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Tag: Roberta Smith /NYTimes

New York_ Francesca DiMattio_ ‘Boucherouite’stitching histories & traditions with porcelain and stoneware & color

Francesca diMattio, “Boucherouite”, Venus II, 2018 (detail), glaze on porcelain and stoneware, resin, enamel, acrylic paint, steel, courtesy salon 94, New York  & artist

 

Upon my return from Europe, from Maremma/Toscana mid-March,  I left a beautiful and lovely springtime landscape.  New York has not smiled to spring; one of those rainy and cold days, I walked one of those mornings into a very special garden at 243 Bowery (salon 94), Francesca DiMattio’s ‘Boucherouite”.

DiMattio returns to the aesthetics of craft for inspiration, metamorphosing traditional techniques and imagery into mad-cap mise en scenes. Boucherouite, the exhibition title, refers to the rag rugs traditionally made from torn and reused clothing by Berber women in North Africa.  In a nod to their improvisational and idiosyncratic style, DiMattio shreds and weaves together images from many centuries and cultures, turning them into a new hybrid form. (Boucherouite exhibition, salon 94, NY, gallery press release)

The Boucherouite rug  is a magical colorful work of art, made by the  Berbers in Morocco, Boucherouite or Boucherwit, from Moroccan Arabic ‘bu Sherwin’ ( a piece torn from pre-used vintage clothing scrap )

 

What is the contract of a copy?  How does a reproduction shift meaning?  Monet’s waterlilies are at once associated with a Kleenex box and to MoMA. I love how a reproduction can reroute the value system, pointing out an image’s inherent instability.  That’s in part why I was drawn to porcelain.  Its development can be mapped through the copying from one culture to another- a history of hybrids: a Dutch version of an Asian scene, the white glazed clay cup faking porcelain, etc. I am most attracted to such dueling combinations. (Francesca DiMattio, February 2018)

Francesca DiMattio, “Boucherouite”, 2018 at Salon 94, Bowery, New York,  exhibition view

Francesca DiMattio, “Boucherouite”,2018 at Salon 94, Bowery, New York, exhibition view

 

Francesca DiMattio, “Boucherouite” ‘Venus II’, 2018, glaze on porcelain and stoneware, resin, enamel, acrylic paint and steel,96x60x38 inches, 2438×152.4×96.5 cm), courtesy of salon 94, NY  & artist

 

Francesca DiMattio, “Boucherouite”,’Venus I’, 2018, glaze on porcelain and stoneware, resin, enamel, acrylic paint and steel, 105 x 44 x 33 inches (266.7 x 111.8 x 83.9 cm), courtesy of salon 94, NY  & artist

As in her painting, in her ceramic work, DiMattio follows the principles of stitching together pieces of fragments of histories and traditions to create multivalent forms and images that connect diverse sculptural and decorative languages around ideas of value, function, gender, and class.  References to decorative wares such as Anatolian Iznik, Chinese Ming Dynasty porcelain, and Dutch Delftware abound alongside allusions to the output of the German factories Meissen and Augarten, the French Du Paquier and Sèvres, and the English Derby, Minton, and Wedgwood. (Claudia Schmuckli “Digital Becoming”, published in DiMattio book, Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston)

Francesca DiMattio,”Boucherouite” ‘Venus I’, (detail )  2018, glaze on porcelain and stoneware, resin, enamel, acrylic paint and steel, 105 x 44 x 33 inches (266.7 x 111.8 x 83.9 cm), courtesy of salon 94 & artist

Roberta Smith writes at the New York Times (April 2015) on  DiMattio ‘s  ‘Domestic Sculpture’ at Salon 94 “Combining porcelain and stoneware, these bravura bricolages owe something to the ceramics of Nicole Cherubini and Arlene Shechet, while merging the improvisation energy of Peter Voulkos with the neo-Expressionist swagger of Julian Schnabel’s broken-crockery paintings. But they mainly reflect Ms. DiMattio’s voracious reconsiderations of the history of ceramics, seemingly deforming, shattering and piecing (or jamming) together appropriated vessels in contrasting styles, glazes and decorative patterns.”

