Opening: Thursday, 1 March 2012, 6 pm
Exhibition: 1 March to 5 May 2012
We are pleased to announce a new solo exhibition by Francesca Gabbiani, Los Angeles based artist known for her luminous paper collages depicting interiors and landscapes charged with a subtly mysterious atmosphere.
Francesca Gabbiani’s working methods are quite complex as layers of paper are intricately cut out and collaged on top of one another. This process is a breaking down of an image through color and then reconstructing that image through layering. These layers create a depth and perspective that is both painterly and sculptural. Gabbiani directs the material, colored paper, to have dramatic effects. She is constructing memory in the most literal sense, piecing together images that are full of desire and suspence.
Gabbiani’s newest body of work is loosely based on utopian architecture. She started by looking at images of the book "Taylor Camp", based on the story of few persons that were either students at Berkeley or war vets, or just idealists, who, in the '70s, left everything to move to Kauai - in Hawaii islands. Elizabeth Taylor's brother gave them a land to live on, as he couldn't build anything on it. Taylor Camp was born in 1969 and it lasted 8 years before a violent destruction by the police. The inhabitants built tree houses (one of them was an architect), had their own water system for toilets, running water, orchards and vegetables and were pretty much living in autonomy.
Gabbiani's work is based on the idea of utopian spaces, including childhood memories - tree houses, any sorts of boxes, teepee, hut, cabins, rat hole, pigeon hole, etc…were her dreams happened.
She's also very interested in collective memories, such as left overs from places in cities or to be more specific, remains of places in a city. In this case, it is often broken staircases. She sees them as a metaphor of the ability or inability to reach or to depart the memory of this utopian space.
She remembers a vague terrain, a place originally called the Belmont Tunnel. It was a piece of wasteland with an abandoned tunnel, a 1920s house and space big enough to play soccer. Belmont Tunnel became the headquarters for graffiti artists as well as a gangster’s neutral meeting ground for more than 10 years (for peace treaties among others...). After a struggle the land was finally destroyed and buildings were built.
Francesca Gabbiani’s city, Los Angeles, has always been a source of inspiration for her work. Buckminster Fuller's Cinema Dome in LA, is not only a successfully completed piece of utopian architecture, but also a dream place were dreams are carried: a movie theater. Los Angeles seen and understood in another way than just a successful piece of architecture.
Francesca Gabbiani was born in Montreal and grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, where she attended the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts. She has had a mid-career retrospective at the Centre PasquArt in Bienne, Switzerland and a show of new work at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum. Her work has been shown at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and at the Kunstverein Wolfsburg, Germany. It is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMa in New York, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and The Hammer Museum, among others.