Sculpture & Installation
International Contemporary Art 
23 March 2012

MADDER139, London
T293, Rome

Concha García, S/T, 2012
Concha García
S/T, 2012
Escultura, modera y ceramica
medidas variables
Courtesy of Galeria Pilar Serra, Madrid
La mirada asombrada
20 March to 28 April
La mirada asombrada (The astonished glance), the latest exhibition from Concha García in the Pilar Serra gallery, uses the manipulation of daily objects in order to return to concepts that have been a constant in her artistic work: the private, time and the everyday are intermingled in a frozen and apparently static present, which, in every detail, throbs with major questions regarding the vulnerability of the physical and its manifestation.
The sample, made up of various sculptural installations of furniture and ceramics, different works on paper, a book of poems by the Japanese writer Kuan Tao-Sheng and a video, proposes a reflection surrounding the transformation of matter and its consequences: from the concealment of its effects up to its exaltation, passing through the concerns which can result from the fragility of the physical or the harm that can be caused following the exposure of what was masked. And we the spectators, in a way that is almost clandestine, witness the result of a metamorphosis, we do not know when it has taken place nor if it will continue, but of which we are and feel to be a central part.
Whether regarded individually or as a whole, each of the pieces of the exhibition acquires on inspection its own voice, almost human, a reflection and metaphor of the relations that are set up between the being with itself, and between the being and its most private, most protective, environment. It is not by chance that, as in this case, the recurrent protagonists in the sculpture of Concha García are furniture and ceramics, objects with very specific functions within the daily flow, which symbolize moments, aspects of our most intimate world, and which, when stripped of their prime essence: the function, enter into crisis, promoting uncertainty, which “seems to be the word that best defines the state of the individual”, as the artist comments.
So, armchairs, seats and pots are transformed into one or another form by her hands, coming to acquire a certain humanity in their positions of relation with the space surrounding them. The artist breathes a “puff” on them which provides them with the subtlety of life, characterized by temporality, by the time which, as with all beings that are born, little by little brings them closer to death. And it is in this particular moment that the work of Concha García takes on the characteristic most inherent to her, that of showing the beauty of the imperfect, of the transformable, of – in the end – matter. The physical, with nothing hidden, becomes the protagonist and symbolically, from the appearance of the object trouvé, provides evidence of the traces of existence. Because as she notes, “objects, like people, are borne, they live and die [...] We are frightened by the unexpected reflection of a shadow on the clean, smooth and immaculate surface which they once had, which we once had. The objects that are presented here reveal to us the beauty of the transformation compared to restoration, of the expired compared to the perennial [...] Recovering La mirada asombrada in which time is not an enemy to be defeated but rather the place where dreams reside”. In this exhibition, Concha García proposes a song to the beauty of what is alive and is unrepeatable, showing its scars and absences which, far from being covered, are exposed to the light in all their splendour.
As well as nationally, the work of Concha García (Santander, 1960) has also been exhibited internationally in countries such as Japan, Germany, Italy, France and Poland. It can also be found in museums and collections such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, La Caixa Foundation, Santander Art Museum, the collections of the Caja de Burgos, the Patio Herreriano Museum in Valladolid or the Artium Museum in Vitoria. Her artistic career has led to her receiving numerous awards, notable among which are the Pablo Picasso First Prize for engraving and drawing of the Spanish Ministry of Culture, First Prize in the Julio Prieto Nespereira International Biennial for Engraving, Madrid First Prize for Engraving, Second Prize for Sculpture in the VI Competition of the Professional Football Foundation or Gregorio Prieto First Prize for Drawing; and the winning of prestigious grants such as from the Marcelino Botín Foundation or that of the Ministry of Culture in the Colegio de España in Paris.