Cindi Strauss finds a challenging similarity of Ms. DiMattio’s work in “Pattern Recognition”* with Katsuyo Aoki‘s

..perhaps one of the most intriguing comparisons to DiMattio’s ceramic sculpture comes in the work of Katsuyo Aoki (see figure below), a Japanese ceramist who has emerged in the past few years as an exponent of a ‘neo-ornamentalist’ style in Japan. Like DiMattio, Aoki favors the baroque and rococo styles of eighteenth-century Western European porcelain, examples of which she has seen only in books. Through her absorption, dilution, and translation of the ‘pieces’ form and ornament, she questions historical porcelain as a symbol of wealth and power. Aoki’s concern is with how these symbols of beauty from the West have filtrated and affected Japanese culture. ….DiMattio’s concern differs, lying in porcelain’s association with the feminine and the easy dismissal of the medium by society. (*Francesca DiMattio, published book by Blaffert Art Museum, University of Houston)

Katsuyo Aoki, view of the solo exhibition, May 2005, INAX gallery2, Tokyo, 2006

Francesca DiMattio working on her studio finalizing her sculptures for “Boucherouite. photo@Mathew Novak, published at New York Times (permission by Salon 94)

 

While walking  around the exhibition large space of Salon 94, at Bowery,  I could not stop thinking the similarity of the intensity of the work with Niki de Saint Phalle ‘s  just a few days before I was at the Tarot Garden by Niki de Saint Phalle in Maremma, a fourteen-acre sculpture park build atop Etruscan ruins, close by the picturesque village of Capalbio,  which happens to be close to my summer home. (see here “Beautiful Monsters” at New Yorker, April 18, 2016, by Ariel Levy)

Niki de Saint Phalle among her Nanas at the Galerie Alexandre Iolas, Paris, Autumn 1965. Photo: © André Morain, Copyright © 2007-2018 Niki Charitable Art Foundation

Niki de Saint Phalle in her studio at Soisy, surrounded by Le Mangeur d’Enfants, La Mariée sous l’Arbre, and Le Cheval et la Mariée. Photo: © Monique Jacot Copyright © 2007-2018 Niki Charitable Art Foundation

To Saint Phalle, the Tarot Garden was to be an Eden of art and magic. To the local gentry, the garden was an act of vandalism. But there was little they could do besides carp about the “madwoman and her monsters,” because Saint Phalle was under the protection of Italian nobility. (Ariel Levy, “Beautiful Monsters” at New Yorker, April 18, 2016)

Francesca DiMattio, “Boucherouite”,2018 at Salon 94, Bowery, exhibition view, courtesy of salon 94 & artist

On Q & A at Interview Magazine, by Emily McDermott, “Francesca DiMattio’s Unstable Stability, November 5, 2015, Ms. DiMattio says,

….I don’t think I took a sculpture class the whole time I was at Cooper. The sculptures really developed out of the paintings, out of the thinking I had already developed. I definitely had to figure out how to make stuff, and I still do. When I was at school nobody could teach me ceramics. I was lucky enough to have that in my family. 

DiMattios’ answer to Anne Thompson’s question “..is there any modernist critique or engagement in your use of ceramics”  … FD: I choose to work with ceramics for feminist reasons rather than as a modernist critique. I was interested in ceramics for its connection to craft because I think a lot about the structures of craft in general. The up and down of sewing, the stark juxtapositions of colors and patterns in guilts, and how knitting and crocheting can turn the disparate material into something altogether new. (*Francesca DiMattio, published book by Blaffert Art Museum, University of Houston)

lovely Francesca DiMattio with Ana-Nefeli, photo©VenetiaKapernekas

New York : “Anri Sala : Answer Me” at The New Museum

February 3rd, 2016-April 10th, 2016 at The New Museum, NY. The exhibition is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Artistic Director; Margot Norton, Associate Curator; and Natalie Bell, Assistant Curator.

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Installation view of Anri Sala, ‘Answer Me’, 2008
Image: Venetia Kapernekas

I love and admire Anri Sala’s work  for years and being fortunate to be in New York for few days to see this amazing, powerful and poetic exhibition “Anri Sala: Answer Me”at the New Museum. This exhibition is brilliantly installed and is as much for music as for art people.  The exhibition features extensive multichannel audio and video installations that unfold across the Second, Third, and Fourth Floor galleries, composing a symphonic experience specific tailored for the New Museum. Needless to say that I visited this exhibition for 3 consecutive days; I was overwhelmed with music, elegance and melancholy but yet, Anri Sala knows so well not to impose or invade your own space.

In his early video works from the late 1990s, Sala used documentary strategies to examine life after communism in his native Albania, observing the role of language and memory in narrating social and political histories. Since the early 2000s, his video works have probed the psychological effects of acoustic experiences, embracing both music and sound as languages capable of conjuring up images, rousing nostalgia, and communicating emotions. In subtle visual narratives, Sala often depicts what appear to be fragments of everyday life, and his intimate observations experiment with fiction to double as enigmatic portraits of society. (The Museum press)

In recent works, Sala has interpreted musical compositions in multichannel video and sound installations that emphasize the perception of sound in relation to architectural spaces. This exhibition features a new spatialization of Sala’s The Present Moment (in B-flat) (2014) and The Present Moment (in D) (2014), in which he rearranges Arnold Schoenberg’s “Verklärte Nacht” [Transfigured Night] (1899) to create the sense that individual notes, abstracted from the composition, travel freely throughout the gallery before accumulating and playing in repetition as if trapped in a spatial impasse.

