The work of both artists is characterized by a concentration and transformation of the written, spoken, or even thought word, and by the rendering of the resulting internal connections and relationships into visual artworks. The point of departure and connection is, on the one hand, the artists’ enduring interest in and extensive knowledge of literature, music, and art history, and on the other, the work produced in their individual artistic practices, which develops across various forms, techniques, and media while always retaining a certain subtlety and sensitivity.
The work that emerges is dense in its content and formally concrete—an aspect this exhibition seeks to foreground. Along with familiar pieces and groups of work that are already established as part of dr. julius | ap’s programme, the exhibition reveals new and surprising aspects of both artists.
Drawings by the American artist Susan York will accompany the exhibition. For several years York has made “Daily Drawings”—a project in which she creates a new drawing every day—as part of her practice, which is otherwise primarily sculptural. A selection from 2015, arranged on the four walls of the Cabinet, the additional project chamber of dr. julius | ap, according to the four seasons, presents these drawings as an installation, showing both their variety and unity.
About the artists:
Carlo Battisti [b. 1945 in Viareggio, Tuscany, Italy] is a committed autodidact. Since the 1970’s he has been creating works in the field of minimalism and concrete art in close personal and aesthetic proximity to the current players and trends of the Italian art world, yet without definitely committing to or being co-opted by any particular school. Rather, he has consistently developed his broad interests, which range from sculpture and painting to object- and video art, printmaking, performances, and even installations, in an individualistic manner.
Battisti’s strong interest in literature inspired him to create the cycle La Biblioteca di Babele in 2007-8, which is based on an essay by Jorge Luis Borges. For this piece Battisti created a work on paper for each letter of the alphabet from the text of the essay, in most cases hand printed in 4-point font with metal type. After showing this work for the first time outside Italy with dr. julius | ap in 2015, Battisti has added reinterpretations to this magnum opus,.
Ray Malone [b. 1939 in Mtarfa, Malta] refers directly in his graphic works to concepts and categories from the realm of music, such as rhythm, composition, and choreography. In synthesis with his fundamental artistic questions—for example into rules of proportion or space in two-dimensions—his works display his personal approach to and engagement with these musical themes. In the process, Malone continually engages artistically, theoretically, and verbally with the peculiarities of the line. He writes, for example, “that a line has characteristics similar to a note,” which it is the artist’s task to make visible in all their singularity.
Malone’s graphic works thereby becomes a point of departure for a serious, concentrated engagement with drawing: with its rhythm and positioning, and the ways these create space on paper.
Susan York‘s [*1951 in Newport, Rhode Island, US] sculpture and drawing live in the tradition of American Minimal Art yet her work has its own unique identity. The silvery black shimmering and always slightly asymmetrical cubes are created from pure, fine graphite powder. The artist compresses the powdery material into refractory forms and fires them to a high temperature in a kiln. Compact cubes of various sizes are created in this way. The raw forms then undergo their forming process by being cut and polished in a very extensive process. Hovering on the wall they betray nothing of their massive, heavy contents. They just shimmer – far removed from this world – catching the light and invite the viewer and his astonished eye to contemplate.
“The quiet, constant world of repetition forms my work. My hope is that the viewer can taste this calm and sink into its emptiness.” [Susan York]
CARLO BATTISTI [IT] + RAY MALONE [IE]
testura - texture
- in the Cabinet SUSAN YORK [US] ─ Daily Drawings
Opening Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 7 - 9 pm
Exhibition through 25 November 2017