Giuseppe Penone at Château de Versailles

© Tadzio

© Tadzio

“It was like a secret meeting. Before stopping at the choice of Giuseppe Penone as contemporary artist who would compete in Versailles in 2013, I had to meet him where he works in Turin. I had the opportunity to talk with him, in a sunny day in Provence. I had long been fascinated by this small and yet so proud manner to sculpt time, to reveal inanimate materials – tree rings, marble veins, wrinkles water – and to go back in, without interruption.

© Tadzio

© Tadzio

© Tadzio

© Tadzio

And there I was, in a gray autumn day in the middle of a huge also gray workshop, to which only bronze was giving some color, to talk about his art and Versailles. Giuseppe Penone showed his work with an economy of words and gestures contrasted with its intensity. Of course, there were the trees, that he “reveals” living and fragile, which instead seemed natural in the gardens of Versailles on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the birth of Le Nôtre.

© Tadzio

© Tadzio

© Tadzio

© Tadzio

Of course, there was the link that Giuseppe Penone has with Versailles since he carved two cedars felled by the great storm of 1999, continuing the idea of his youth that “the tree is reborn inside the tree.” But there was much more as he said he did not want to confront Versailles. He did not consider the invitation I made ​​him as a “competition”. We talked about natural that should prevail in the gesture that would mark its presence at Versailles. Yes, strength, and grandeur, and elegance…These words are from Versailles and going so well for Penone.” Catherine Pégard

Château de Versailles

Advertisements

Sandra Vasquez de la Horra – Origenes

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is delighted to announce the third exhibition of work by Chilean artist Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, who lives and works in Berlin. In this exhibition, Origenes, Sandra Vásquez pursues her thinking on a series of drawings begun in 1997 evoking the way the body taking shape in the mother’s womb is a parallel with the creative act of the artist engaged in drawing.

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

A notable development in her thinking here is expressed through the recurrent presence of elements from the vegetable kingdom that enrich the notion of the life cycle. It forges a link with an earlier series called ‘The Botany of Evolution’. In this dialectic of life and art, a grain of cereal corresponds to the soul in the same way that the work of art begins gestation in the very first stroke of the pencil. The unknown factor is the form that either life or the completed work of art will take. In this respect, Sandra Vásquez’s previous works left a great deal of scope for development, for coming back to line and pattern, so that the very process of the creative act could be expressed as an accomplished, autonomous form. Although myths, popular culture, motherhood, and spirituality are still the basic elements of Sandra Vásquez’s vocabulary, this new series of works seems to express a new maturity in the treatment of these themes.

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Sandra Vásquez returns to the genesis of the creative act, comparing it to the formation and development of the spirit. The drawing entitled Origenes (2013) appears to be a religious piéta but the reference is in fact to the birth of man as energy and creative force. The god the woman has given birth to is the god of creation and ultimate submission of body to soul. He is both birth and death incarnate. The skeleton of the man with his veins showing is a visual metaphor for the flow of sap through the branches and leaves of a tree. Birth and death in the vegetable kingdom place the experience of the body and the cyclical renewal of life in perspective, making death not absence of life but an essential stage of it. The drawing, La Virgen del Amazonas (2013), of the breast-feeding mother is, in this respect, as poetic as it is explicit; the woman’s body is a screen bearing the image of rich and generous flora, like the breast that feeds the newborn child.

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

The expression of life in the form of cycles is a recurrent aspect of this new series. Las Flores del Mal(2013) is a drawing that expresses this vegetable and human parallel as an obvious fact, while at the same time having recourse to irony and elegance combined with a visual and literary richness typical of Sandra Vásquez’s work. ‘The Metamorphoses of the Vampire’ is one of the poems in Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal. It confronts the sexual act, seeing it as a sensual finality in which one of the protagonists – the woman – is revealed as a vampire in a certain state of decomposition; a manifestation of death in the midst of the sexual act, which itself is a celebration of existence.

