Agenda

Intuition

Intuition

13.05.2017 - 26.11.2017
Axel Vervoordt and Daniela Ferretti present Intuition at the Palazzo Fortuny
for the 2017 Venice Art Biennale.

Palazzo Fortuny, San Marco 3958-San Beneto, Venice
13 May – 26 November 2017
Michel Mouffe

Michel Mouffe

18.05.2017 - 19.08.2017
What happens on the hidden side of the canvas? Does the stretcher have a hidden meaning?
 
Above all, it’s a presence that could be considered the subject (in the traditional sense) of the painting, the element of drawing in the painting.
 
Initially, I made the stretchers myself. In doing so, a certain consciousness of the materiality of the object painting appeared: a canvas and a frame — themselves supported by a cross in the centre that stiffens the whole. With these first stretchers, it became clear to me that this wooden cross could help me create the motif of my painting.
 
From the very start, I took into account a certain number of specific peculiarities of painting, because painting was the domain I wanted to explore — though at the time the dominant view was that painting was close to death or dead already.
 
I believed, on the contrary, that painting was possible, especially if one departed from its specific characteristics. I thought there were no more spaces to be conquered in the flatness of the painting, unless one took a more conceptual approach... I felt it was fundamental to proceed differently by involving the stretcher — the hidden side of the painting. It was also crucial to rethink that which had fascinated me in the Flemish Primitives, namely the transparency of the glaze, the way in which the background can return to the surface and illuminate the colours. I wanted to draw inspiration from them, not figuratively, or by trying to tell a story, but departing from the codes of the paintings themselves, from that which may loom up from the pigments and the construction of the support.
 
These tensions, specific to my work, are never present as such, but they are a part of the play of the colours and the different layers that are superposed on the surface of my paintings. They both affirm and deny what the surface of the canvas suggests. These processes help to achieve the result that makes it possible to project the painting towards the gaze of the spectator, while at the same time, it attains a centrifugal and centripetal effect. It allows the eye to fix on these tensions or to wander towards the edges of the canvas, like a wave that moves back and forth.
Everything in the composition of my paintings relates to their back and their front — it’s the result of opposite movements.
 
Where there’s red, I put green; where there’s green, I put red; where there’s a grid, I fill the holes, and when they’re filled, I open them... It’s this combination of opposites that helps to unveil the intrinsic qualities of these “objects”.
 
It’s true that these “protuberances” might be interpreted as allusions to sensual forms, but to me, they are a far-off expression, a horizon lost in the whole and an integral part of it.
It’s often said that I am a monochrome painter, whereas on closer inspection, it’s obvious that the opposite is true.

- excerpt from book Michel Mouffe – Alphabet

Opening and book launch on 18 May 2017, 6-9 pm, in presence of the artist.

Michel Mouffe – Alphabet is the artist's first comprehensive monograph. Conceived as the sequence of letters in the alphabet, this book gives an insight into Michel Mouffe’s body of work through a series of writings and conversations he shared with independent curator Joel Benzakin.


See this video of the exhibition, made by Hugo Frey. Courtesy of the artist and the Axel Vervoordt Gallery.

Markus Brunetti

Markus Brunetti

08.06.2017 - 26.08.2017
Axel Vervoordt Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition “FACADES” of German artist Markus Brunetti in Hong Kong. The exhibition will explore the subject of reality /idealistic reality through digitally assembled images of church façades, which become a hybrid of virtual and extremely true-to-life realities.
Since 2005, Markus Brunetti and his partner Betty Schöner have been hard at work making photographic images of the façades of cathedrals, churches and cloisters all over Europe. They are on the road for much of the year, travelling by van with their equipment. They have no overall system, no fixed agenda. The project proceeds on a case-by-case basis. It has already encompassed architecture from many periods and styles: Moorish, early Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque. Some are typical examples, some are more singular, and some are hybrids of various influences. It is an unending project.

After much research and some preliminary photographic studies, a façade is selected. Over a few weeks, or even years, it is then documented part-by-part, photographing no more than a few square meters with each exposure. The separate elements are then assembled digitally into a coherent whole, a long process that requires an intimacy and understanding rivalled only by the long-forgotten craftsmen who constructed and decorated the buildings in the first place. Through quantity, he achieves an entirely new quality.

Scaffolding, lampposts, people and other distractions are removed to better attend to the features and textures of the façade itself. Although each final image is a subjective interpretation, it is also a hard-won document of unprecedented clarity. Never before have these buildings been rendered in such a way. The fine mosaics, intricate carving, filigree metal work and stained glass are there for us to see, along with the cracks, deformations and decay. These are not simply photographs of façades; they are reconstructions of them, attending to every last idiosyncrasy.

Like all innovations in photography, this project has required great persistence, vision and a lot of problem solving. It involves a method of picturing that actually departs in profound ways from the logic of optical perspective, if only to return to it anew. While photographic in origin, the final images feel as much like facsimiles or elaborate photocopies, as if the building had been mapped or scanned. Indeed, scanning might be the best term here, since it implies a mobile and yet systematic point of view that takes in the subject matter evenly and all-over. The results are not unlike 2D images of detailed replicas produced by a 3D printer. While these images fall within the ever-looser parameters of realism they can feel strange, uncanny even, striking us as much like apparitions as records.

Seldom has the miracle of reality been shown in such vivid form as it is in Markus Brunetti’s FACADES. We may find ourselves pondering what exactly these images are, and what they are for. Are they documentations? Is there potential scientific value? Are these images acts of deference to the buildings they represent? Are these images for aesthetic contemplation in themselves, or are they portals for the contemplation of the buildings? Are these images affectionate? Cold? Romantic? Enigmatic? Crazed? Sober? Euphoric? Melancholic? All of the above…


Content based on David Campany’s essay ‘Seeing Slowly’, Markus Brunetti’s most recent monograph FACADES 2016.

Axel Vervoordt Gallery will be closed between 15 July and 2 August 2017 for summer holiday.
Kimsooja at Documenta 14

Kimsooja at Documenta 14

10.06.2017 - 17.09.2017
ANTIDORON - the EMST Collection
Fridericianum, Kassel
10 June - 17 September 2017
Curated by Katerina Koskina
Assistant Curators: Stamatis Schizakis, Tina Pandi
Architectural design: Iro Nikolakea