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,...
Sabrina Amrani is pleased to present yrtemmys symmetry, a solo presentation by South Korean emerging artist Jong Oh (b. 1981), for the Discoveries sector of Art Basel in Hong Kong 2019.
Symmetry is part of architecture, music, mathematics, language or nature itself. It stems from the concepts of proportion and balance, which respond to Jong Oh’s precise and harmonic practice. Symmetry can be viewed as the invariability of transformations, the lack of change, and therefore it may be observed with the respect to the passage of time.
Oh is exploring with this proposal the notion of reflectional symmetry and how the spatial relationship of the works between themselves and between them and the viewer can create an environment which includes not only space but time. In these paradoxical limits constituted by three-dimensionality and two-dimensionality, consummation and destruction, the spectator's experience becomes a meditation on the whim of human perception and of time. Jong's work is interactive in the sense that the perception and apprehension of each piece by the viewer is achieved only through a deep exploration of it and the negative space resulting from the intervention of the artist.
With yrtemmys symmetry Oh appeals to the viewer to question their own perception and the way they have to relate to the space that surrounds them, offering a space for meditation and contemplation before the hustle and bustle of contemporary everyday life: A room where the time has already elapsed and the space bends to itself enveloping the viewer, a subtle and refined visual haiku about universality and the sound of space.
Jong Oh's artistic practice is quite particular since he does not use a studio but creates minimal sculptures in situ that respond to a given spatial situation. Responding to the nuanced configuration of each site, the artist constructs spatial structures by suspending and interconnecting a limited selection of materials: rope, chains, fishing wire, perspex, wooden and metal rods and painted threads. For this presentation, the artist will create a flipped triangle shape chain installation in the middle of the booth that will divide it in half, functioning as a mirror that creates the symmetry of the booth. At the back corners of the booth, two cuboid sculptures will be responding to each other, with different shapes, but connected somehow.
To reflect and reinforce the idea of space bending, there will be four Folding Drawings on each of the side-walls, acting as whole installations. They will be located facing each other from the other side of the wall. The form of the four panels will be mirroring each other but the drawings on the panels and the shadows they project will be all different.
Sabrina Amrani is pleased to present The Cartographies of Desire, the space between us, a solo presentation by Joël Andrianomearisoa (b. Antananarivo, 1977), for the Encounters sector of Art Basel in Hong Kong 2019.
Sometimes you have to forget, or, if you prefer, momentarily set aside the things you know–those acquired procedures and habits that we use to help us interpret an artwork. Any consideration of the issues Joël Andrianomearisoa raises in his work necessarily has to begin with the artist’s poetic imagination. Although his creations are not particularly challenging to analyse, the contrast between the specificity of the titles he chooses for his works and exhibitions and the all-embracing, opaque abstraction in which those same works operate seems somehow to suggest the existence of some undefined, perhaps inexplicable–and perhaps even impenetrable–tendency. It is as if we are looking at an encounter between two different entities.
Andrianomearisoa in no way attempts to approach abstraction through pictorial recreation of appropriation, or from a stance critical towards painting or abstraction. Abstraction is simply another element that helps us dissolve any sense of anticipation, any preliminary narrative. On that basis, Andrianomearisoa places us in a space and a situation that are both unpredictable, where any effort we might make to possess the work, to endow it with meaning as an end in itself, is constantly interrupted.
The project The cartographies of Desire, the space between us does not aspire to transmit a sense of anti-illusionism. Its aim is just the opposite. Here we are not looking at what would usually be considered the essential elements of painting–brush, paint and canvas–and there is no intention to engage with the practical techniques that have historically been used in abstract painting. Here, literality and minimalistic aspirations are present in appearance only. Indeed these works are more reminiscent of that type of formalist painting in which the artist would mentally immerse spectators in vast colour fields as a means of pushing them into a wholly fictitious space. What we are talking about, then, is a kind of distracting trick, manipulation or falsification within the work itself, in its execution, its crafting and its potential. But at first sight, the work offers no clue as to its meaning.
That is not to say that Andrianomearisoa’s work is self-referential or lays any claim to its own distinctive niche. Actually, the artist is not all that far from the Neo-conceptualists and Neo-minimalists of the late 1980s and 1990s, who emerged to challenge–among other things–subjectivism, emotionalism, and the heroic stance adopted by the neoexpressionists. Like them, Andrianomearisoa adopts abstraction to serve his own interests: abstraction is a vehicle. Moreover, Andrianomearisoa is fully aware that abstraction is a force which operates in both the economic and social spheres. For him, abstraction also creates potentially poetic images and can be used to address his own personal experience. The originality and the quest for the absolute which marked much of classical abstract art from Malevich through to Barnett Newman are here replaced by an ambiguity and an ambivalence that are never fully clarified. Andrianomearisoa seems not only to break free from the anguish of what has influenced him but also to assert his desire to expand his own visual language.
The disjuncture and the interruptions come into play precisely in this in-between space, between the work and 'its references', between the titles and 'the work', preventing us from grasping the artist’s imagination in a clear defined space. It is here where Joël Andrianomearisoa weaves together the ambiguities, contradictions and possibilities that endow his work with meaning and depth.
This project will be the last work to be shown in 2019 before Joël Andrianomearisoa's participation in the 58th Venice Biennale, representing Madagascar in its first-ever pavilion in the Biennale.
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