The Merchant House at Independent Brussels 2018, 8 – 11 Nov
The Merchant House will present works of Pino Pinelli and of the two young artists Elsa Tomkowiak and Mary Sue. The theme reflects TMH’s interest in the contemporary art object and its emergence in a performative act.
Pinelli premiered in Milan in the 1970s and has been reconceptualizing painting in his “pittura con corpo” with an “invitation to touch”: rhythmic wall cadences of palpable plaster marked by his signature imprint and color palette. Starting decades later in the 21st century in France, Tomkowiak and Mary Sue address the same phenomenal concerns with a different sense of presence. Tomkowiak transgresses painterly cannons with color-rich planes and volumes that are expansive and generous. Mary Sue uses color to a poignant effect in her alter-ego performances rendered as videos, photographs, or sculptures. With their poetic embodiment of painting, the two young artists—like Pinelli—strike against disenchantment, mechanistic thinking, and separateness.
About the Artists
Pino Pinelli (1938, IT) is a recognized innovator who over a 50-year career has been strategically forging a most singular creative language. His works are in major museums and private collections, and he continues to exhibit widely in Italy and internationally. Pinelli’s most recent museum exhibition was ‘Pino Pinelli: Painting Beyond the Limit’ at Palazzo Reale—Gallerie d’Italia, Milan, in 2018, which followed shows at Museo delle Arti, Catanzaro, 2017 and the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, 2016. TMH presented the artist’s solo thematic exhibition dedicated to De Stijl in 2017. Pinelli lives and works in Milan.
Elsa Tomkowiak (1981, FR) is a painter with a predilection for scale and idiosyncratic color. Since her graduation from ENSA of Dijon in 2005, she has had many public commissions, such as: an opera house (Nantes), an abbey (Angers), two bridges (Quebec, CA), a glasshouse (Pougues-les-Eaux), festival projects (Offenbach am Main, Amiens, Varengeville-sur-Mer), and a permanent installation for a hospital in Angers, France. She is currently involved in several new projects and commissions. At TMH, Tomkowiak participated in Making Things Happen: Young Artists in Dialogue, 2017/18.
Mary Sue states that she was born between 1979 and now. Under her sobriquet of Mary Sue established during her studies at ENSA of Dijon, the artist has had ongoing solo and group exhibitions with galleries in France, Belgium and Italy. Her work has been showcased at Art Basel, FIAC, Art Brussels and at other international events and fairs. In 2017, her project on childhood and loss, La Flotte, was presented in Amiens, France, for the Art, villes et paysage festival. At TMH, Mary Sue participated in Making Things Happen: Young Artists in Dialogue, 2017/18.
About The Merchant House
The Merchant House presents contemporary art projects with sales of art as a funding strategy. Each project, curated by TMH’s Founding Artistic Director Marsha Plotnitsky, brings together an extended exhibition, cultural and research events and a dedicated catalogue/artist’s book.
TMH has showcased international and Dutch innovators, such as Henk Peeters, Jan Schoonhoven, André de Jong, Chuck Close, Carolee Schneemann, Hilarius Hofstede, Craigie Horsfield, Judit Reigl, and Pino Pinelli, as well as young talent. Since it opened its doors in a historical canal house in Amsterdam in 2013, it has become known as a modern take on the Dutch tradition of a merchant—a vibrant art space freely open to the public