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris

Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, was born in 1967 in Viña del Mar, Chile. She lives and works in Berlin. After graduating from the School of Graphic Arts at the University of Viña del Mar in 1994, she went on to study at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie. In 2003 she obtained a Master’s degree at the Cologne Kunsthochschule für Medien. Drawings by Sandra Vásquez de la Horra have recently been exhibited at the Sao Paolo Biennale, at various solo shows, the Musée d’Art Moderne in Saint-Etienne, the Oldenburger Kunstverein, the Museum Morsbroich, Busan Museum of Art in Korea, the Maison Rouge in Paris, and the Pompidou Centre, which acquired works by her after she was awarded the Daniel & Florence Guerlain Foundation prize for drawing in 2009. Her works feature in museum collections in Germany, Switzerland and France, and in many private collections and foundations, particularly those devoted to drawing.

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Summer is here – Yap

Courtesy of bam!

Courtesy of bam!

YAP MAXXI is the annual program for the promotion and support of young architecture organized in collaboration with MoMA / MoMA PS1 in New York, Constructo in Santiago, Chile, and for the first time, the Museum of Modern Art in Istanbul, Turkey. The program stipulates that each year an emerging architecture studio creates an installation able to offer visitors a space for the summer events of the museum and a place with “shade, water and area to relax.”

Courtesy of Maxxi

Courtesy of Maxxi

He is the installation of the Turin based studio bam!, a big and lightweight structure, which will fluctuate in the air above the square of the MAXXI providing shades and water spectacles during the day and light during night. The installation He will be inaugurated in the square of the MAXXI in conjunction with projects Party Wall CODA – winner of YAP 2013 New York – in the courtyard of MoMA / MoMA PS1 and Sky Spotting Stop from the studio SO? Istanbul – winner of YAP 2013 in Turkey – in the square of Istanbul Modern Art Museum.

Courtesy of Maxxi

Courtesy of Maxxi

In Santiago de Chile instead, the installation The Garden of Forking Paths Study Beal + Lyons Architects – winner of the Chilean YAP 2012 – will be inaugurated on March 7, 2013. The installation He opens up the agenda of YAP SUMMER PROGRAM with music, events, meetings dedicated to design, architecture, fashion, poetry, in the museum plaza, until the end of September.

MAXXI Museum

bam! 

Wilson Windows Interventions

Courtesy of Palais de Tokyo

Courtesy of Palais de Tokyo

Following Christian Marclay’s semi-permanent installation on Palais de Tokyo’s front building, the seven windows will feature Toiletpaper magazine starting June 2013. The project at the Palais de Tokyo is entirely part of this diffusion process. No picture is shown in the art space; after being digested, images from several issues are splashed onto the spectacular seven front windows of the building, in an intriguing composition that infiltrates everyday life as it is visible both from the inside and the outside. It allows the images to seep into the public street space and to parasite the restaurant’s living experience.

Courtesy of Palais de Tokyo

Courtesy of Palais de Tokyo

Founded by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari in 2010, Toiletpaper is a magazine of only pictures which investigates our contemporary obsession with images. It results from the digestive process following an overdose of visual consumption. Aesthetically, one can mistake the content with commercial photography as TP’s pop iconography creates attraction and manipulates our vision the way advertising does. But there is a twist: aToiletpaper image has absolutely no superego; it explores in an apparently harmless way our most intimate, hidden, unspeakable desires and urges. Each picture in the magazine is carefully constructed within a specific mental environment. It is evaluated, judged, transformed until it reaches the Toiletpaper status, conveying a mix of unexpected disturbance and uncanny ambiguity which could define the TP style (if such definition is possible).

Courtesy of Palais de Tokyo

Courtesy of Palais de Tokyo

Since the magazine was born three years ago, Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari managed to go constantly beyond the pages, imposing Toiletpaper as a way of life and sidetracking into other fields to test the strength of the images. In today’s digital era strong content gets shared, tweeted, blogged and re-blogged. Toiletpaper rolls out a similar process in real life: deprived from their original context, images get onto t-shirts, mugs, jackets, disk covers, they live several lives and keep meddling in everyday imagery, printing into people’s subconscious. In that sense, Toiletpaper is fundamentally democratic as it needs to be confronted to massive diffusion to check the pictures resistance to time and the power they reach affecting popular imagination.

Courtesy of Palais de Tokyo

Courtesy of Palais de Tokyo

Toiletpaper images have been reviewed by weekly and art magazines worldwide and appeared in special issues of magazines such as Vice and Hunger. TOILETPAPER was also exhibited on the High Line Billboard in Chelsea, NYC in May, 2012. The same year, images taken from the first six issues have been published by Damiani in an anthology, together with selected narrative texts, that was reviewed in The New York Times’ Top 10 Photo Books.

