Alberto Torri presents Reverso, a personal review focused on the last years of the activity in Bratislava.
Since the beginning the gallery has had a strong focus on contemporary young artists from Central and Eastern European regions and today, with this exhibition presents an individual portrait of seven years in the heart of the new-old Europe.
This “pleasant retrospective” - as Torri says - brings together the works of young artists as well as those whose activity began in the seventies and it features works by Stano Filko, Julius Koller, Tamas St. Turba, Rudolf Sikora, Vaclav Stratil, Vladimir Havlik, Sinisa Labrovic, Sorin Neamtu, Cristina David, Gabor Pinter, Pavel Sterec and Martin Vongrej. Many of the works presented are a pure embodiment of countercultural activities designed to produce alternative models of national and trans-national solidarity. The Czechoslovakian Radio, 1968 by Tamas St. Turba, for example, eternalize the story of how Czechoslovakian people resisted to the repression of political reforms through creative means, while Antihappenings by Julius Koller are frisky, but at the same time sarcastic Dadaist works exploring his critical distance to the entire tradition of Western art. Reverso will introduce a body of works by Czech artists such as Pavel Sterec, Vaclav Stratil or Vladimir Havlik, whose series of gelatin silver prints entitled Reframed Records presents an interesting photographic documentation produced from extant negatives permitting the viewer a complete concentration on the content of individual performances. The exhibition will also feature a utopic performance by Sorin Neamtu, a Romanian artist and the video entitled Drims Kam Tru by Sinisa Labrovic, a well-known Croatian socially engaged performer addressing in his works serious issues ranging from the position of the artist in society to mass media and politics.
Reverso is not only a moment of slow down and contemplation of what has been done, but it is also a pleasant overview and a celebration of artist-dealer relationships and memorable moments he has passed through over the last years. And, while ending a certain period of activity, Torri is architecting a new future together with FL gallery.
Alberto Torri presenta Reverso, una panoramica del lavoro svolto negli ultimi anni di attività a Bratislava.
Sin dall’inizio la galleria ha concentrato attenzione sui giovani artisti contemporanei provenienti dai paesi dell’Europa centrale e orientale e proprio oggi con questa mostra presenta un individuale ritratto dei sette anni passati nel cuore della cosiddetta nuova vecchia Europa.
Questa “piacevole retrospettiva” - come dice Torri - raccoglie un gruppo di lavori di artisti sia molto giovani che la cui attività artistica ha avuto inizio negli anni Settanta; includendo opere di Stano Filko, Julius Koller, Tamas St. Turba, Rudolf Sikora, Vaclav Stratil, Vladimir Havlik, Sinisa Labrovic, Sorin Neamtu, Cristina David, Gabor Pinter, Pavel Sterec e Martin Vongrej.
Molti dei lavori presentati costituiscono una pura incarnazione delle attività contro-culturali degli artisti, progettate per creare modelli alternativi di solidarietà nazionale e transnazionale. Czechoslovakian Radio, 1968 di Tamas St. Turba per esempio immortala la storia dei Cecoslovacchi resistiti alla repressione delle riforme politiche attraverso l’uso dei mezzi creativi, mentre i giocosi ma allo stesso tempo sarcastici Antihappenings di Julius Koller esplorano la sua distanza critica dall'intera tradizione dell'arte occidentale. Reverso introdurrà artisti Cechi come Pavel Sterec, Vaclav Stratil o Vladimir Havlik di cui la serie di stampe in gelatina d’argento intitolata Reframed Records rappresenta un’interessante documentazione fotografica prodotta da negativi già esistenti e consente allo spettatore una concentrazione completa sul contenuto delle singole esibizioni. La mostra comprenderà un'utopica performance di un artista rumeno Sorin Neamtu e il video intitolato Drims Kam Tru di Sinisa Labrovic, un noto artista croato da sempre impegnato socialmente, il quale nei suoi lavori indirizza le cause più importanti che possono variare dalla posizione dell’artista in società ai mass media e la politica.
Reverso non è soltanto un momento di rallentamento e di riflessione su cosa sia stato fatto, ma è anche una piacevole panoramica e una celebrazione di tutti i rapporti artista-gallerista e di tutti gli indimenticabili momenti vissuti durante gli ultimi anni. E mentre sta per finire un certo periodo di attività, Torri architettando un nuovo futuro assieme a FLgallery.