Anri Sala in Conversation with Massimiliano Gioni (Feb 5, 2016) (livestream) at the New Museum

Anri Sala,  as an art student, he shocked the art world with his  work Intervista (Finding the Words) (1998)a video essay on the recent history of Albania, based on a biographical story. Its opening sequence recounts how Sala discovered a reel of television footage in an old cardboard box. The footage turned out to be a document from the time when his mother, as a young woman, was engaged in the youth movement of the Socialist Party and supporter of former  Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha. Mother Country, the video work of Anri Sala, Jan Verwoert at Frieze, May 2002)

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Anri Sala, Intervista (Finding the Words), 1998 (still).
Image: © Anri Sala. Courtesy Idéale Audience International, Paris; Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Johnen Galerie, Berlin; and Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich.

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Ravel Ravel, 2013. Installation view: “Anri Sala: Answer Me,” New Museum. Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Marian Goodman Gallery; and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Maris Hutchinson / EPW Studio

The exhibition  includes the US premiere of Sala’s striking installation “Ravel Ravel Unravel” (2013), first exhibited at the 55th Venice Biennale, where Sala represented France. In Ravel Ravel (2013), two interpretations of Maurice Ravel’s “Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D-major” (1929–30) are projected simultaneously in a semi-anechoic chamber, a space designed to absorb sound.   (New Museum press). 

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Unravel, 2013. Installation view: “Anri Sala: Answer Me,” New Museum. Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Marian Goodman Gallery; Hauser & Wirth; and kurimanzutto, Mexico City. Photo: Maris Hutchinson / EPW Studio
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Unravel, 2013. Installation view: “Anri Sala: Answer Me,” New Museum. Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Marian Goodman Gallery; Hauser & Wirth; and kurimanzutto, Mexico City. Photo: Maris Hutchinson / EPW Studio

It features two screens, each with a close up of a hand playing Maurice Ravel’s shimmering masterpiece Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D-major. “..It is an utterly mesmerizing sonic experience. At the same time, vivid images of the streets of Tirana, Berlin, or Mexico City have been replaced with the sterile anechoic chamber as a background. The animating dance between cultural glory and worldly grit from the earlier works has been channeled into the tension between a piece of great music and its dissonant interpretation.” (Ben Davis, Artnet, Feb 3, 2016) 

“The music is Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D (1929-30), which was commissioned by Paul Wittgenstein, a pianist (and the philosopher’s brother) who lost his right hand in World War I. The hands on the screens belong to the pianists Louis Lortie and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, who each performed the concerto with an orchestra, using scores with tempos altered by Mr. Sala slowing or accelerating different parts. Their hands play tag up and down the keys, moving in and out of sync, finishing each other’s passages. The music is at once luxuriant and turbulent; if you know the back story, it can be traumatic. It swirls around, filling and then abandoning the crenelated space, whose protrusions add their own suggestion of violence.”(Roberta Smith, ‘Anri Sala: Answer Me’ Offers Symphonic Experience From Floor to Floor at NY Times, feb 4th, 2016) 

Anri Sala feels that language can be used to veil the truth. Thus he is preoccupied with music and rhythm as a form of communication among people: “It produces a choreography instead of producing a verbal discourse.”  The Breathing line , a score by Anri Sala and Ari Benjamin Meyers   (Anri Sala, Music Before Language, interview /vimeo of his work for  the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, 2012 for Answer Me, )

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Installation view of Anri Sala, “Answer Me”, 3rd floor
Image: Venetia Kapernekas

The second floor features The Present Moment (in B-flat) (2014) and the Present Moment (in D)(2014). Installed together for the first time, both work reinterpret Arnold Schoenberg’s Late-Romantic composition “Verklärte Nacht”(Transfigured Night) (1899) to  create the sense that individual notes, released from the original composition, travel across the  gallery before accumulating and playing in repetition as if trapped in a spatial impasse. …The Present Moment (in D) debuted in 2014 at the central hall of Munich’s Haus der Kunst.  For his installation in Haus der Kunst’s central Middle Hall, Anri Sala  devotes his attention to the genre of chamber music, an intimate format that – for the artist – stands in dynamic contrast to the public nature of the work presented in the expansive spaces of Haus der Kunst. 

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DER ÖFFENTLICHKEIT ― VON DEN FREUNDEN HAUS DER KUNST, Anri Sala, The Present Moment, 2014, (in D), film still, courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; and Hauser & Wirth © Anri Sala

 

“Anri Sala: Answer Me” at The New Museum/New York  is made possible by the lead support of Lonti Ebers and Bruce Flatt and Maja Hoffmann / LUMA Foundation. Major support is provided by Maria de Jesus Rendeiro and João Oliveira Render. (info provided by The New Museum)

 

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