'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...
There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
Fernando Casasempere (born 1958) is a sculptor working with ceramics, the traditional material of pottery, and his work explores ideas of landscape and the environment. Conceptually his use of earth/clay and his concern with nature and ecological issues connects him to artists associated with the Land or Earth Art movement, such as Robert Smithson and Richard Long, but Casasempere works out of a different cultural tradition, being profoundly inspired by the Pre-Columbian art and architecture of Latin America. He is inspired by the the Chilean landscape but also the processes by which that landscape has been exploited. In particular, he has worked with copper tailings (or 'relave' in Spanish), industrial waste materials produced by copper mining (copper being the principle export of Chile) to make work that explores ideas around ecology and geology and to introduce extraordinarily rich colours and textures. Casasempere's work calls into question the relationship between art and the environment, between culture and the earth itself from which the sculptures are made. Although his work is predominantly abstract, much of it can be read topographically, almost as a document of the landscape from which the materials have been sourced.
Casasempere has been based in London since 1997 but he still works with materials bought from Chile. As Edmund de Waal has said, his work 'straddles Chile, his home country, and Britain, his adopted country of work. For he works with a deep understanding of the specificity of materials: although his material is local, his vision is international. His Chilean materials are used in a very contemporary way.' De Waal has also written that Casasempere makes sculpture 'that looks as if it is flux between solidity and fluidity. This is a rare achievement. It is one we should celebrate.'
In 2012 Casasempere installed a monumental field of ceramic and steel flowers, Out of Sync, at Somerset House in London. That piece has now been permanently installed in the Atacama Desert in Chile. More recent works include a series of works entitled 'Collective Memory', incorporating many tiny white forms recalling bleached vertebrae and suggest desiccation and desolation but also purity, and are inspired by recent travels in the Atacama, one of the driest places on the planet. In some of these works the small individual forms are combined to create seemingly weightless 'cloud' structures. In other works many hundreds of the forms fill white clay boxes, suggestive of graves or burial chambers. A series of new abstract 'paintings' in clay on felt, 'Salares', exploit the chance processes that create texture as the material dries and recall aerial photographs of alluvial landscapes. Other new sculptures made from ceramic blocks are inspired by both the ruined architecture of Pre-Columbian archaeological sites and the tectonic shifts of vast geological bodies.
Fernando Casasempere was born in Santiago, Chile in 1958. He studied ceramics and sculpture in Barcelona in the 1980s, returning to Chile in 1986. He has been based in London since 1997. Casasempere's work has been exhibited internationally since the 1980s. Recent solo exhibitions include Out of Sync, Somerset House, London (2012); Falla Ideologico, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago (2012); and Bricks and Mortar, New Art Centre, Roche Court, Salisbury (2011). Recent group exhibitions include The Precious Clay, Museum of Royal Worcester, Worcester (2018); Sculpture in the City, London (2017); Second Skin, Frieze Sculpture Park, London (2016); and Under the Forest, Jerwood Foundation, Ragley Hall, Alcester (2007). Casasempere's work is in international collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and the Museu Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago. In 2016 Casasempere mounted a major exhibition at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago. He is the first artist to be honoured with an exhibition throughout the entire museum.
Casasempere's forthcoming solo museum shows include Casa América, Madrid (2019) and the Museum of Fine Arts, San Diego (2020).
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.