Gabriel Sierra – Thus Far

Courtesy of Peep Hole

Courtesy of Peep Hole

Gabriel Sierra’s research is based on exercises of representation which come from reflections on the language of things and the principles that govern architecture, in order to suggest a way of rethinking our idea of space and time. Exploring the borderlines of art, architecture and design, all of Sierra’s work turns on the attempt to interpret a place by starting with the programmatic transformation of its constituent parts, to manipulate the nature of objects by deconstructing their functions, to investigate the temporal logics of everyday existence. Most of his works involve interventions that alter the display space by redefining its architectural dynamics and challenging our way of interacting with them. Each project has to do with the specificities of its context, which Sierra takes over in order to translate it into experiments of temporary and fantastic architecture. Time is a concept to which the artist constantly returns, exploring the possibility of representing the experience of its passage in relation to the space in which we live.

Courtesy of Peep Hole

Courtesy of Peep Hole

The project made for Peep-Hole consists of a site-specific intervention that radically transforms the space and its perception. Thus Far – its title – comes from the intention to put the temporal dimension of the exhibition into relation with the physical space that contains it, experimenting with the possibility of representing the specific time of contemplation and the experience we make of it. The idea comes from a project Sierra has pursued for years of building a house with specific rooms for the different days of the week: one for Monday, one for Tuesday, another for Wednesday, and so on, with the intent that one can stay only for 24 hours in each room. The house then becomes an abstract calendar in which there is no turning back, as one moves from one room to another following the indications of its structure. In 2007 this project took the form of a book entitled Siete Cavernas, yet unpublished, whose protagonist is the architect Arnulfo Cortina as he builds a utopian dwelling in the mountains of northern Colombia.

Courtesy of Peep Hole

Courtesy of Peep Hole

The exhibition at Peep-Hole becomes an opportunity to physically materialize this reflection on space and time approached in the book, and to experience the effect of this ideal abode. The artist has subdivided the exhibition space into different areas that ideally represent the rooms of a house. Each zone contains materials, objects or parts that characterize a room: familiar things that take on an utterly abstract and ideal connotation, however, to the extent in which they lose their natural three-dimensional quality and become a two-dimensional projection of themselves. The objects, in fact, are installed inside the walls, offering a glimpse only of their surfaces, and become abstract and only partially recognizable representations. The sequence of the spaces constructs an itinerary paced by the calendar of daily openings of the exhibition space: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each room is connected to a precise day of the week, and visitors can enter it only on that day. Visitors then have a temporal experience of the show, and can only see it in its entirety if they choose to visit the four days of the week in which the gallery is open. All the rooms can be accessed in a single visit only on the day of the opening, Sunday 26 May.

Courtesy of Peep Hole

Courtesy of Peep Hole

A house or an exhibition with rooms for each day of the week represents, for Gabriel Sierra, an experiment through which to portray the complex relationship between space and time, and the way this relationship can be translated in the tangible modification of a place: a formula to get out of the conventional perception of the world, to understand the logic and mysteries of time.

Gabriel Sierra (San Juan Nepomuceno, 1975. Lives and works in Bogotá, Colombia) took a degree in Industrial Design at the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano of Bogotá. Selected solo shows: Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, 2012; La Casa del Encuentro, MDE07 espacios de hospitalidad, Medellín, 2007; Compuesto Verde (stepmothernature-series), Centre d’Art Contemporain de Brétigny, 2006. In 2012 he participated in The Ungovernables – The New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York. In 2011 he took part in the Biennials of Lyon and Istanbul, while in 2008 his work was included in the São Paulo Biennial. He has been an artist in residence at: Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, 2012; Gasworks, International Residency Programme, London, 2009; CAC Centre d’Art Contemporain de Brétigny, 2006. Gabriel Sierra is one of the artists included in the 2013 Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.

