alcramer [Alfredo Cramerotti]

Sean Scully: Standing on the Edge of the World @ Hong Kong Arts Centre

Posted in nEws and rEleases by alcramer on March 26, 2018

Curated by Alfredo Cramerotti

28 March 2018 —  29 April 2018

scully invite

Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1945, Sean Scully spent most of his childhood and adolescence in south London, where, before he was even ten years old, he knew he would devote his life to making art. Shortly after leaving school in the mid 1960s, he enrolled at Croydon College of Art, and it was here that he first encountered Abstract Expressionism and Op Art. Influenced by figures on both sides of the Atlantic, including Mark Rothko and Bridget Riley, Scully abandoned his early figurative work, and during his studies at Newcastle University in the late 1960s and early 1970s, began formulating his own abstract language, based on the grid. It was not until he moved to the United States in the mid 1970s, however, where he encountered minimalism, that he first broke free from the grid, and from what he has described as ‘the binding, horizontal and vertical’. It was at this time that he produced his first works that were composed entirely of horizontal bands and lines. Writing from Zurich in March 2006 about this significant epiphany in his nascent oeuvre, Scully reflects: ‘It’s habitual to think of abstraction as abstract. But it’s not, it’s a self-portrait. A portrait of personal conditions, one could say. I left London, and its stability, for New York, and its instability. Correspondingly, I dropped the vertical out of the paintings, along with my own “personal” architecture, so that I could travel along my own horizon’.

Now dividing his time between New York, Germany and Spain, Scully’s journey with the languages of abstraction has evolved into a veritable odyssey, the horizontals and horizons perhaps pursued most clearly today in Scully’s ongoing series ‘Landline’, which brings ideas of abstraction into dialogue with the landscape. Alongside several notable examples from this series, the exhibition also includes works from another major series, ‘Wall of Light’, which began in 1998 and brought together horizontal and vertical bars in part inspired by several trips by the artist to Mexico since the early 1980s, and the remarkable qualities of light he observed falling on ancient stone walls there. ‘Walls, especially old ones, are custodians of memory, witnesses to the passages of human beings, surfaces that bear the traces of history’, he has said.

With an emphasis on new and recent works, including some exhibited for the first time, the exhibition ‘Sean Scully: Standing on the Edge of the World’ features a number of pieces from the past thirty years, selected and arranged by curator Alfredo Cramerotti. The works range from large-scale paintings to small works on paper, accompanied by a number of photographic prints, which, as Cramerotti explores in his illuminating essay for this catalogue, reveal not only some of the complex dynamics at work in Scully’s practice as regards relationships of colour and form, but also encourage viewers to consider the notion of ‘edges’, and in particular the connections between edges in his paintings and those in architecture and in nature. With both the built environment and the natural world, through his paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptural works, Scully invites us to stand on the edges and to look back in through the prism of abstraction.

More information available here.

Programme information provided by: Hong Kong Arts Centre, Timothy Taylor, London and New York, and Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong

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Shezad Dawood | Leviathan

Posted in nEws and rEleases, Uncategorized by alcramer on May 1, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 9.07.15 PM

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 9.07.06 PM

Shezad Dawood, Leviathan Cycle (production stills), 2017. HD video. Courtesy of the artist and UBIK Productions.

May 7–September 24, 2017

Shezad Dawood
Leviathan
An episodic narrative

Palazzina Canonica
Riva dei Sette Martiri 1364A, Castello
30122 Venice
Italy
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

Fortuny Factory
Giudecca 805
30133 Venice
Italy
Hours: Monday–Friday 10am-1pm, 2pm-6pm

An exhibition of a new and ambitious body of work by artist Shezad Dawood will open in May 2017 to coincide with the 57th Venice Biennale. The show will mark the launch of Leviathan, a ten-part film cycle conceived and directed by the artist that will unfold over the next three years. Leviathan is also being released as a series of written fictions. Episode 1 is available to read at www.leviathan-cycle.com.

The first two episodes of the film will be presented alongside a new series of textile and sculptural works in the newly-restored Palazzina Canonica, the former headquarters of the Institute of Marine Sciences in Venice, which is opening to the public for the first time since the 1970’s. The two-part exhibition will also feature a site-specific intervention in the Fortuny Factory in the island of Giudecca.

Curated by Alfredo Cramerotti, Leviathan is being presented by the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in collaboration with the Institute of Marine Sciences (CNR-ISMAR) and Fortuny in Venice. Following the launch in May, the project will embark on a three-year UK and international tour, culminating in a final presentation of all ten episodes in 2020.

Leviathan is set in an imaginary future whose inhabitants are the survivors of a cataclysmic solar event. Each episode is told from the point of view of a different character and follows them as they drift across Europe, Asia and North Africa, encountering a series of idiosyncratic communities. Filming locations include the Institute of Marine Sciences’ oceanographic platform in the Adriatic Sea, the Natural History Museum in London and an abandoned island in the Venetian lagoon.

In dialogue with a wide range of marine biologists, oceanographers, political scientists, neurologists and trauma specialists, Dawood has been exploring some key fault lines of the present and their possible interconnections. Taking a global and collective approach, Leviathan is a reflection on where we could be if a deeper understanding of trauma and climate erosion is not found, looking at what is not only a humanitarian crisis, but a wider crisis within our biosphere.

The new series of textile paintings has been developed in dialogue with the renowned textile manufacturer Fortuny, and will incorporate several of their hand-made fabrics. Dawood has furthermore been working closely with the Labanof in Milan, an institute that conducts research on personal effects lost by migrants during sea crossings to Lampedusa, in order to help families identify missing relatives. A series of artefacts and objects from the Labanof archive will provide the visual references for the new textile works.

The paintings will be installed in the library of the Palazzina Canonica, as well as in the showroom of the Fortuny factory in the Giudecca, established in 1919 and still operational today. In addition, a large-scale outdoor neon work titled Island Pattern, developed especially for the Fortuny Factory, will be unveiled within the garden façade of the building.

The exhibition in Venice will be accompanied by a lively public programme that will bring together specialists involved in the project for a series of informal discussions akin to the philosophical “agora” in Ancient Greece. These discussions will also be available in digital form through the project’s web platform, creating an archive aimed at scientists, researchers, students and the general public. In addition, a special film programme curated by Shezad Dawood in collaboration with streaming platform MUBI will run throughout the duration of the exhibition, with free film screenings taking place at the Palazzina Canonica.

The third film episode will be released in September 2017 and incorporated into the exhibition. Subsequent episodes will be co-commissioned and presented in partnership with a series of international venues, culminating in the presentation of all ten episodes in 2020.

The project is being developed with the support of Timothy Taylor, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Galerie Gabriel Rolt, CREAM – University of Westminster, University of Salford Art Collection with support from The Contemporary Art Society and a circle of private patrons.

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