David Franchi – Monday, 30th May 2016.

“Dra Åt Skogen - The Rural Abstractions” by Joakim Allgulander © ph. Fiumano Project / Orion Contemporary, London.

“Dra Åt Skogen – The Rural Abstractions” by Joakim Allgulander © ph. Fiumano Project / Orion Contemporary, London.

“Dra Åt Skogen – The Rural Abstractions” by Swedish artist Joakim Allgulander has been a short but interesting exhibition, a collaboration between Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects, both from London.

Situated into the genre of Landscape painting, “Dra Åt Skogen – The Rural Abstractions” is a project focused on the abstraction by using colour, shape and texture.

This project is inspired by the works of historic Swedish landscape painters such as Helmer Osslund or Inge Schiöler. However, Allgulander explores existential and urban life, and the mundane side more deeply.

Allgulander believes this project could never exist if he was not based in London. During the last years, he experienced a comeback of memories from his childhood in rural Sweden, which was full of snow and forests. Apparently, for him in a mysterious way the urban environment recalled the rural childhood.

All pieces of this exhibition are coming from old photographs of the artist’s childhood. This new body of work is made of semi- abstract studies of snowy elegant trees extracted from photos and from Allgulander memory. The paintings catch a particular, a fragment of a whole image. An entire tree is not depicted, while the detail is a symbol of childhood memories, but also an innate, but at the same time identifiable, abstraction in itself.

The paintings are built up using the layers method. This technique symbolizes time for Allgulander. He starts up his works from the computer in black and white or monochrome and then proceeds to put layer by layer of colours on the canvas, similarly on how you make a print. Every layer should shine through.

Allgulander presents colours which are not connected immediately to the nature. Works make use of the hue of one colour and of its different variation and high and low saturations.

The artist’s aim is to catch lights, as he does in other work and installations, and by using other media. Allgulander struggles to create an object, a piece almost like a sculpture, but by using paint on a flat surface. The abstraction comes with the colour and the texture of the paint. When the work begins to look like a sculpture, or an object, he can feel truly satisfied with what he has created.

Joakim Allgulander’s practice is broad, in both subject and media, however the existential lyricism and poetic content is a constant element in his work. Born in Stockholm in 1965, he studied at Uppsala University and the National College of the Arts and Crafts in Stockholm. Regarded as one of Sweden’s most successful multidisciplinary contemporary artists his work can be found in public collections including the Swedish Arts Council, the Municipality of Gotland and the Stockholm World Trade Centre.

“Dra Åt Skogen – The Rural Abstractions” by Swedish Joakim Allgulander was organized by Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects, London, and it was at the gallery from 10th May until 15th May 2016.

 

David Franchi – Wednesday, 18th May 2016.

Woman I (Cards), 2014, from the series FLAT DEATH © Sara Cwynar, Courtesy Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto, co. Beaconsfield Gallery , London.

Woman I (Cards), 2014, from the series FLAT DEATH © Sara Cwynar, Courtesy Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto, co. Beaconsfield Gallery , London.

It is a remarkable exhibition ‘Foam Talent 2015’, at the Beaconsfield Gallery, London.

Foam Talent 2015’ is the result of collaboration between Beaconsfield Galleryin Vauxhall and Foam Fotografiemuseum from Amsterdam (Holland), which brought to London an involving exhibition featuring international photographers with a variety of innovative approaches.

Presenting an original generation of young image-makers, Foam Talent is rather difficult to examine all together – the works on displays are more then 100, varying from digital to analogical, from colour to black and white, from simple prints to proper installations. The 21 featured artists have been selected from 1,208 submissions from 67 different countries – all of them are under the age of 35.

Talent is at its ninth edition. Since 2006 Foam Magazine has published a special Talent issue every year. It has grown constantly and in the past years, it became one of the most significant international platforms, from which young photographers have been often launched.

Based in Amsterdam, Foam is an international organisation active in the contemporary photography. It organises a wide range of activities also abroad, including exhibitions, publications, scouting, debates, educational projects and it runs a museum in Amsterdam.