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Charles Long, Untitled, 2012
Charles Long
Untitled, 2012
steel, fabric, ecopoxy, and pigment
88 x 30 x 32 inches; 223.5 x 76.2 x 81.3 cm
Courtesy OF Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
Minimal Surfaces_Ocean of Hours
Until 7 Apr 2012
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to present the ninth solo exhibition of new sculpture by Charles Long. In this inventive body of work, Long shares with the viewer his search for rich experiences that are unique to abstract sculpture. Through the exploration of new processes and materials, Long endeavors to arrive at spatially and visually engaging works that aim to offer the viewer an open experience by eschewing external reference. These lively and poetic forms continue the formal language Long has been building for decades.
The origin of any one of Long's sculptures might be traced back to some aimless doodle within the evolutionary soup of sketches that pile up in the studio. As the artist alternates from pencil and paper to torch and steel rods, these fledgling apparitions prompt the growth of a three-dimensional steel skeleton. Long then considers the many potential surfaces that could evolve within the artwork's unique scaffolding. Using a resin made from soy and peanuts, he then materializes a form from the numerous potential surfaces that wait unseen within the various perimeters of the steel framework.
The resulting curving forms follow a mathematical principle known as "minimal surfaces," according to which a given plane assumes a geometrical configuration of least possible area into which it can readily deform according to a given framework. The use of soy-peanut epoxy to freeze these flowing forms is an important new step in the artist's practice, as this natural material allows Long to return to his biomorphic forms. In some, the raw translucent resin is stained with colors that flow across the organic form, creating atmospheric drips and haze. In others, color and textures shift across the opaque resin surfaces, defining the volumes enclosed by these minimal surfaces.
Long finds inspiration in the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and thus seeks a creative investigation that is open-ended, independent of pre-determined objectives, and, as Emerson himself describes it, a "voyage in the unharbored deep." In one piece, Long has included sketches culled from the rich collection of drawings in which he typically immerses himself while in the studio. Presented within the cavity of the sculpture, Long suggests that the three-dimensional forms on view convey but a few of the many possible manifestations along a continuous arc of the artist's inner exploration.
Charles Long's work was recently exhibited at the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles as part of a solo presentation entitled Seeing Green, in conjunction with the exhibition All of This and Nothing: 6th Hammer Invitational. Other recent shows include The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas: Contemporary Sculpture, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (group 2006); 100 Pounds of Clay, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (solo 2006); Gone Formalism, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, (group 2006); and More Like a Dream Than a Scheme, David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, Providence, RI, traveled to SITE Santa Fe (solo 2005). In addition to being featured in the Whitney Biennial, Long has received the American Academy of Arts and Letters "Award of Merit Medal for Sculpture."
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MADDER139, London
Linda Aloysius, Bird, 2011
Linda Aloysius
Bird, 2011
Mixed Media
Courtesy of Madder 139, London
15 March to 28 April 2012
MADDER139 is delighted to announce the first solo exhibition of works by newly represented Scottish artist Linda Aloysius.
Aloysius’ semi-figurative works often wear tattered old garments that gesture towards notions of feminine identity – the eternal bride, the old bird, the painted lady. We might quickly surmise that they are a riposte to the cock-sure monumentalism of sculptures hewn and erected by men: all those giant embodiments of machismo that populate our plazas and museums are rendered absurd, faltering, unbalanced. Their subversive intelligence chips away at a more recent layer of art history too: they stand in contrapuntal relationship to the virile residues of (mostly male) postminimal artists from the 1970s onwards. In the works before you, the scattering and binding of materials speaks not of testosterone-fuelled action (as it often did to an earlier generation), but of a compulsion to use extant objects as queues for new forms. It is action born of responsibility, desire and attentiveness.
