Caroline Pagès Gallery: JEANINE COHEN - Keeping things pretty straight | TONI GRILO & DANIEL ENOKSSON - Do Moderno - 1 Oct 2011 to 26 Nov 2011
Jeanine Cohen, Vertical Yellow II, 2010
Acrylic on wood (Ayous) 190 x 27 x 9 cm
JEANINE COHEN - Keeping things pretty straight
TONI GRILO & DANIEL ENOKSSON - Do Moderno
October 1 – November 26
Opening Saturday, October 1 from 5 - 8 pm
Jeanine Cohen - Keeping things pretty straight
Kublai: - I do not know when you had time to visit all the countries that you describe to me. I think you have never set foot outside this garden.
Polo: - Each thing that I see and do makes sense within a space of the mind, where the same calm that exists here, the same shadow, the same silence covered by the crackle of leaves reigns.
Knowing the photos where Jeanine Cohen has framed windows, railings, shutters, vitrines, nets, divisions, fences, prefabs, steps, etc. is unnecessary for us to identify these elements and (re)discover them on the planes, lines, grids, traces, shadows, textures, transparencies, visibilities, opacities, etc., found in her visual search. If we look at her photos (the option was not to display them in the gallery but rather on her website or Jeanine Cohen, Vertical Yellow II, 2010, Acrylic on wood (Ayous), 190 x 27 x 9 cm in artist's books, and quite rightly so), we recognise everyday architecture distinguished by the moving perspective in the towns that Jeanine visited, like Tel Aviv or Lisbon, on journeys in the U.S.A. or during periods of residence in Iceland.
It is rare for a building photographed by Jeanine Cohen, in the street of some town, not to be framed by a corner, squinting, from the perspective that encourages movement, and, as a result of this action, one which promotes the visibility of multiple levels. Dare I say that this positioning of perspective is not a strategy to achieve, in this example, the dimensions of an apartment block. I will begin by describing my (apparent) contradiction.
The perspective seeks to describe the anatomy of a city at the end of the day (there are no people on Jeanine’s streets), the view seeks to maintain the precision of the precarious nature, or the ruin, of anonymous architecture. And yet, I believe that this collected documentation (objects, materials, bodies that fill our cities) is the "reason" for the creation of sculptures (even if these are to be placed on the wall), but the artist considers herself a painter.
And, in reality, she deals primarily with the two-dimensional aspect of painting: surface, line and colour; a merely apparent contradiction (hers). In parts. The work surface : the canvas of the paintings-that-are-notsculptures is the wall of a house, of a gallery - and what better essence, or symbol, of volume and dimension than a house? Orientation: the lines are substantiated in wooden rulers, polished and painted on just one side, which are often movable along the frame, reminiscent of windows.
The colours are doubly reflected: almost never directly perceived. If the surface here is the wall, the line is a strip of wood; the colour is what is not palpable. In some ways it is the colours that refer to the aspect of painting or, in other words, that which remind us of the encounter between the experience of reality and the aesthetic, e.g. the chromatic variations of the sky reflected in the ripple-effect of a corrugated iron roof. It is this lightness combined with accuracy that suggests the idea of architecture in the work of Jeanine Cohen. The pieces on show here focus particularly on the vertical. This change of axes can be understood as a breach on the horizon. Everything concentrated on one edge, on that corner that invites movement and the discovery of multiple planes. The same occurs in the drawing (playing with the notion of scale), the cutting, folding and consequent production of shade mark an urban mesh where a traveller discovers details of an involuntary architecture which is already a drawing.
I have chosen to begin and end this brief text with excerpts from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities ; those landscapes (which are renewed with each reading) described to Kublai Kan by Marco Polo. The truth of their existence is not an issue in fiction, in the same way that it is not important which city each of Jeanine Cohen’s works belongs to, because the movement of each one in relation to each drawing, painting or photograph retraces its geography, making new cities visible with every view.
So - according to some - the hypothesis that each man has a city in mind made up only of differences is confirmed; a city without figures and without form, and one that is filled with particular cities.
(Maria do Mar Fazenda, August 2011)
Jeanine Cohen (b. 1951) lives in Brussels. Keeping things pretty straight is Cohen’s second solo show at the Caroline Pagès Gallery. In Portugal, the artist recently had a solo show at the Presença Gallery in Oporto (with Javier Fernandez). In 2012, she will conceive a site-specific piece at the Carpe Diem art centre in Lisbon. The great majority of Cohen’s work consists of site-specific wall paintings for public, corporate and private institutions and collections. In 2008, she was commissioned to create the 900 m 2 façade of a new extension to the Museum of Photography in Charleroi (Belgium).
In Belgium, the artist has exhibited at the Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR), the Nicolas de Staël Art Centre, the Tapestry Museum, the Centre for Contemporary Non-Objective Art, the Centre de Couleur Contemporaine CO21, and the following galleries in Brussels: Nomad, Archetype, Etienne Tilman, In Situ, 175, and X+. In Iceland (Reykjavik), Cohen is represented by the i8 Gallery which regularly exhibits her work; in 2004, the SAFN Museum (Reykjavik) included her in an exhibition of their collection.
In 2011, Cohen took part in the contemporary sculpture festival Escaut. Rives, Dérives at the Cambrai Fine Arts Museum in France.
