(128) Laurent Grasso
'High-Tension', Group Exhibition
Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing / Times Museum, Guangzhou, [27.05.17 - 27.08.17]
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Edouard Malingue Gallery is pleased to exhibit in the Galleries and Encounters sections of Art Basel Hong Kong 2017. In the Galleries section will be a presentation around the thematic of ‘Alter States’, that is, states of mind, actuality and object – conditions that delineate what is expected but may be overturned. Exploring how the perceived or the actual may be extended to present something more will be works by Cho Yong-Ik (b. 1934), Laurent Grasso (b. 1972), Eric Baudart (b. 1972), Su-Mei Tse (b. 1973) and Fabien Mérelle (b. 1981). Furthermore, the major installation ‘Slipping Mural 2’ (2017) by Wang Wei (b. 1972) will be presented in the Encounters section, a nod to conceptions of reality and artifice.
Individual mindsets are at the source of every reflection; opening the thematic of ‘Alter States’ are the works by seminal Korean artist Cho Yong-Ik who rose to prominence in the 70s as a chief protagonist of the Dansaekhwa rubric of expression, which champions repetition, meditation and tranquility. Through placing the ‘act of making’ at the heart of creation, each painting exposes one to the rare sight of visual spirituality, a state of mental clarity that extends beyond our everyday commonplace condition. Although Cho differentiated himself from other Dansaekhwa artists by permitting subtle hints of colour to grace his work, the works displayed from his ‘Wave Series’ and ‘Bamboo Series’ evince his ability to reach another mental state through a process of cathartic execution.
Building on the notion of mental alteration, Laurent Grasso tests our formulations of reality through his complex conceptual practice that delves into science, history, mythology and supernatural phenomena to weave a research-filled narrative bordering the actual and the inconceivable. Oscillating between multiple temporalities as well as geographies, Grasso engages our notions of time and locale in a manner tending on the epistemological. Displayed will be several works following his extensive research on Japan; in particular, he’ll present ‘Behind the Eyes’ (2015) a wooden mask that harks back to the archipelago’s Jōmon Period, which appears at once alienesque and transplants into contemporaneity a bygone time in prehistoric history.
Pursuing a practice that evolves from Duchamp’s readymade, whilst simultaneously devolving from it, Eric Baudart’s works or situations are not mere found objects but rather reconfigured and repurposed, composed and rechoreographed materials. ‘Paillasson’, for example, appears as an abstract textural composition, but in actual fact is a collected doormat that has through time and usage become a visualisation of human interaction. Ignored as an object in its own aesthetic right, Baudart changes its condition and consequently summarises our visual discussion regards individual perception of what the ordinary can be.
Developing on the notion of personal associations, Su-Mei Tse creates delicate works that build novel associations between self, subject and surroundings. Highly conceptual, Tse’s oeuvres seem to present what you expect to see or hear yet not, challenging what the self would typically seek to associate with a setting or object. On display will be ‘Faded’ (2014), a mirror upon which the image of a series of rooms featuring multiple alcoves has been superimposed. In itself degrading, the mirror presents a fading image of oneself, and draws a parallel between our reflection and the image imprinted, spurring thought and imagination around the fact that you cannot ever see your clear reflection and actual state.
Moving onto the self reflective formulation of other worlds, Fabien Mérelle presents exquisite drawings and sculptures that appear at first sight as realistic in their rendering but are in fact depictions of outworldly scenarios, unsettling situations and dreamlike occurrences. Working on a minute scale against a sparse white background, Mérelle’s drawings using Chinese ink, a method he developed whilst on exchange in Xi’An, China prompt the viewer to peer into a world that represents a personal streaming subconscious.
Complementing Edouard Malingue Gallery’s booth display is its major presentation by Wang Wei in the Encounters section. Actively appropriating existing spaces and visual elements, which when enlarged and adapted according to the exhibition setting becomes an intrinsic process of engagement and decontextualisation, Wang Wei questions the veracity of natural forms before fresh eyes and constructs windows for investigating new layers of meaning. The mosaic platform floor based installation ‘Slipping Mural 2’ (2017) illustrates an idyllic beach, framed by a palm tree, distant ocean, pink sunset, fluffy clouds and bird flying into the distance. When viewed in this flat, base-like manner Wei aims to return nature to its most basic form and to reflect upon the nature of ‘reality’. Wei adds a further layer of thought by challenging how such artificial reality may be thought of in the context of an art fair where all is open for observation from the works to the artists and the visitors.