Foam Magazine #42 issue is a relevant publication, which is also the catalogue of the exhibition at the Beaconsfield Gallery, London. It is also a portfolio and bio for photographer, plus has broad texts by a number of foremost international experts.

Foam Talent presents a good assortment of photographers. Certainly, to present the photos it elaborates a lot. Installations are not minimalist, according to the ongoing wave. There are expanded, large pieces, often overwhelming the visitors, mixed with small framed works. There are photos hanging directly from the ceiling allowing a 360° view; others mixes techniques like hand writing, painting, photoshopping, and different framing.

The approaches of the artist are different: some are purely descriptive, while others give more space to creativity.

A very involving Manon Wertenbroek got the front page of the magazine/ catalogue, with her work Tandem, which is a way for the artist to process her emotions and experiences by mixing material, design and photography. Christian Vium presented The Wake: for him photography is about dialogue and collaboration and his current work is focused on archive research, visual repatriation and photographic re-enactments. Flat Death and other pictures by Sara Cwynar instead, got the honour of the leaflet image. She works with photography, installations and collage by taking and recomposing images, in a vintage style. While Sjoerd Knibbeler, in his Current Studies, plays with the air around his assemblages of objects, Jean –Vincent Simonet instead is focused on the transgressive character of the body in his A Contemporary Maldoror.

The participating artists are: Aaron Blum (United States), Alessandro Calabrese (Italy), Tom Callemin (Belgium), Sara Cwynar (Canada), David Favrod (Switzerland), Dominic Hawgood (United Kingdom), Guo Peng (China), Heikki Kaski (Finland), Matthew Leifheit & Cynthia Talmadge (United States), Mariam Medvedeva (France), Abel Minnée (The Netherlands), Marton Perlaki (Hungary), Constantin Schlachter (France), Sjoerd Knibbeler (The Netherlands), Justin James Reed (United States), Johan Rosenmunthe (Denmark), Jean-Vincent Simonet (France), Danila Tkachenko (Russia), Naohiro Utagawa (Japan), Christian Vium (Denmark) and Manon Wertenbroek (Switzerland).

Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall in London has provided a laboratory and presentation space for contemporary art and artists since 1995 supported, until recently, by regular public funding.

Foam Talent is supported by Spaces, WeTransfer, Kleurgamma Fine-Art Photolab and The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in London.

The annual Foam Magazine Talent Issue and the related Talent Program is supported by the Niemeijer Fund.

The exhibition Foam Talent 2015 is at the Beaconsfield Gallery, Vauxhall, London, from 22nd April until 22nd May 2016.

 

David Franchi – Wednesday, 4th May 2016.

Joe Tilson, Words and Images: The Notebooks © Alan-Cristea Gallery

Joe Tilson, Words and Images: The Notebooks © Alan-Cristea Gallery

The ‘Notebooks’ exhibition of Joe Tilson at the Alan Cristea GalleryLondon, is exquisite.

 

“Words and Images: the Notebooks” exhibition focused on Joe Tilson’s works, Alan Cristea Gallery brought to London for the first time.

 

Spanning from 1970 to the present days, on display there are never before seen private notebooks, alongside related works by Tilson, at the Alan Cristea Gallery, London.

 

Born in London on 24th August 1928, British artist Joe Tilson RA is an earliest protagonist of the British Pop Art movement. A contemporary of Frank Auerbach, Leon Kosoff, he was strictly linked to Peter Blake, Allen Jones and Patrick Caulfield. Made of his own real private  notebooks, this works provide a first-time look into the working methods and the philosophy of Tilson. These notebooks are full of his notes, lists, poetry, studies, drawings, photographs and his approach to art, literature and cultural history.