Peep Hole 

Selected by Ingrid Melano

Antony Gormley – Meter

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

For almost 40 years, Antony Gormley has been creating sculptures exploring the relation of the human body to space. In the past two years, the projects attracting most attention have been Horizon Field, in the Vorarlberg Alps, and the installation Horizon Field Hamburg, realised in co-operation with the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in the Hamburg Deichtorhallen. Horizon Field consisted of 100 life-size bodyforms cast in solid iron distributed over an area of 150 km², at 2,039 metres above sea level creating  a horizontal plane through the valleys of Lech, Zurs and Zug, and Horizon Field Hamburg invited 100 viewers at a time to venture onto a 1,250m² black- reflecting platform suspended 7.5 metres above the ground.

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

The hovering structure swayed in response to their movement. Horizon Field Hamburg exploited the structural potential  of the century-old building, re-orienting viewers in a new spatio-temporal context. Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Salzburg is now showing the latest phase in Antony Gormley’s exploration of space. In the exhibition METER, in the Villa Kast in Salzburg, Gormley explores scale and the relativity of any measurement, encouraging viewers to experience anew their own physical presence in space.

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

The sculptures displayed on the ground floor of the gallery are larger than life; those on the first floor smaller than life. Gormley addresses size in two ways: first, with proportional magnification and second, with increasing expansion.The austere, totem-like figure Ward (2013), 1.5 times life-size, occupies the entrance to the gallery; it is one of a series of proportionally magnified figures positioned along the architectural axes of the ground floor. All the sculptures in the exhibition use the formal language of architecture, inviting greater awareness of spatial context in the viewer through the various ways in which they occupy the rooms in the gallery.

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

These works are contrasted by sculptures from the ‘Tankers’ group. These, too, are abstracted  bodyforms, with rectilinear volumes expanding from human dimensions. Consisting of dark Corten steel plates, they enclose a space the extent of which is based on the principles of the metric expansion of the universe. Here, an observation method used in astronomy is applied to the intimate sphere of the human body.

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

In counterpoint to the ‘Tankers’ is a series of white plaster sculptures characterised by stacking, propping and cantilver, exploiting the interplay between stability and instability. Three sculptures made of linear stainless-steel,  including the work Course (2010), a slender, double life-size figure, interpret the human body as an energy system. The massive 11 ton iron figure Rest IV (2013), in a classic reclining posture, is displayed in the garden of the Villa Kast.

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Antony Gormley was born in London in 1950. Countless solo exhibitions since the 1980s have been devoted to his work, in venues such as the Hermitage, St. Petersburg (2011/12), Kunsthaus, Bregenz (2009), Hayward Gallery, London (2007), Tate Britain, London (2004/05), Malmö Museum of Art (2001), Kunsthalle, Kiel (1997) and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (1989). Major works in public space include the Angel of the North (Gateshead, England), Another Place (Crosby Beach, England) and Exposure(Lelystad, Netherlands). Gormley has received many distinctions, including the Turner Prize (1994) and the Order of the British Empire (1997). He is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Arts, and since 2007 a trustee of the British Museum.

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Selected by Ingrid Melano

The breath of water

© Susanna Majuri

© Susanna Majuri

The first international exhibition of the 2013 season at Macula, at the Grand Staircase Vanvitelliano of Pesaro, is The Breath of Water, personal exhibition of the Finnish photographer Susanna Majuri, one of the most representative of the Helsinki School.

© Susanna Majuri

© Susanna Majuri

Her works are complex constructions in which the element of water flows as a narrative stream, poetic fluxus that runs through all her work, transporting places and mostly female characters: Susanna plunges into the water her actors within scenarios previously photographed, then securing the stories into a final image. The results are extremely exciting visions: to observe her work is like stepping back in apnea of her dreams, to be sucked into narrative vortices ready to overflow, as film frames in their main scene.

© Susanna Majuri

© Susanna Majuri

The exhibition opening has been enhanced by the musical performance “Shells, water and seeds” by Antonio Coatti and Sandro Grassia, a concert where the magical sounds made with the shells were mixed with electronic ones from a nifty tool made ​​of laser and movements of water.

© Susanna Majuri

© Susanna Majuri

Born in Helsinki in 1978, after graduating from the Turku Art Academy and a master’s degree in photography at the University of Art and Design Helsinki, Susanna Majuri is well known for her images  full of poetry, and her dreamy approach to the photographic language.

Macula

Selected by Ingrid Melano