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Almine Rech Gallery Paris: SEMYON FAIBISOVICH | SERGEY BRATKOV | 19 RUE DE SAINTONGE (Group Show) - 12 Jan 2013 to 2 Feb 2013

Current Exhibition


12 Jan 2013 to 2 Feb 2013

Almine Rech Gallery Paris
19 Rue Saintonge
F-75003
Paris
France
Europe
T: +33 (0)1 45 83 71 90
F: +33 (0)1 45 70 91 30
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W: www.alminerech.com











SEMYON FAIBISOVICH
MOSCOW & MUSCOVITES
12.01.13 - 02.02.13
123


Artists in this exhibition: SEMYON FAIBISOVICH, SERGEY BRATKOV, Ziad Antar, Matthias Bitzer, Tom Burr, Beatrice Caracciolo, Aaron Curry, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Mark Hagen, Gregor Hildebrandt, Erik Lindman, Taryn Simon, Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille, Liu Wei


SEMYON FAIBISOVICH
MOSCOW & MUSCOVITES

12.01.13 - 02.02.13
Opening: 12 January (5:30 - 8:30 pm)

Semyon Faibisovich’s breakthrough came in 1980s with a series of paintings that collectively constituted a portrait of the Soviet era. Unlike the artists associated with Sots Art and Moscow conceptual art, who sought to portray the system using the very same symbols and signs that it itself employed (banners, slogans, leaders’ portraits, typical bits of text), Faibisovich was interested in the visual aspects of the system, the aspects that had not been properly reflected on and articulated. The things that are looked at by everybody yet seen by very few: the commonplace, even banal episodes of everyday life, faces gloomy as if bearing an invisible and identical stamp, the thick air of oppression — all of which, in his opinion, was as revealing about the life in USSR as its official symbols. And also light, the sunlight that helps to overcome the grey and listless stuff of reality.

The artist continued to stare attentively at the reality around him and producing works in the style which could be called ‘hypnorealism’ until the beginning of the 1990s, when the Soviet reality went away. And so the artist switched from the object that he sees to the process of seeing itself. His ‘Evidence’ project explores the optics of seeing with its effects and defects which together alter the way we see the world (even if we usually don’t notice these alterations): blind spots in the eye, the morning- or alcohol-induced double vision, the ‘residual vision’ — when we close our eyes and the capillary-laced eyelids act as screens, showing what we’ve just seen, only in the negative. The artist is observing and showing us how these negatives form, blurring the line between the real and the abstract.

In 1995 Faibisovich quits painting and devotes several years to writing. Towards the end of the decade he comes back to being an artist proper, this time engaging in photography, installations and video art. The full-fledged comeback to painting had to wait until 2007, when he felt that the new era had firmly established itself and it was time to paint its portrait — using tools that were up to date and up to the task. The new technology is essentially tripartite, involving low-resolution mobile camera shots, a digital painting game of augmenting the shots with computer photo editors and printing the result on canvas — and, finally, the traditional oil painting. Mixing the three technologies, merging the three processes into one, the artist produces a kind of a new breed of visual art — a new language to use when confronting the reality around him.


SERGEY BRATKOV

CHAPITEAU MOSCOW

12.01.13 - 02.02.13
Opening: 12 January (5:30 - 8:30 pm)

The house I live in, here in Moscow, is situated near the last metro station of the Red line, “Podbelskiy Street”. As I come out of the building, the first people I meet are the Tajik street sweepers. Municipal orange robes, locally sewn Adidas tracksuit pants and worn-out sneakers, they’re pushing around assorted junk in carts fabricated out of discarded baby strollers. This looks so comical that the first thing it brings to mind is the circus and its clowns with sad make up on their faces. In fifty meters, at the Metro entrance, the figure of a disheveled man with a crooked smile on his sideways-tilted head usually emerges and starts begging for change to buy a bottle or a metro ticket. Between the steps of the pharmacy and the “Podsolnukhi” (“Sunflowers”) market, lies the tightrope walkers’ zone.

People of less than sober appearance stumblingly balance on a rope stretched out in their heads. Further away, you can see the magicians – oriental merchants at the market. Having built their pyramids of vegetables and fruit, they conduct dazzling price manipulations from their summits. Trained animals – stray dogs of menacing proportions meditate in front of a store with a sign saying “Meat”. Over there, a man is dragging a metal bathtub on his back. Hard to see right away what that moving thing is. A ninja turtle perhaps? A woman in a green dress has bought five watermelons at once. She looks like a bunch of grapes. Someone’s gotten drunk early and now lays on the lawn, like a fallen trapeze artist smashed on the stage.

The circus is what everyone is talking about, but never knows when it will show up right outside your house. The main characteristic that distinguished theatrical activity from circus activity is the presence of meaning. Each movement in a theatrical performance is symbolic and filled with ideas, whereas in the circus the crowd gathers for the spectacle, which is closer to reality and therefore also riskier. In the circus, a real lion can eat its tamer, and an aerial acrobat swinging under the tent can always crash on the ground. But the most important thing in the circus is the expectation of a miracle.

Moscow is a city in which risk and magic are incredibly concentrated. Thousands of people come to the Russian capital each year in hope of a miracle. This city is a myth in which you can get fabulously rich, marry a princess and triumph over the two-headed dragon. A place where fairytale beauty and riches live next to infinite ugliness and poverty, and the two are so tightly knit together that the one can no longer exist without the other. Having decided to stick around along with its ring leader for the long term, the Moscow Circus brings two thoughts to mind. The first one is that when the public is no longer laughing but following the events in tense silence, it’s time to change the repertoire, as well as the ring leader. And the second, for the future, is when will the real miracle happen and make the circus go away?

Sergey Bratkov
Chapiteau Moscow
February 2012


19 RUE DE SAINTONGE
GROUP SHOW

12.01.13 - 02.02.13
Opening: 12 January (5:30 - 8:30 pm)

The Almine Rech Gallery is pleased to present its final exhibition in the rue de Saintonge space, which has been its home for nearly seven years. Entitled 19 rue de Saintonge, the gallery's address, this exhibition pays its respects to this venue by presenting a selection of gallery artists representative of recent years' programming.

This last exhibition, and the forthcoming change of address, is an opportunity to bring together the concepts of location, urbanism, and the cultural fabric of the city and its inhabitants. Indeed, materials and signs of the urban vernacular are omnipresent in the exhibited works.
Erik Lindman appropriates and incorporates the detritus recovered around his New York studio in his reductive works, while the stark pieces in wood and zinc by Beatrice Caracciolo refer to make-shift and temporary shelter. The collages of Aaron Curry, sourcing found images, strangely resemble graffiti; and the wall-reliefs by Mark Hagen are composed of aluminum armatures supporting polished obsidian plates - bringing together modular and organic elements onto a starkly rational three-dimensional grid.

More direct photographic work such as those by Ziad Antar, document varied architectures of the Middle East; whether booming UAE real estate developments, or sites in a more precarious state, such as the carcass of a never completed hospital in Beirut. Other direct references and representations to the city can be found in Liu Wei's wall-reliefs made from doors salvaged from public housing units in Shanghai, or Ida Tursic and Wilfried Mille misty landscape of Paris. Within these urban settings one might cross pedestrians captured by Philip-Lorca di Corcia characterized by their dramatic, almost cinematic light. And finally, we encounter the melancholic but highly structured drawing by Matthias Bitzer, the stark photographic works of Taryn Simon from her "Black Square" series, and the uncannily urban and almost nostalgic radiator sculptures by Tom Burr.

www.alminerech.com






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