Joe Tilson Words and Images: The Notebooks © Alan-Cristea Gallery

Joe Tilson Words and Images: The Notebooks © Alan-Cristea Gallery

 

For almost 45 years Tilson has collaborated with Alan Cristea Gallery of London. He trained as a carpenter and completed his National Service in the 1940s. He attended St. Martin’s School of Art. In 1952, he continued his training at the Royal College of Art with Peter Blake, Allen Jones, Patrick Caulfield and David Hockney.

Tilson and his contemporaries were at the origin of British Pop Art movement, his own work always the most political of the group. While teaching in New York in the late 1960s, Tilson became very unhappy with the consumer society Pop Art emphasized. Also in the 1960s he was disappointed with the lack of political action in Britain. He moved from London to Wiltshire in the early 1970s and it is at this time the notebooks begin.

Some of these notebooks, together with annotated books from his own collection, are displayed next to prints that they directly refer to. Tilson is a liberal humanist andthis can be seen on object exhibited: a complete record of where and what was going on, people met, places seen, poetry, and illustrations of works in progress, all mixed together with his personal thoughts.

By looking at his work, there are references to Greek and Roman mythologies and Italy, Venice and the countryside of Tuscany where he lived and worked, firstly in 1955, and where he met his wife. The work of Tilson, in fact, looks at intercultural evergreen themes. For example, there are texts and quotes from artists and writers, including James Joyce, Ezra Pound and W.B Yeats. Another interesting aspect is the constant use of the four elements and remarks of ecological matters through the representation of butterflies, birds and flowers.

Joe Tilson Words and Images: The Notebooks © Alan-Cristea Gallery

Joe Tilson Words and Images: The Notebooks © Alan-Cristea Gallery

 

 

The exhibition “Joe Tilson – Words and Images: The Notebooks” is at the Alan Cristea Gallery, Mayfair, London, from 21st March until 7th May 2016.

 

David Franchi – Monday, 25th April 2016.

Alberto Giacometti, Composition (Femme au bouclier), 1927-1928. Private Collection, co. of Luxembourg & Dayan. © The Estate of Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris and ADAGP, Paris), licensed in the UK by ACS and DACS, London 2016.

Alberto Giacometti, Composition (Femme au bouclier), 1927-1928. Private Collection, co. of Luxembourg & Dayan. © The Estate of Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris and ADAGP, Paris), licensed in the UK by ACS and DACS, London 2016.

An exhibition about Alberto Giacometti is always welcome, at the Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery, London. “Alberto Giacometti: In His Own Words (Sculptures 1925-1934)” exhibition organised by Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery, London, examined the production of the artist during this fundamental decade.

The Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery exhibition brought to London an unusual approach to the work of Giacometti, crucial to the formalization of his later style.

Giacometti: In His Own Words exhibition displayed more than 18 sculptures from1925 -1934, many of which were exhibited in the UK for the first time.

The exhibition Giacometti: In His Own Words was inspired by a letter the artist wrote to his dealer and friend Pierre Matisse in 1947.

Alberto Giacometti had an exhibition at the Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, in 1948. It was a key moment of his life. Its work was shown as a whole for the first time. It was the outcome of a difficult period of experimentation culminated in his exclusion from the surrealist movement.

Giacometti in his letter to Matisse wrote he was craving that exhibition could narrate his life. He wrote: “Here is the list of sculptures that I promised you, but I could not send it without explaining a certain succession of facts […] without which it would make no sense”. Then Giacometti illustrated his philosophy on sculpture.

It was in this decade that Giacometti adopted the retreat to memory that is now considered so fundamental to his oeuvre.

The letter Giacometti wrote to Matisse which inspired the, London exhibition of Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery was written to accompany a group of sculptures planned for the 1948 exhibition. This letter was so noteworthy that Matisse decided to reproduce it in the catalogue alongside with an English translation.

The letter illustrated Giacometti’s artistic philosophy connected with his life and personal crisis. The exhibition in New York started from its childhood. He was born on 10 October 1901 in Val Bresaglia (Swiss). He moved to Geneva to study in 1919. He made many trips to Venice, Florence and Rome between 1919 and 1921.