Jeanine Cohen’s work is part of public and corporate collections in Belgium (French Community in Belgium, Winterthur, Zurich, Agoria Group, Quai 55), Sweden (Statens Konsrad), Iceland (SAFN Museum), and numerous private collections in Belgium, Iceland, Israel, England, the USA, Portugal, and France.
TONI GRILO & DANIEL ENOKSSON - Do Moderno About Modern)
Design show curated by Luís Royal
Parallel event to the Lisbon EXD’11 Design Biennial organized by ExperimentaDesign
The Caroline Pagès Gallery in Lisbon will exhibit design in its space for the first time. Thus, so as to question the paradigms of artistic creativity, material culture and its creation as we understand it. The two selected designers operate under this condition and create objects whose value exceeds the practical aspect they propose as objects. They are functional, aesthetic and conceptual responses to be confronted with art with no other function than to be just artworks, with no other use. Toni Grilo (Portugal) and Daniel Enoksson (Sweden) represent two possible design approaches and are the first of a potential list of international designers to exhibit at the Caroline Pagès Gallery in Lisbon. The strange luxury of their objects has a formal accuracy that adds to them an essential value of a postmodern approach that binds them to the early modernists of the XX century.
The Caroline Pagès Gallery is starting a series of biennial design exhibitions to take place in parallel to the Lisbon EXD Design Biennial promoted by ExperimentaDesign.
The work of Daniel Enoksson (b. Stockholm, 1976) and Toni Grilo (b. France, 1974) takes us back to some of the modernist visuals that helped shape the beginnings of design as a creative and independent discipline. The modernist movement of the early twentieth century, with sub-movements throughout the world, dictated languages that served as a grammar for the whole development of the modern style over that century. Its principles became fundamental in the consolidation of the material, visual, architectural and urban cultures and catalyzed a revolution in the ways of life of the modern man, far beyond the rejection of the ornament or the adoption of new visual codes.
Daniel Enoksson, Pieces (2008), Pine, MDF, steel, 37 x 37 x 45 cm, Edition of 10 Toni Grilo, Bibendum (2009), Steel, 70 x 100 x 82 cm, Edition of 12 Since then, design took several expressions, several other modernisms, and allowed itself to challenge the uses to which it had been destined as well as its first visual which had been reduced to the essential. Despite the successive proposals offered by contemporaneity, Enoksson and Grilo continued to believe in the modernist appearance, returning to its key proposals and leaving them again for the reconstruction of a discourse that puts modernism itself into question.
Daniel Enoksson’s objects are based on pure geometrical structures and modern style. The combinations of plans that set the shape take us to a two-dimensional representation and to the way the forerunners of the DeStijl movement mixed pictorial representation (both in painting and graphic design), design and architecture. Constructive relations between the plans and lines dictate massive volumes or plans so tenuous that they become sinuous, exhibiting their fragile side as the sheets of paper that conceived them. To the most modern material - steel - the author associates wood, the traditional material of the cabinet maker that refers here to the plasticity of sculpture, the real plasticity of his design objects.
In Toni Grilo’s most recent work, it is not without irony that we are led to the origins of modernism, through the tubular steel structures. The idea envisioned by Marcel Breuer, from the constructive strength of bicycles, had to have the impact that we know today. But it is not only in search for structure that Grilo abuses of this material and image: the audacity of these aesthetic provocations leads us to a baroque paradox in a contemporary way, where the modernist idea is treated as minor, and where the suggestion of comfort in upholstery material is replaced by reflections on a mirror surface. They are luxury shapes with technical perfection from an industry where the value is manual labor.
Grilo and Enoksson bring design to the art gallery, in a postmodernist game with the modernist utopia. The relations they favour with these vanguards are overcome by the detailed technique of small editions, but also the attention to the idea which repositions the design object and catapults it to the plinth, with a possible irony regarding the contemporary worship of the icons of modern design authors.
Daniel Enoksson’s (b. Stockholm, 1976) studio was founded in 2008, after graduating from Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm. As a former electrician he combines the skills from working on a construction site and the qualities from being a designer. While working primarily within the field in between art and design he aims to apply subtlety, enrichment and reformation in his projects. The red thread in his work is to create value for both the user and producer. He considers every commission a challenge and strives to develop the project together with the client to create durable and timeless results. Enoksson’s most recent exhibitions were in Berlin, Stockholm and Milan.
Toni Grilo (b. France, 1974) graduated in equipment design from the Boulle School in Paris. In 2001, invited by the designer Marco Sousa Santos, he goes to Lisbon as a designer at ProtoDesign. In 2003 he starts organizing workshops with designers and design schools and international exhibitions for the Lisbon event In'nova. In this context, he connects to the Radi Designers, with special attention to Robert Stadler, leading him back to Paris to establish this collaboration. From there he starts international projects and collaborations including with the French collective Dallas, for Mooma Shanghai and for Christofle. In 2008, he starts his own studio work with his own name in Lisbon, developing projects for Christofle, Venini, Vista Alegre / Atlantis, Adico and TAP. In 2010, he was invited to be the director of the design fair Lisboa Design Show.
(Luís Royal, July 2011)
Caroline Pagès Gallery
Rua Tenente Ferreira Durão, 12 – 1º Dto.
[Campo de Ourique]
Tel. 21 387 33 76
Tm. 91 679 56 97
Aberto ao público de 2ª a Sábado das 15h às 20h e por marcação fora deste horário.