Opening with the artists
Thursday 29 September 2011
We are delighted to announce Visions, a group show of five young painters who already attracted considerable international attention. Each of these artists has developed a powerful visionary language in tension between figuration and abstraction.
Ali Banisadr was born 1976 in Tehran, Iran. He currently lives and works in New York. As a child he experienced military and social turbulences caused by the Iran-Iraq War. When he was 12 years old the family fled the country to California. Due to his Persian origin and his transcultural upbringing his imagery is rich in complementary influences from western and oriental culture. He deliberately combines abstract and figurative components in one and the same painting. Often he is making use of warm and harmonic colors and geometrical patterns, almost reminiscent of early 20th century abstraction. At the same time he contaminates his paintings with war-like, apocalyptical scenes reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch‘s sketchy, yet disturbing images of earthly punishments. Simultaneously his fascinating cross-cultural imagery seems to be rooted in the age-old narrative traditions of Persian miniature painting.
Jules de Balincourt was born 1972 in Paris, studied in California and New York, and now lives in Brooklyn. Escaping any easy categorization, Balincourt’s work can be at once figurative and abstract, narrative and dream-like, down-to-earth and mysterious. Commenting on American culture, Balincourt has often depicted the contradictory facets of the United States social, political and economic landscapes. In some of the works, the artist clearly addresses us with simple painted phrases. Balincourt’s universe is built out of powerful imagery, in vibrant colors, often depicting scenarios of urban or social utopias.
Tomory Dodge was born in 1974 in Denver. His studies led him to Rhode Island, Rome and CalArts. Today he is based in Los Angeles, California. Being asked about the continuous development of his gestural, brushstroke-style painting, Tomory Dodge recently stated: ?Before, the brushstrokes constructed the image (...). Now the brushstrokes are the image.“ Although there are still some representational reminiscences of air, light and sky in his brightly colored imagery, Dodge has become a painter eager to explore the potential and the boundaries of his artistic practice. He does it in a complex manner, at times reminding the viewer of Gerhard Richter‘s abstract paintings which simultaneously reveal and conceal the process of their making.
Barnaby Furnas was born in 1973 in Philadelphia. He studied in New York and currently lives in Brooklyn. His artistic career started when he was a graffiti-spraying teenager in his hometown. The spontaneity and sometimes provocative attitude of highlighting the mere ugliness of persons or situations in a very vivid and expressive way still characterizes the style of his paintings and watercolors. Furnas uses expressions like ?retinal sizzle“ when talking about his imagery. Depicting scenes from the American Civil War, portraying deranged party-goers addicted to nicotine or other drugs in an almost malicious, but at the same time amusing way, makes his paintings so captivating for the viewer. Furnas, who has an unsatiable hunger for experimenting with innovative painting techniques and mind provoking subject matter recently described his artistic approach like this: ?making what you are most afraid of as beautiful as possible.“
Ryan Mosley was born in 1980 in Chesterfield, GB. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2007, Mosley now lives in London. Although being a child of the computer age and grown up with digital media around him, Mosley has a distinct interest in classical painting and narrative subject matter. ?The process is quite organic“, he states, ?sometimes it starts with an idea for a narrative, then sometimes, according to the process of the painting, the narrative arrives.“ Carnivalesque scenes, imaginative masquerades, harlequins and musketeers, people performing surreal rituals: Ryan Mosley invites the spectator to enter an extraordinary world of theatrical depth and meticulously executed painterly skills. Mixing exotic and art historical references with timeless observations of mankind’s obsessions, vanities and acts of playful self-assurance, he creates an ancient looking world that is much closer to contemporary culture than a superficial glimpse might reveal.
A catalog by Nicola Trezzi will be published for the exhibition.