Doubt is a generative force, and it unravels these objects quickly. They look like figures, but are they not also in many ways abstract? Are those scrubby dabs of paint part of the found objects or later additions? What is the significance of Aloysius’ observations and engagements with the built environment and its detritus? Is that rip, that rupture, not somewhat obscene? Named after terms for women in boorish everyday language – Bird, Bag, Angel – they live up to their names by donning garbs of grubby silk voile, concrete ballet shoes and broken tiaras. If monumentalism and masculine sculpture is inverted here, so too are these wearisome clichés of femininity. Such a concatenation pre-empts deeply embedded ways of looking: the anthropomorphic eye that makes abstract forms human, and the priapic eye that objectifies life.
Jean-François Lyotard once remarked that, “What cannot be tamed is art as silence.” In their quest to wriggle free from easy definitions, Aloysius’ works suggest themselves to us as unmediated materials. They engage with the concreteness of language, stripping it of its symbolism to locate what might be called its pre-linguistic modus operandi. To pin them down, I would need to resort to endless clauses: ‘but’, ‘although’, ‘nevertheless’. And so, I find myself writing a text not so much about objects as the ghost of language. These sculptures locate an anxiety between words and objects, a skirmish that neither can win. How shall we proceed? What I can say, finally, is: be alert to the objects here, for there is more in them than this text can contain.
Linda Aloysius is in her final year of a practice led PhD at Goldsmiths College. Her work was selected by Phyllida Barlow for the Creekside Open at APT Gallery, London last year; She also showed in 2011 alongside Matt Calderwood, Angela de la Cruz, Alexis Harding, Ana Prada, Paul Harrison and John Wood. Other recent exhibitions include at Sir John Soane’s Museum, London and the Centre for Contemporary Culture, Barcelona.
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Kathy Ruttenberg, The Messenger 2010
Kathy Ruttenberg
The Messenger 2010
15.25 x 23 x 38 inches 39 x 58 x 97 cm
Courtesy of Stux Gallery, New York
The Earth Exhales: Ceramic Sculptures
March 22 – May 5, 2012
Opening Reception: Thursday, 22nd March, 6-8PM
“Dogman loved Ms. Rabbit Lady so much he wanted to run deep into the woods with her so he could eat her in privacy.”
- Kathy Ruttenberg
Working with only “earth, fire and emotions,” Kathy Ruttenberg's fairytale-like ceramic sculptures create a world that is immediately captivating, but the viewer might be surprised by what’s down the rabbit hole.
Her first show at Stux Gallery, "The Earth Exhales", intersects in sensibility with works by artists such as Adriana Varejão, Arlene Shechet, and Kiki Smith, and may recall the theatricality of Mike Kelley, Louise Bourgeois and Mauricio Cattelan. Her violent and devastating visions are disturbingly peaceful, idyllic and sustainable. Treading the boundary of the metaphorical and the literal, Ruttenberg’s world is filled with lush foliage, woodland creatures and puzzling, slightly grim yet open-ended ruminations of gender relations. Men are always portrayed as animals in gentlemen's clothing, and women are always well-groomed and dressed in rounded skirts. On one hand, men are literally animal-like savages, but at the same time they are native creatures of the woodlands and the earth itself, whereas the female figures are the outsiders, if not intruders. Its hard to tell if they are men masquerading as animals, or vice versa. Death, in works such as “The Moment After”, is the stark aftermath of failed love, but also an opportunity to blossom imaginatively and become one with earth.
In “Submission”, a man with a deer’s head holds a woman in a Pieta fashion, but religious weight or any other references to non-romantic aspects of reality dissipate in Ruttenberg's wonderland. Their love story retreat behind their dead-pan, nonchalant expressions, and is instead narrated in a completely carnal and materialized manner:on the man’s back, two windows are carved out to display a mouse and a dog, and an image of a dog man eating her alive is tattooed on his skin. The occurrence of love is commemorated, and her demise and sacrifice are casually noted. “Ladies Chaste”, a light sculpture, further complicates this discussion. The piece is composed of women alone, but the freedom from the dogman-ruled earth does not translate into relief. Literally suspended from the earth in a bright chandelier, the ladies are dressed in angelic, beribboned white dresses. The flowers that consumed their bodies in “The Moment After” are now uprooted and purely decorative. However, the women are identical, lifeless and stifled, dangling with detached joints like rack of unused puppets. Instead of imagined vegetation, they are consumed and saturated by real, artificial lighting, and have been reduced to a set of commercial light fixtures in exchange for gaining chastity. The burning bulbs echo the firing clay, and this time the agitating heat is tangible as the light casts on the viewer.
