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carlier | gebauer: TOMASZ KOWALKSI | AURÉLIEN FROMENT - 5 June 2012 to 28 July 2012

Current Exhibition

5 June 2012 to 28 July 2012
Tuesday to Saturday,11 am - 6 pm
carlier | gebauer
Markgrafenstraße 67
T: +49 (0)30 2400 863 0
F: +49 (0)30 2400 863 33

Tomasz Kowalski | The Truant

Artists in this exhibition: TOMASZ KOWALKSI, AURÉLIEN FROMENT

Tomasz Kowalski | The Truant

June 5, - July 28, 2012
Opening: Saturday, June 2nd, 6-9 pm

carlier | gebauer gallery is pleased to present the second extensive personal exhibition of Tomasz Kowalski, one of the key figures in the young generation of Polish artists.

Developing a strong visual reality with a specific and unique aesthetic and iconography along with a highly personal cosmology and mythology, his work is a reflection on this old medium that painting represents. Tomasz Kowalski’s world establishes a direct and conscious relationship to the history of painting using a wide spectrum of historical references to some of the most famous masters of german expressionism such as George Grosz, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix but also Andrzej Wroblewski as well as graphic design, mainly album covers from the Krautrock, the HIpgnosis team. He called this snowballing of references from past to present ‘the domino effect’ - once you excavating these works, it becomes hard to stop. However, Tomasz Kowalski is also part of a wider trend within contemporary painting.

In The Truant, Tomasz Kowalski presents his most recent paintings, drawings and collages which are in a chromatic contrast to his earlier, darker paintings. Nonetheless, these large, vivid paintings - all unsettling, even terrifying images - relate an obscure and intense experience of illness, with endless slippage between the real and the fictional, the dream and the nightmare. The Truant as an ambivalent and metaphorical position of the artist, who is withdrawn from the world in a momentarily escapist state – the only position that also allows him and, by extension, the viewers to continue living out of time and to gain the essential distance by which to observe.

As if deep in a daze, Tomasz Kowalski reveals an intimate experience of disease - a subject matter not often explored in the visual art or in literature and one that does not easily lend itself to depiction although it strikes a chord of recognition among everyone.

The artist continues to develop his world by revisiting the recurring mysterious and disturbing figure of the bedridden man - who has existed throughout the history of art. He adds to it a disquieting perception of time where ghostly forms and distorted characters evolve in what we perceive as nightmarish visions provoked by the excesses of fever.

The repetition and mise en abyme of certain motifs - the bedridden person, the clocks, the doors, the feverish suffering faces, the tunnel of playing cards - enclose and imprison us in this world inhabited by monstrous, deformed characters. These repetitions probe our most impenetrable depths, which nearly always remain inaccessible to our own consciousness.

This weakened condition indeed conceals some unexpected treasures. As Maurice Blanchot says in Le Livre à venir: "Here, the untameable strength within weakness is foreshadowed, just as if - were we to become powerless - the stem of an all too different sort of power would emerge".

Aurélien Froment | Landschaft aus Holz, Sprache aus Ahorn

June 5, - July 28, 2012
Opening: Saturday, June 2nd, 6-9 pm

In the framework of Berlin-Paris, Aurélien Froment conceives the exhibition as a series of landscapes inspired by the popular success of the kindergarten of Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852), founder of a pedagogy based on game.

In the video room, Aurélien Froment presents The second gift , a single 7 minutes long video shot of Friedrich Froebel’s second gift, an educational object, filmed in a white studio and very slowly rotating on itself. The installation includes three interviews which the artist realised in 2010 during a seminar dedicated to the German pedagogue who codified twelve gifts also called objects that, through a child’s active focus, give birth to a progressive process of knowledge of the world via its shapes. The film looks at ways of tracing an object, from what it is made to how it is made, from what it refers in the history of forms to what it allows to project.

Then in the project room, the artist completely covers the walls of wallpaper (in a gradation from white to dark green to black) which is a decorative transcription of the video installation The second gift. With its iconographic narration, its rhythm, this wallpaper synthesises in a sole sequence of pictures the subject of the film and the evolution of pedagogic objects designed by Froebel.

Just like those games designed to make the kids understand how the world ‘works’, to allow them to explore it and to get to know its laws, Aurélien Froment’s exhibition functions similarly to a progressive comprehension exercise.

Born in 1976 in Angers in France, Aurélien Froment lives and works in Dublin. He has had exhibitions in various public institutions as well as private galleries. Among his most recent monographic exhibitions : Aurélien Froment: Fickteater , Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2009); Froebel Suite , Gasworks, London (2009); The Fourth Wall , Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz (2009); Aurélien Froment , Théâtre de Poche, Stuk Kunstcentrum, Leuven (2008); Acknowledgement , Motive Gallery, Amsterdam (2008). Among his most recent collective exhibitions : 8th Gwangju Biennale, 10,000 Lives, Gwangju (2010); 2 1/2 Dimensional, Film Featuring Architecture, deSingel, Antwerpen (2010); FAX, Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong, SAR (2010); FAX, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2010); Video Art: Replay, Part 2. Everyday Imaginar, ICA – Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (2010); Performa 09, Performa, New York, NY (2009); Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris (2009); The Space of Words, MUDAM – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxemburg (2009); Word Event, Gruppenausstellung, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (2008).

carlier | gebauer

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