Sunday, January 28, 2007

McDermott & McGough Please don't stop loving me ! until 15.03 Galerie Jerome de Noirmont, Paris

Please don’t stop loving me !, the gallery’s 4th personal McDermott & McGough exhibition, will present, in exclusivity, the latest paintings by the couple of dandies who constantly define our contemporariness society through images resurfacing from the past. Like their deliberately historically accurate photographic work, their painting draw inspiration from the metaphorical value of images that live on in our collective subconscious. This new exhibition is the counterpart of the exhibition early in 2006 at the Cheim & Read Gallery in New York on the theme of hidden sexuality with canvases only portraying men. In this new series, the subjects are only women, the artists wishing to present here a feminine vision of life, more spiritual than the first: My inspiration was from « B » female film stars. Most who never made it and 1950’s romance comic books. But this crying, desperate women series is not about actresses, film or kitsch. Its not a nostalgic look to what was. I feel the moment that these images are frozen in (the film still or comic drawing), is about change, an opportunity to take pain, heartache, fear and desperation to another realm of possibilities. Somewhat how the Buddhist’s see order in chaos. This new series of some 15 paintings is constructed according to the same iconographic structure, similar to that of comic strip plates, confronting or juxtaposing portraits of women, scenes from Hollywood films or sentimental comic strips of the 1950s, in a paradoxical duality, underpinned by the contrast between realism and fiction, between black and white and colour. Fixed on canvas and cut off from the narrative context from which they stem, showing desperate women, all paintings have a strong dramatic impact that the artists intensify by choosing highly evocative titles: With an anxious heart, Now after all those things you told me, There wasn’t a thing left to say, How could it end like this ?... The design of the canvas, its image and its story seem to be based on Magritte’s interpretation of words and images, on the fragmentation and the mystery of its images. Considering that all periods cohabit the present, McDermott & McGough refuse the diktats of contemporary time and “live” in the period that they feel to be the most favourable, that is to say the late 19th and early to mid 20th centuries. They invite us to share their vision of the illusion of time as they recreate the atmosphere of a specific period. They take us with them in their travel back in time through a scrupulous and meticulous reproduction of vintage documents to give their works the greatest possible authenticity, like a lost treasure miraculously preserved in a buried world. They go as far as giving dates to their images from the period, such as here: 1963, 1965… McDermott & McGough make the Freudian undercurrents of American society in the 1950s resurface in this exhibition. Behind the appearance of a world of idealised beauty there is hidden despair, solitude, murder and adultery, things that make you tremble. In these paintings, women are beautiful, well dressed, in lush interiors, but living in deep sadness – all this beauty seems, suddenly, about to fall apart… The artists give us their vision of this traditional American theme, in the same way as the current TV series Desperate Housewives. In the image of Pop Art but paradoxically always through a very contemporary theme, McDermott & McGough examine in this exhibition America’s marriage of spic-and-span consumerism with sex and violence.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Victor Grippo until 04.02. Camden Arts Centre, London

This is the first ever large-scale exhibition in London of the work of influential Argentinean artist Victor Grippo (1936 - 2002). His sculptures and installations transform everyday materials through alchemical power. The humble potato (a universal food of the poor) becomes a symbol of dormant energy in Grippo's hands and represents the potential of suppressed peoples. Originally trained as a chemist, Grippo emerged as a painter and engraver in the politically-charged climate of 1950s Argentina. caption: Victor Grippo, Naturalizar al hombre, humanizar a la naturaleza, o Energia vegetal, 1977, Fundacion Victor Grippo, copyright the artist, courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Brazilian Acquisitions Sandra Gamara, Galeria Lema, Sao Paulo, Brasil

Sandra Gamarra, peruvian - the artist has become known for having created her own imaginary museum - LiMac - (Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Lima) - where she explores and appropriates herself of the works of others, making her own previous selection. In this exhibition, LiMac presents at Galeria Leme some of its recent acquisition - works by brazilian artists.

The idea around this show is not to make a resume of brazilian contemporary art. The exhibition of these works seek a new dialogue, through the same medium - painting - signalising other areas of encounter and disencounter.

Gamarra has painted pages from catalogues and books compiling the works of distinct artists such as Sandra Cinto, Vik Muniz, Leda Catunda, Iran do Espírito Santo, Nelson Leirner and various others.