- Lucy Li
Kathy Ruttenberg is a New York based, Chicago born sculptor. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, pursuing advance studies in Morocco and at New York University. She has been exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally in places such as Korea, Spain and France. Ruttenberg’s work has received wide coverage in publications such as The New York Times, Art in America, The Independent and The Boston Globe.
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T293, Rome
Claire Fontaine, Untitled (The Invisible Hand), 2011
Claire Fontaine
Untitled (The Invisible Hand), 2011
wood, plastic, brass, nylon threads, metal, electro magnets, battery and plinth
18.5 x 23 x 16.5 cm
Courtesy of T293, Naples | Rome
‘Ma l’amor mio non muore’
March 17 - May 12 2012
For the title of her first solo exhibition in Rome at T293, Claire Fontaine takes inspiration from the book written by various authors that was first published in 1971 by Arcana and couldn’t be confiscated by the police only because all the copies were sold out when the action was launched. Later republished by Castelvecchi, and by Derive Approdi today, the book includes recipes for subversive actions as well as for the re-appropriation of one’s body and health. Written by several hands in the climate of an avant-garde already declining, the multi-coloured text brushes the adventure of drugs and the active resistance against the attacks of the police, when the movement could still face them.
Ma l’amor mio non muore (But my love never dies) is in this exhibition also the title and the text of a neon sign that expresses hope and faith in a future of freedom, in a discouraging moment, when resisting has become hard and dangerous. In 2006, Claire Fontaine wrote that “a love that does not die has its reasons more often rooted in the past than in the present. Certainly this is because love has less a sense of reality than it has a sense of the possible and it is closely related with the future and the un-happened. That we love communism – and that we love it still – means for us that the future exists and is not the private property of today’s or tomorrow’s dominants. This means that the love that allows the passing of time, that makes projects and memories possible, is not possessive, jealous, indivisible, but collective; it means that this love doesn’t fear neither hate nor rage, it does not hide unarmed at home, but runs the streets and opens all closed doors.”
The video Situations (2011) that paraphrases a dvd on street fighting, is a series of reproductions of gestures inviting the spectator to reproduce them once again. Placed within a brechtian device, the actors interrupt themselves constantly in order to address directly the public to explain that the movements that they are showing us are a simulation. At the same time, through this explicitly pedagogic procedure, they make their gestures quotable by anyone, as much by potential friends as by enemies, they redistribute indiscriminately a useful and dangerous knowledge. The actors have been filmed in a white cube, a context abstracted from space and time: these images in fact tell the story of bodies that resist and attack, that could be living at any historical time, and transforming banal objects into weapons and their actions into a lethal self-defence system.
Untitled (The invisible hand) (2011) is a modified un ready-made made from a Newton’s cradle – which is a common ‘executive toy’ – customized by Lehman Brothers. The oscillating balls are now prisoners of a magnetic field that keeps them in a state of perpetual motion on top of a plastic tennis court where is ironically inscribed the word “Networking”. The sculpture is at the same time a sarcastic comment on the failure of the company – that has become emblematic of the crisis which we are still experiencing – and it is a metaphor of Adam Smith’s theory according to which an invisible hand regulates the free market. This ghost movement, that can now reproduce itself without human intervention, is a disquieting message that reaches us from an economic moment that has now past but that is still secretly alive and active under the skin of our present
The exhibition will be held simultaneously with the exhibition at Fondazione Pastificio Cerere in Rome, 16 March – 16 May 2012 (opening March 16).
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