Louise Alexander Gallery’s presentation at this year’s ArtInternational fair in Istanbul features artists that draw on tradition with eyes toward the future. The show samples from a variety of mediums: sculpture, light works, painting, and photography, with shadowy, sensorial pieces and artists using highly modern means to reference early art forms.
Sabine Pigalle’s Nightwatch (2014) adapts the aesthetics of early mythological art, showing a milk-skinned Aphrodite-esque woman gazing at herself in a hand mirror. Pigalle merges photography with traditional paintings, resulting in a mix of the fantastic and the editorial: Pigalle worked in fashion photography previously.
Barry X Ball’s work Dual Screaming Self-Portrait Ensemble (1998-2006) is comprised of classical sculpture translated through new technology. Ball uses 3D technology to render bizarre sculptural portraits, in this case two versions of his own screaming face; one distorted and stretched, the other shrunken. The heads are sculpted from onyx, used widely in Ancient Greek and Roman sculpture, though scarcely used now.
Waste Land (2014), a sculpture by Anthony James, consists of a knot of soldered metal twigs standing within a dimly lit mirrored box. Looking into the reflective walls of the box creates an infinite forest of snarled metal. It is a foreboding scene; the effect is something like looking into the twisted metal of a John Chamberlain sculpture or the industrial orifices of a Lee Bontecou work—cold and inorganic, but at the same time absorbing and beautiful.
Marco Tirelli’s Macro Roma (2012) is a powerfully modest work done in ink and tempera on canvas. Tirelli utilizes the sfumato technique, made famous by Leonardo da Vinci. Through this spare but punctilious expression, Tirelli shows us the inside of a bowl, an apparently basic still life, but Tirelli’s image is transfixing in its austerity.
Laurent Bolognini’s moving light sculpture X-360 (2013) recalls early experiments in Futurism, kinetic art, and the spiral sculptures of Naum Gabo. Nearly 18 feet high, and outfitted with a motor, it is the optic centerpiece of the show and a grand realization of the show’s theme of shadow and light.
— Makiko Wholey
Visit Louise Alexander Gallery at ArtInternational, Istanbul, Booth B9, Sep. 26th – 28th, 2014.