Michele Abeles, Alvaro Barrington, Pavel Büchler, Monster Chetwynd, Sky Hopinka, Oliver Laric
Jan. 18 until Feb. 27, 2021
Presented by Tanya Leighton and Sadie Coles HQ in Berlin
As part of Galleries Curate: RHE, Tanya Leighton and Sadie Coles HQ have combined elements of their programmes.
The exhibition Tempest will be on view at Tanya Leighton from January 18th until February 27th, 2021. The gallery is located at Kurfürstenstraße 25 in Berlin.
Dialogue between our two galleries has resulted in the exhibition Tempest, a group show that reflects on the ability of water to transform into different states and explores transformation as an act, a fluid and physical process, that can present change in appearance or form, and offer an opportunity for renewal.
Each of the artists in this exhibition interpret transformation on a symbolic, material or spiritual level. Oliver Laric’s videos and sculptures analyse the instability and hybridity of objects as a chance for growth, while Monster Chetwynd’s work grapples with notions of ephemerality and metamorphosis through forms of ritual and solidarity.
Sky Hopinka’s dreamlike films traverse indigenous themes of history and myth remembered in the present as a promise for the future, and the assembled imagery of Michele Abeles scrutinize the transformative nature of images and associations from both digital and analogue sources.
The sensual representation of clouds in the work of Alvaro Barrington is inspired by the suggestive state of transience between water and air, and of course by J M W Turner’s tempestuous land- scapes. Water becomes an active medium in Pavel Büchler’s paintings, which undergo a physical transformation as they cycle through a washing machine.
Bringing together works of video, painting, sculpture and installation, Tempest refracts the concept of panta rhei – everything flows – through the lens of the fluid, transient and transformative nature of both culture and water.
Water Aid will receive 10% of sales from the exhibition.
For more information about the works of Pavel Büchler, Oliver Laric, and Sky Hopinka, please contact Tanya Leighton at firstname.lastname@example.org or +49 (0)30 21972220
For more information about the works Michele Abeles, Alvaro Barrington, and Monster Chetwynd, please contact Sadie Coles HQ at email@example.com or +44 20 7493 8611.
All installation images
Photography: Gunter Lepkowski
Courtesy of the artists; Sadie Coles HQ, London; and Tanya Leighton, Berlin
At the entrance to the exhibition Monster Chetwynd’s large painted latex sculpture of an octopus is splayed out on the gallery floor.
The wallpaper which acts as backdrop to this intelligent sea creature is an enlarged xerox of Hokusai’s erotic scene The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife, a popular nineteenth century Shunga print depicting a woman entwined in embrace with a pair of octopi.
As elsewhere in Chetwynd’s work, there is a desire for metamorphosis, to be other; in which the natural world becomes a channel for expression. Water here becomes an immersive sustaining force and mythic harbinger for imagination.
Syncretic inter-species representations recur in Oliver Laric’s Untitled animated film, in which Laric re-draws found footage of humans morphing into animals from hundreds of animated films.
In a continuous loop, these shape-shifting characters blend swiftly and hypnotically to the rhythm of a contemplative orchestral score. This work is shown paired with a new 3D digitally printed sculpture, Hermanubis.
Laric’s version of this psychopomp deity, half-man and half-jackal, is recomposed in a patchwork of different materials, suggestive of a broader interest in the hybridisation and instability of matter.
Michele Abeles delights in the slippage of the image, torn between its pristine digital future and a past fast decaying and discolouring.
Abeles’s Nymphaea series is based on the vacant imagery that populates waiting rooms. The banal, the cliché, and the knock-off are freely recombined with imagery from the artist’s own archive and output as seductive large format digital tapestries.
The example shown here, reviving Monet’s Water Lilies, is displayed with Abeles’s small scale collages, titled after reptiles found in the swamps of Florida, and incorporating elements such as imitation crocodile skin, fragments of mirrors, and lost cameras.
Clouds appear, sensual and majestic, in the work of American artist Alvaro Barrington.
Inspired by the transient states between water and air and J.M.W. Turner’s tempestuous seascapes such as The Slave Ship, 1840, Barrington mediates between subjective gesture, historical allusion and his own personal biography. Intuitively recording shifting skyscapes he witnessed from his home in London and reflecting on his journey from the United States to the UK, Barrington pays homage to the Atlantic crossing of his ancestors.
Through these understated compositions, Barrington transforms everyday meteorology into biomorphic symbols, expressing the fluidity of cultural exchange and collective memory.
In the second gallery space, the exhibition continues with Lore, a film by Sky Hopinka, bringing forth ideas of reincarnation and cyclical return. A stream of fragmented images are assembled on an overhead projector, as a voice tells us of a not too distant past; a lore uttered in the present as a promise for the future.
“Stories of oceans in the afterlife, or the spirit world in our own... This endless mixing and reconfiguring, overlapping of images (like waves).” These motifs reappear in a series of photographs with hand-inscribed words suggestive of an introspective journey through memories and landscapes.
Water is the purifying agent in the material transformations of Pavel Büchler’s Modern Paintings series. Found at flea markets and auctions, these works have their painted surfaces removed and their canvasses put through a washing machine cycle. Patches of paint, reversed back to front, are then re-assembled in the manner of ‘crazy paving’ or abstract mosaics.