"MATTA: Roberto Sebastian Matta, Gordon Matta Clark, Pablo Echaurren" - booth 208, Pier 92
For this edition of The Armory Show, Galleria d'Arte Maggiore G.A.M. is delighted to present a special exhibition in its booth 208 on Pier 92, reproducing the project of the show that the Gallery organized in 2013 at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia on the occasion of the 55. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte – la Biennale di Venezia. Curated by Danilo Eccher, the exhibition was dedicated to three main protagonists of the international art scene: Roberto Sebastian Matta and his sons Gordon Matta-Clark and Pablo Echaurren, exhibited for the first time together on that occasion.
Three personal stories, three social contexts and three different artistic languages are the starting point for this exhibition. The common thread between the father and his sons is found less in their references than in the visionariness of their creative gestures and the social dimension of their narratives. The exhibition reveals a thin red line between Roberto Sebastian’s surrealist dream, Pablo Echaurren’s irreverent graphics and Gordon Matta-Clark’s corrosions of mental architecture, allowing us to discover the scent of a shared feeling, the sound of the same mental battle and the dream of a single utopic glow. The resulting cross-section is neither delimited by nor derives from their family history, exceptional as it is, but rather expands the boundaries to the cultural and political spheres with which these three artists were deeply engaged.
Roberto Sebastian Matta was born in Chile in 1911, where he studied architecture. In 1930s, he moved to Paris, where he encouraged the birth of the Surrealism. In those years, his works are characterized by the psychic automatism and by an impressive use of the color to stimulate visionary exploration of the unconscious. During the World War II, Matta moved to New York, playing a role of paramount importance for the next generation of artists of the so-called American Abstract Expressionism. In 1950s he moved to Italy where he died in 2002 in Civitavecchia, close to Rome. For The Armory Show, the Gallery has selected important oils, even of great size as "Les oh! Tomobiles" (210 x 380 cm), a chosen selection of works on paper and important bronze sculpture, with references to the exhibition realized by the Gallery at the Garden of Palazzo Soranzo Cappello and included among the Collateral Event of the 56. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte – la Biennale di Venezia. In his sculptures, Roberto Sebastian Matta evokes all the traditions already existing: the totemic idol of ancient civilizations with serpents’ eyes derived from Incan or Aztec culture meld with the fecund, natural deities of the Etruscans, in an unending quest for the roots of the history of mankind, which thanks to the artist’s vast culture is blended with his studies of Oceanic and primitive art such as African. Times, forms, cultures – all merges together, achieves new unities and transmits unusual visions. But just as in painting, so too in sculpture the memory of the past, of the origin, is permeated with futuristic visions inspired by technology, suspending the result in a magical time, another space, outside of time as it were: indeed a new dimension, where the imagined world, the work created by the mind, is no less real than reality itself.
Gordon Matta-Clark was born in New York in 1943 and died very young in 1978 due to pancreatic cancer. He studied architecture, but unlike is contemporaries, who in those years were busy searching for areas where they could build in order to make profits, Gordon was looking for abandoned areas and buildings where he could carry out his “building cuts”, sculptural transformations of pre-existing architecture that, placing the focus on the city suburbs, tore the veil off of society's problems. His performances are well documented through photographs, videos and films that give the opportunity to show the process used by the artist who, along with many drawings, illustrate the conceptual levels of his architectural cuts along with his visual and material perception of the world, and are in perfect agreement with Gordon's three-dimensional creations. This is very well testified by the beautiful notebook of 22 drawing that the Gallery is exhibiting at The Armory Show.
Pablo Echaurren was born in Rome in 1951. He started to paint at the age of 18 and, through Gianfranco Baruchello, was discovered by the critic and gallerist Arturo Schwarz, who promoted his work in Italy and abroad. Between 1971 and 1975 he exhibited in Berlin, Basel, Philadelphia, Zurich, New York and Brussels and in 1975 was invited to show at the Paris Biennale. From the very beginning of his career, Pablo has revealed his conceptual approach and his rejection of pictorial conventions, offering an alternative to the idea of the work of art as fetish. This is the direction in which the artist has moved ever since, always looking for new languages and new forms of expression, searching for a constant dialogue with the avant-gardes, Futurism, Dadaism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Not just a painter, he was engaged in a wide range of applied activities, producing illustrations, posters and book covers, as well as “metacomics” that investigate the possible relationship between the avant-garde and popular art, seeking that necessary and fertile short-circuit between “high” and “low,” between culture and frivolity, in keeping with the ideal of an art open to all. His creativity has also found expression in the field of writing, with the publication of novels and pamphlets on the world of art. At The Armory Show, the Gallery will show interesting examples of the so-called "Quadratini", pictures in watercolor and enamel paint of small size that reflect the myths of his generation (politics, music) and his personal inclinations (for the natural sciences and collecting). In these works we can see the world of the miniatures, the sign of ‘old Japanese master’ Hokusai, the comic quotes of Roy Lichtenstein, but also the images of scientific books on natural history, zoology and botany.
"Giorgio MORANDI. Lee UFAN" - booth 519, Pier 94
For its booth 519 on Pier 94 at The Armory Show, Galleria d'Arte Maggiore G.A.M. is delighted to offer a great show of Giorgio Morandi and Lee Ufan, one of th most important proponents of the avant-garde Mono-ha (Object School) group, famous for his minimalist paintings.
Coming from different countries and belonging to different generations, Morandi and Ufan share surprising affinities in their views of painting and in the fundamentals of their conceptions of art. It is not a secret that Giorgio Morandi's works can be read as arrangements of pure and near- abstract forms because of the artist's focus on color, tones and shape realtionships, going beyond a mere figurative representation of what you see. He proved an exclusive ability to distil the essence of a complex scene or composition with an incredible, and increasing, economy of means, such as a limited color palette, and creating a lyrical atmosphere of suspension of time and space. It is this intensity of contemplation and observation that gives a freshness and individuality to each of Morandi's paintings, even in his subtle variations between one arrangement and another. Paiting was a ritual experience for Morandi: each of his pictures has a certain quality of light that suggests it was painted at a particular time of day or under specific lighting conditions. The Gallery will exhibit a strong selection of oils on canvas, watercolor, drawings and some etchings, from still lives to landscapes, from the Twenties till the last part of his production.
Lee Ufan is a painter, sculptor, writer and philosopher. The Gallery is going to present his iconic works where a brush stroke leaves its poetic mark on the white surface of the canvas, fading as it ends. It's immediately clear how the relationship between painted / unpainted and occupied / empty space lies at the heart of Lee Ufan’s practice, as well as it is evident in Morandi above all in his works on paper. Restricting his palette to a single color on a white ground, Ufan creates contemplative works in iterative series. ‘It seems very simple, but I start work on it at nine o’clock in the morning and carry on until three or four in the afternoon. And not only for one day; I repeat the same process for three, four, five times. If even then it doesn’t please me I start it again." Even in Ufan, painting is a ritual practice. The Gallery will select the works in order to create the most intimate dialogue, allowing the public to appreciate the great value of both of the artists and to recognize the philosophy they share.