Richard Billingham, Horses, 2011, chromogenic print on Kodak paper_45 x 117.5 cm_edition of 3 + 2AP
Opening Thursday 28th September, from 6.30 till 9.00
29th September - 15th November 2017
ANTHONY REYNOLDS GALLERY, London
as guest of SPAZIO 22
Viale Sabotino, 22 - Milano
“Good landscape art is about a condition, an attitude … a state of mind”. (RB)
The name Richard Billingham is forever associated with the extraordinary series of photographs of
his own family which he took for a period of a few years, from 1990. Just 19 years old and passionately
dedicated to the idea of being a painter, he started to take these photographs as source material
for expressionist studies of his father, Ray, a man sustained in a lack and luckless life by little more
than vast quantities of home-made alcohol. But Billingham soon realised that the photographs
themselves were the work and the combination of environment, intimacy and an exceptional
aesthetic awareness resulted in hundreds of the now internationally celebrated images of Ray,
Liz, brother Jason and dogs, cats, fish and rats, images that have a power and a real beauty that is
exceptional and unique. Within a few years, Billingham was exhibiting in galleries and institutions
in Europe, the Americas and the Far East and collectors and museums were avidly acquiring
his work. Once the shows began, however, Billingham turned the focus off his family.
First he stepped outside and photographed the suburban environment of Cradley Heath, a stage
set peopled only by parked cars, silent. He then turned to animals, animals in captivity, animals
that he remembered from earliest childhood in the local zoo; animals restricted in an unfamiliar
environment stressed and engaged in perpetual repetitive actions. Billingham travelled far and
wide making videos and large-scale photographs of these oppressed creatures. Many of the videos
are almost unbearable to watch. Meanwhile Billingham kept returning to the landscape. His
own restrictive and chaotic domestic upbringing had a perhaps inevitable parallel in a profound
relationship with nature in all its moods and manifestations. Billingham is a weatherman, a bird
watcher, an acute observer of the teeming life in the hedgerows, a botanist. Of an oak tree he writes:
“Every Spring the oak blooms. The invisible pollen from the catkins is distributed each year by
the wind but acorns drop within only a few yards of the parent and always get eaten by the deer
or the commoner browsers. Animals gather beneath its shade; beetle larvae honeycomb the
bark and other invertebrates inhabit the crevices. Pollarding has created a micro-habitat for tiny,
semi-amphibian organisms with the water in the hollows forming miniature ponds when it rains”.
And, on an attempt to capture the passing of a particular light over the land, like a hunter stalking
“I lie in wait for a while then try again when it comes back but I still cannot catch it. It is now nearly
properly dark though there is no moon. I don’t want to get too close to the light a hundred metres
across the beach. I decide to follow the static, winding river back up. The still bodies of clear water
mirror the dim-white negative spaces above within black land patches. Stepping into the water
would be like stepping into the sky.”
Every one of these images is the result of a moment of recognition, scenes experienced
for the first time, but with a certain inevitability. Wherever they come from they speak of
a personal relationship every bit as real as those in the family flat in the Black Country.
“The best landscape photography comes from inside the artist, from ideas, emotions and attitudes
projected onto the landscape and recorded with the camera.”
There are images from the south downs of Sussex, the huge skies of Norfolk, Constable’s Essex,
his home land of Gower in Wales; images from England, Wales, Greece, Ireland, Ethiopia,
Pakistan. Landscapes large and very small, close and far, wet and dry, calm and angry.
We can only present a small selection here but each image has companions and though
hard to choose, those selected are amongst the very best. And not just the best of Billingham
but amongst the best images in a great tradition of affaires with the landscape from the awe of
Caspar David Friedrich to the forensic celebrations of the familiar by Constable.
This exhibition is one of a series for both galleries. Anthony Reynolds Gallery has now established
a model of nomadic collaborations, with no proprietary fixed space. This is the sixth exhibition in the
programme. The next three projects will take place in Berlin, Amsterdam and London. The gallery
will continue to participate in art fairs where appropriate, always presenting the work of one artist
or one theme and treating the art fair booth as another gallery. Spazio 22, incorporating
both FL GALLERY and Galleria PACK has maintained an imaginative series of guest gallery shows
alongside the spaces they programme on a regular basis. Federico Luger has had a long-term
interest in the work of Richard Billingham and we were delighted to accept his invitation
to propose an exhibition. We look forward to welcoming our friends and colleagues from Milan
and the many people who have supported and acquired Billingham’s work in the past.