It is astonishing that 10 years have already passed, since we opened the gallery with a solo show by Bill Woodrow in May 2008. Since then 56 exhibitions have taken place in our premises at Limmatstrasse 214. Besides that, accompanying guided tours and movies, talks with artists and curators could be attended. Many artists work with us since the beginning, others have joined the gallery later and a few decided to orientate themselves differently. Often guests have contributed works to the exhibitions as for example Isa Melsheimer, Dieter Roth, Jamie Isenstein and Richard Hamilton amongst others.
With Other Eyes: 10 Years Lullin + Ferrari allows us to look back without nostalgia. For sure we can be proud that the collaboration with the artists, but also amongst each other, has proved to be consistent and rewarding. This excellent teamwork allows a look towards the future with confidence and with the conviction that „many happy returns“ will come. And this albeit the gallery world in the past 10 years has changed considerably: The larger galleries have become even bigger. For smaller enterprises the profitability of art fairs has become at least doubtful if not life threatening. The curiosity of the public has faded. Art works have become more and more important as investment tools and therefore household names or young emerging artists are in demand. Many further points characterizing the changes could be listed, but this seems tiring. Without doubt the art market has become more international; this is especially true for Art Basel in Basel, the most important of the many art fairs.
The title of the show derives from a quote by the French author Marcel Proust from his outstanding novel In Search of Lost Time (A la recherche du temps perdu 1906-1922). There he writes that “the only true travel, the only rejuvenating bath, does not consist of going to new landscapes, but to have other eyes, to see the universe with the eyes of an other, of hundred others, to see the hundred universe that each of them sees, that each of them is; […]”)
(“Le seul véritable voyage, le seul bain de Jouvence, ce ne serait pas d'aller vers de nouveaux paysages, mais d'avoir d'autres yeux, de voir l'univers avec les yeux d'un autre, de cent autres, de voir les cent univers que chacun d'eux voit, que chacun d'eux est; […]”)
To see with other eyes is certainly a useful ability for a gallery owner, having acquired “a good eye” by looking at many works. Of course we are determined by habits of perception, sometimes certainly questionable. The work of an artist runs through changes one has to engage with. Looking from this angle the sentence by Proust could also be regarded as a plea for the change and openness of perception. An important aspect featured by many works in the exhibition is that they reveal their essence only after longer and careful viewing.
The works in the exhibition relate to earlier shows in the gallery and therefore are part of the story of Lullin + Ferrari. The sweet taste of Madeleine triggering memory is often present in the exhibition. Time is condensed and today is at the same time today, and yesterday and the day before yesterday. In the first room the fundamental colours red, yellow and blue appear in three works: Anna Amadio is transforming a still life with sun flowers by van Gogh into a yellow plastic relief. Anne-Lise Coste focus with a red group of densely packed refugees on a political subject. Slawomir Elsner shows a large blue watercolour completely absorbing the viewer.
In the main room Franziska Furter depicts a constellation of stars with notations of black enamel paint. Clare Goodwin has painted for the main wall a large confident abstract painting revealing new paths of discovery. Benedikte Bjerre has for the occasion sent a case of champagne as a soft sculpture and has placed it central room. Next to it are coins squashed from the tramway. To squash a coin contains a minimal gesture for the production of an artwork and includes a change of the symbolic value of the object. Further the act of squashing a coin by putting it on the tramway or railway triggers a childhood memory not only familiar to Benedikte Bjerre. Pierre Haubensak painted for the exhibition a new black painting on harsh burlap exploring the thin line between abstraction and figuration. A similar task achieved Richard Hamilton but with other means. He enlarged a photograph of a beach in England to the point where the little dots became nearly unreadable and afterwards overworked the photograph by hand. Klodin Erb shows four fantastic painterly dream landscapes with animals and figures emanating from the painted ground. Mamiko Otsubo is featured in the show with a group of four sophisticated collages on Mylar. wiedemann/mettler present two intriguing photographs capturing memories composed of many different photographs, completing their group of works with a colourful fabric made of velvet. Alex Heim shows an abstract composition from a bonnet cut in two.
A blurry crayon drawing after Bellini by Slawomir Elsner starts the group of works in the backroom working space. Here Jamie Isenstein captures us with three watercolours revealing her surreal world. A golden sculpture of a walking skull by Bill Woodrow is positioned on the sideboard – a little souvenir of our first invitation card. An abstract painting by Michael Bauch finishes the parade. All this and much more is to be discovered with curious eyes.
The exhibition runs until 14 July 2018. For further information and pictures please contact the Galerie Lullin + Ferrari, Limmatstrasse 214, CH-8005 Zurich, t. +41 43 205 26 07, [email protected], www.lullinferrari.com, Opening hours: Tu. – Fr., noon to 6pm, Sa. 11am to 5pm and by appointment.
Opening hours of the gallery during Zurich Art Weekend are: Friday, 8 June and Saturday, 9 June 11am to 7pm, Sunday, 9 June, 11am to 5pm