Anne Chu, Klodin Erb (Zuoz)

Anne Chu, Klodin Erb (Zuoz)

birds of prey (hawk) by anne chu

Anne Chu

Birds of Prey (Hawk), 2008

Saturday, February 20, 2010Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chesa Albertini
Via Maistra 41

Zuoz, 7524 Switzerland

Anne Chu

Opening
saturday 20th February 2010
at 6 pm

Exhibition
20.02.2010 - 3.04.2010

Gallery hours
Tu – Sa, 3 - 7 pm

The work of Anne Chu - dubbed "one of the best figurative sculptors around" by New York Times art critic Roberta Smith - draws its inspiration from a wide range of artistic and historical sources, from cultural archetypes she transforms and reinvents, always using the materials in an experimental way.

In this exhibition she shows recent sculptures and paintings. Some sculptures represent animals recurring in different cultures: a bear, a goat, birds. Some others are made in ceramic and are free representations of landscapes, referencing to the mountains and rocks of the Chinese tradition. Balanced between the figurative and the abstract, these sculptures are strangely elusive, as if the material from which they are made were in continuous transformation. They are accompanied by new paintings in egg tempera on wood representing clouds.

Anne Chu mines the history of figuration across cultures and eras to create sculptures that evoke ritual, storytelling, and mythology. Her wide-ranging sources are employed more for their capacity to trigger the imagination than for their particular references. Chu carefully arranges her figures in groupings, achieving the overall effect of a timeless, placeless field of players primed to perform some enchanted narrative. Her work is underpinned by a sophisticated and highly conceptual approach to form, content and color. Renowned for her ability to work with a variety media, in her practice Chu integrates wood, bronze, ceramic, resin and fabric in such a way that one medium is animated by another. Textiles take on the appearance of carvings; sculptures become painted canvases. She draws inspiration from wide-ranging sources, which although at times historically specific, are employed less for their iconographic meaning and more for the subject's potential for unraveling broader artistic ideas.

Anne Chu lives and works in New York and is represented by 303 Gallery in New York and Donald Young in Chicago. In recent years her works have been shown in different museums, including the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Ohio, the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas in 1998, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Miami, Florida in 2005; in 2004 she participated in the "Carnegie International" in Pittsburgh.

Klodin Erb

Fragile Identität

Opening
saturday 20th February 2010
at 6 pm

Exhibition
20.02.2010 - 3.04.2010

Gallery hours
Tu – Sa, 3 - 7 pm

Klodin Erb (b 1963 in Winterthur, lives in Zürich) ranks among the most important Swiss artists of her generation. After intense exploration of conceptual issues in installations, object art and performances, Erb turned to painting in 2004, rapidly attracting both national and international attention.

Her figurative paintings feature rapid, gestural painting that relies on a lack of closure, on sketchiness and even fragmentation. A second look reveals that parts of the bodies in her figures have not been entirely fleshed out and are, in some cases, missing altogether. The compositions feature properties of a stage set, a film set or a feudal interior from a distant past. The figures straddle the fence between materialization and dissolution. They appear so fleeting, intangible and fragile that it seems as if they are already being drawn into another world before they have barely become visible. We cannot be sure whether what confronts us is a rehearsal or real-life, whether it is the wistful memory of times gone by or a film still. The levels of reality are not easily sorted out and identified since they allow for not only differing, but even contradictory interpretations.

This is, in fact, the very quality that makes Klodin Erb's work so contemporary, for it mirrors our reality: ways of life and behavioural codes are clashing worldwide with ever greater vehemence, causing steadily accelerating media reverberations around the globe. The near intolerable eruptions that sometimes mark our global reality have brought about a fragmentation of traditional values, structures and orders. These paintings certainly do not moralise; they point no fingers. Dissected to the point of non-objectivity, Erb's figures and motives do, however, leave room for a critical analysis and reconfiguration of identity. "If it die, it bringeth forth much fruit": it is this metaphorical image that is crucial to the artist's painting.

The loss of time-honoured identities and stabilities in her pictures necessarily leads to a new relationship to reality: profoundly unsettling and vulnerable but all the more sensitive, alert and attentive to change. Klodin Erb's figures are in the throes of these processes of losing and finding again. They face us with disarming candour. Although we shall never be able to sort out our reality or theirs, we at least realize that someone shares our feelings of a fragile world and an equally fragile identity.

Markus Stegmann