Sanya Kantarovsky (artist-in-residence August – September, 2014)
Exhibition runs Sunday, September 21st – Thursday, October 30th
Monteverdi and its curator, Sarah McCrory, are pleased that Sanya Kantarovsky was the 2014 artist-in-residence at Monteverdi Tuscany and shared a new body of works in the gallery. Having worked at Monteverdi from August until the end of September 2014, these new pieces are part of Kantarovsky’s solo exhibition at Marc Foxx gallery in Los Angeles. This residency provided Kantarovsky with a unique natural and cultural environment in which to accomplish his project.
Lumpen Patrol, 2014
Sanya Kantarovsky (b. 1982) is an artist, whose work encompasses a variety of media, including painting, sculpture and installation. Since receiving his MFA at UCLA, Kantarovsky has had numerous international exhibitions, most recently at Casey Kaplan (Los Angeles) and GAK (Bremen). Recent group shows include Stuart Shave (London) and Badischer Kunstverein (Karlsruhe). Earlier this year, he also collaborated with Ella Kruglyanskaya on the exhibition Little Vera at the KIM? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga, Latvia. His work is primarily figurative, often drawing on narrative conventions and tropes within various histories of representational imagery. Through their use of imagined and quotidian narratives and forms, Kantarovsky’s paintings signal a self-reflexive approach, often lingering on the anxiety behind their own making.
Songs Without Words
Friday, April 11th – Sunday, July 13th
Joseph Grigely, Ida Ekblad, Carsten Nicolai, Jennifer West
Songs Without Words is the second exhibition to be staged in the Monteverdi Gallery. The group exhibition brought together works by artists which incorporate a quality often attributed to the formation of music, song and composition. The artists included draw on elements such as cadence, tempo, rhythm and the space between notes – the rests and reverberations. The exhibition touched upon the parallels between musical composition and artistic practice, from composition to the myth of the artist. It particularly examined imagery or objects that are imbued with the power of music captured and presented as a latent but palpable and present energy.
Exhibited in Songs Without Words were Joseph Grigely, Ida Ekblad, Carsten Nicolai, and Jennifer West.
Joseph Grigely’s “Songs Without Words,” which provides the title for the exhibition, is a series of prints of images extracted from newspaper music reviews. Often at moments of intense focus during a performance, each singer has been shown in a number of stages of removal from the moment of pure performance. They are photographed, then shown in a newspaper, then clipped out, then turned into a print. The immortalized images are a distance away from the immersive moment of performance.
Ida Ekblad’s abstract paintings are created with music as a background. Musicians, as well as art historical moments, greatly influence her work. Often affected directly by the music she listens to whilst painting, her works involve rhythmic brushstrokes and an evocative palette. Her painting action is in itself performative, and the energy behind the work is ultimately captured in the abstract forms shown on the canvas. In her wider practice, Ekblad creates large-scale works using found detritus, which she either makes into sculpture or drags and wheels through paint and onto a surface.
Carsten Nicolai’s work void is a series of glass tube sculptures filled with sound. Not focusing on the presence but rather the life span of sound, the work poses several questions: Can sound be stored in a space? What happens to sound when it is moving and continuously reflected within a space? And what can be perceived when the space is re-opened? The tubes become a repository for wider questions about presence and absence within art works.
Jennifer West’s films involve a direct action on the 16mm film stock itself; and through the titles of the works she creates a narrative around each film. In the case of Led Zeppelin Alchemy Film, the materials mentioned in the music of Led Zeppelin are coupled with exposed film of the artist and a friend dancing to the music of the band to make the resultant silent film which holds the patterns and rhythms of the music. The materials used on the film, such as tangerines, or custard pie, affect the film by reacting with it and creating gloops and swirls of psychedelic-looking color – chemically aping the feeling and ethos of a band who were well known for their use of mind-altering drugs on stage.
It is possible to ask of all the works in the exhibition, how does the status of an art object or image retain the passion and energy of performance, and how does that latent energy translate to the viewer?