In 1921, he announced his decision to be a sculptor leaving aside the painting – his father was a painter. He moved to

Alberto Giacometti, Letter to Pierre Matisse, 1947 © The Estate of Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris and ADAGP, Paris), licensed in the UK by ACS and DACS, London 2016. Courtesy of the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. Gift of the Pierre Matisse Foundation, 1997

Alberto Giacometti, Letter to Pierre Matisse, 1947 © The Estate of Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris and ADAGP, Paris), licensed in the UK by ACS and DACS, London 2016. Courtesy of the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. Gift of the Pierre Matisse Foundation, 1997

Paris in 1922 and started to study under famous sculptor Antoine Bourdelle.

Giacometti dated his artistic crisis in 1925. It was the beginning of a research period. Slowly he abandoned realistic depiction in favour of imaginative creation based on memory. However, he did not give up drawing or the lesson of Bourdelle, but just put them aside. In exploration for a new point of departure, he was inspired by visiting museums, especially the Louvre.

In 1925, Giacometti also firstly public exhibited at the Salon Tuileries, beginning to create his own artistic identity. In his first series of works concerning construction of volume Giacometti employed forms and signs already been used by the post-cubists artists.

He moved forward in 1929 with his Plaques series reducing forms to mere simple and rectangular undulating surfaces. The Plaques series led Giacometti to a new stage of his work where the space is an innovative interactive element. He started to become recognized in the Paris art scene. Success arrived without warning in June 1929, during an exhibition when the Viscount of Noailles, famous collector, bought his Téte Qui Regarde.

Dealer Pierre Loeb could quickly sign a contract with Giacometti and it was a great success. In September 1929, Documents published the first article dedicated to Giacometti, written by Leiris:”There are moments of what can be called crisis, which are the only one that count in life. […] I love Giacometti’s sculpture because what he does simply is to petrify one of these crises.”

In 1930, Giacometti started to work on a new element, the movement. He realised La Boule Suspendue, a moving sculpture. Breton officially invited him to join the surrealist group.

However, in 1933 following the death of his father, Giacometti started to explore the tension between life and death. He felt surrealism was coming to an end. He realised Téte – Crane (1934), which united life and death but also reflected the remaining interest in surrealism. But this new line of work was considered scandalous by the surrealists. They kicked him out of the movement in February 1935. However, Giacometti felt happy to have his freedom back and while connecting with many other artists he started to pursue the creation of an art capable to express the totality of life.

In his later years Giacometti’s works were shown in a number of large exhibitions throughout Europe. He died on 11th January 1966.

Alberto Giacometti, Femme Couchée, 1929, Private Collection © The Estate of Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris and ADAGP, Paris), licensed in the UK by ACS and DACS, London 2016.

Alberto Giacometti, Femme Couchée, 1929, Private Collection © The Estate of Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris and ADAGP, Paris), licensed in the UK by ACS and DACS, London 2016.

The Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery, London, exhibition brought together an uncommon corpus of plaster, bronze, and wood sculptures that reconstitutes the importance of this particularly exciting period for Giacometti, including seminal works such as Tête (Autoportrait), 1927, Femme Couchée, 1929, and Objet Désagréable, 1931.

Luxembourg & Dayan collaborated with the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, the Alberto Giacometti Stiftung, the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, The Morgan Library, and other private lenders.

This is the most complete exhibition to date focusing exclusively on this period of Giacometti’s oeuvre.

Giacometti is considered a master of sculpture. His work is famous all over the world and much appreciated. The bronze sculpture, L’Homme Qui Marche I (1960) (The walking man), held the record for the purchase price of an artwork (which is not a painting) for more than 100 million US dollars. On 12 May 2015, the bronze sculpture ‘Pointing man’ was sold by Christie’s in New York for $ 141 million, a new record for a sculpture.

The exhibition “Alberto Giacometti: In His Own Words (Sculptures 1925-1934)” was at the Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery, London, from 2 February until 16 April 2016.