Following the splendid retrospective at the Archaeological Museum in Naples in June 2018 in which he juxtaposed his works with the classical sculptures and objects from the museum’s collections, over the last year Aron Demetz has produced a set of totally new pieces. Galleria Doris Ghetta is delighted to present these sculptures at Volta Basel. In this recent collection, Demetz once again moves away from the aesthetics of classical sculpture by relating representation of the human body to the visible traces of the production process. A striking example of this is the bronze casting channels that he leaves on the outside of his sculptures like a web to spread their physical presence. The artist also makes partial use of his tried-and-tested technique of combustion of the wood bodies, but offsets this destructive process by refashioning the charred figures with plaster. He tends to leave the surfaces rough and apparently untreated so that classical figuration is reflected not so much in formal appearance as in the powerful archaic language of the material and its properties and a savage, hence even more impressive artistic process. Alexander Tinei was born in Moldavia in 1967 and has lived and worked in Budapest for several years
"measuring the roots” is the title some of the works in the new set. The subjects depicted are holding a folding rule. The roots hinted at in the title characterise the background of the paintings and define the space that surrounds the figures. Unlike Tinei’s previous works, in which it was possible to see these roots through the bodies of the subjects represented like visible veins, now they break free from the bodies and become an element to determine space. Symbolically, the roots and the folding rules refer to the artist’s pursuit of his own identity and cultural origins. At the same time, this new set of paintings also reveals an interest for tradition and the possibilities offered by the medium of painting itself.
These works contain important elements that touch on the very method of painting, such as experimentation with the concept of portraiture and a new way of treating colour, structure and surface. Portraiture is Alexander Tinei’s great passion and one of the leitmotivs of his production. For many years he has addressed this classic canon, analysing it in all its nuances, possibilities and historical and artistic dimensions. Tinei explores the way in which major classical and contemporary painters – from Velasquez, Goya and Modigliani to Gerhard Richter and Marlene Dumas – approach portraits, repeatedly integrating their pictorial strategies into his own works. For some time now, Tinei has been painting portraits of young people: models, bloggers and anonymous figures taken from the social media, all from a world characterized by self-portraits, advertising and marketing, thus reflecting modern times, our attitudes and our modes of representation.