I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Hany Armanious’ work is filled with riddles and anomalies that inspire the viewer to question the ground on which they stand. Armanious meticulously reproduces everyday objects transforming them into bewildering constructions. This current show focuses on a body of work made between 2007 and 2012. The themes investigated are elevations, legs, footings, impressions, and depressions; essentially anything that engages how we connect to the earth. Armanious examines the premise of building from the ground up, a tenet paramount to sculpture, architecture, and human anatomy.
Two works central to this exhibition are Dew Point and Sandy Purifies and both typify the theme of connection with the ground. Sandy Purifies unites the remnants of two installations that were in underground storage in New York at the time of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Presented are the remaining pieces that survived the flood.
Dew Point is a pewter cast vintage film projector on a make shift table, directed at a cast thirty litre water bottle. The title Dew Point refers to the point at which ether transmutes to liquid and speaks of the universal balance between states. This work is particularly poignant to Armanious. When it was last shown in London, art and reality collided. While Armanious was suddenly hospitalized and facing the possibility of a leg amputation, the support under the table of Dew Point unexpectedly failed, sending the contents of the artwork crashing to the floor.
The seductive feature of Armanious’ practice is that he constantly draws our attention to the act of looking and perceiving, insisting on a level of intimacy with the work, which demands the viewer, acknowledge one’s complicities in the artificial construction of realities.
Hany Armanious was commissioned by the City of Sydney to install a major public sculptural work, Pavilion in 2014, in the same year Armanious was included in Post-Picasso. Contemporary Reactions at the Museu Picasso in Barcelona, 2014. In 2012 the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney unveiled Armanious’s most ambitious sculpture to date, Fountain, the first sculpture commissioned for the MCA’s new outdoor sculpture terrace. In 2011, Hany Armanious was the sole representative of Australia at the 54th Venice Biennale, curated by Anne Ellegood (Senior Curator of the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles). Armanious’s recent solo exhibitions include Hany Armanious : Frequently asked questions, Southard Reid, London, (2016); Selflok at City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand - the second iteration of the exhibition first shown at the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles in 2001; The Golden Thread at Monash Museum of Art, Melbourne (2012); The Oracle (curated by Anthony Huberman) at the Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, USA (2008); and Morphic Resonance at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane and City Gallery Wellington (2006 & 2007). Armanious has exhibited at several biennales, including the 2010 Adelaide Biennale, the 2006 Busan Biennale, the 1995 Johannesburg Biennale, and the 1992 Biennale of Sydney, and in 1993 he was selected for the Aperto section of the Venice Biennale. Armanious’ work is held in major public and private collections worldwide, including most major museums within Australia and New Zealand, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, USA, the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and the Dakis Joannou Foundation, Athens. Most recently, Hany Armanious’s work was exhibited in The Melting Point of Reason curated by Mark Feary at the Margaret Lawrence Gallery, University of Melbourne. Hany Armanious has been represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery since 2003.
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