror of opinion might call sublime or ridiculous, two vastly divergent positions separated by a hair’s breadth, is then the product of the interface between communication and understanding.

Rather than seeking to provoke polarised responses, the selection of work by the twelve artists presented in this exhibition, operate in the grey-area between the maker and the audience. In different ways each artist uses his or her creative process, as well the end product of ‘the work’ to challenge prevailing opinions. By inviting the audience to perceive and choose from various possible territories of understanding, our ‘interpretations’ – our attempt to access these works – draw us into surprising processes of (self) recognition.

Working in eight different cities in six countries, many of the artists in this exhibition, despite the restrictions of physical distance separating them, know each other well. The network of connections that unites them reflects the increasingly international nature of contemporary culture. Each of these artists work in different styles and media, ranging from figuration to abstraction and video to collage, via painting and sculpture. Keenly aware of their production as part of an on-going tradition of western art, their practice dialogues with, develops and challenges the many creative languages codified in the twentieth century and earlier ages. By adopting and adapting sometimes-familiar visual languages that on occasion are pushed to their formal limit to break new ground, they find means to express concerns of our present. These concerns, the content of each artist’s work and the manner in which they are communicated, is where interesting areas of over-lap are to be found.

Among the artist’s work presented in this exhibition, certain related themes emerge as significant: the nature of repetition that punctuates every-day activity; the ways we relate to our built and natural environments and the role of media imagery representing a ‘virtual’ world are all vital sources of exploration. The works draw us through multiple layers of reaction and understanding. The absurd nature of what is considered serious, or conversely, the serious nature of what may be thought absurd, could be recognised as significant means with which these artists explore the experience of every-day reality.

Installation view showing Sutton Place South (2003) by DeAnna Maganias Explosion 2009 by Scott Grodesky and works by Sara Jessie Kane and Sophie Bird Møller (Photo: Panos Kokkinias)

Installation view showing Skywalk, Herman Buhl and Nanga Parbat (2009) by Giacinto Occhionero (Photo: Panos Kokkinias)

Installation view showing Untitled (2001) by Scott Grodesky, Untitled #1 and Untitled # 2 (2008) by Maria Papadimitriou and Ripe for the Picking: The Circus Master (2008) by Sharon Thomas (Photo: Panos Kokkinias)

Installation view showing Sutton Place South (2003) by DeAnna Maganias (Photo: Panos Kokkinias)

Installation view showing Out of Focus Everything Series: panth-around another time (2007) by Phyllis Baldino (Photo: Panos Kokkinias)

Installation view showing The Warm Hand of History (2008) by Edwina Ashton (Photo: Panos Kokkinias)

Installation view showing works by Kirsi Mikkola, Jennifer Graber and Suspended Figure (2008) by Nicola Tyson (Photo: Panos Kokkinias)

Installation view showing Suspended Figure (2008) by Nicola Tyson, Ripe for the Picking: The Clown and Nice Peonies Mister (2008) by Sharon Thomas and Untitled (2009) by DeAnna Maganias (Photo: Panos Kokkinias)

Video detail showing the ceiling of the room in which the sculpture Untitled (2009) by DeAnna Maganias is located