Galleria Doris Ghetta
Following the splendid retrospective at the Archaeological Museum in Naples in June 2018 in which he juxtaposed his works with the classical sculptures and objects from the museum’s collections, over the last year Aron Demetz has produced a set of totally new pieces. Galleria Doris Ghetta is delighted to present these sculptures at VOLTA.
In this recent collection, Demetz once again moves away from the aesthetics of classical sculpture by relating representation of the human body to the visible traces of the production process. A striking example of this is the bronze casting channels that he leaves on the outside of his sculptures like a web to spread their physical presence. The artist also makes partial use of his tried-and-tested technique of combustion of the wood bodies, but offsets this destructive process by refashioning the charred figures with plaster. He tends to leave the surfaces rough and apparently untreated so that classical figuration is reflected not so much in formal appearance as in the powerful archaic language of the material and its properties and a savage, hence even more impressive artistic process.
Alexander Tinei was born in Moldavia in 1967 and has lived and worked in Budapest for several years. His spacious studio allows him to create large-scale works while carrying on with others of various sizes in parallel. Hence sets of paintings that may be summed up according to the subjects addressed. Galleria Doris Ghetta is delighted to present this works at Volta15, Basel.
"measuring the roots” is the title some of the works in the new set. The subjects depicted are holding a folding rule. The roots hinted at in the title characterise the background of the paintings and define the space that surrounds the figures. Unlike Tinei’s previous works, in which it was possible to see these roots through the bodies of the subjects represented like visible veins, now they break free from the bodies and become an element to determine space. Symbolically, the roots and the folding rules refer to the artist’s pursuit of his own identity and cultural origins. At the same time, this new set of paintings also reveals an interest for tradition and the possibilities offered by the medium of painting itself.
These works contain important elements that touch on the very method of painting, such as experimentation with the concept of portraiture and a new way of treating colour, structure and surface. Portraiture is Alexander Tinei’s great passion and one of the leitmotivs of his production. For many years he has addressed this classic canon, analysing it in all its nuances, possibilities and historical and artistic dimensions. Tinei explores the way in which major classical and contemporary painters – from Velasquez, Goya and Modigliani to Gerhard Richter and Marlene Dumas – approach portraits, repeatedly integrating their pictorial strategies into his own works. For some time now, Tinei has been painting portraits of young people: models, bloggers and anonymous figures taken from the social media, all from a world characterized by self-portraits, advertising and marketing, thus reflecting modern times, our attitudes and our modes of representation.
If the backgrounds in previous paintings were realistic spaces and landscapes, now figures are surrounded by an abstract world characterised by fields of colour that contrast with the black and white surfaces. Painting with bold colours, which is new for Tinei, is an important factor in the new paintings. Here the function of colour is as an emotive medium transmitting joy or sadness, fright or tranquillity and so on, much as in the paintings of Edward Munch.
From a technical point of view, Tinei recently began to work with adhesive tape, which he uses to add rhythm and stricture to the images. His paintings are now more concerned with structure, texture and the infinite possibilities that pictorial technique offers, whereas the narrative aspects fade into the background. Important support is also provided by the technique of collage. with Tinei now exploring and superimposing not only contents typical of painting but also different surface structures in a combination of different pictorial techniques and variegated and exciting textures.
Despite a long and complex production process in which he assembles single parts of a picture as in a puzzle, Tinei’s works look as light and fresh as if they had been created in the course of a single day. With this set of works, Tinei is embarking on a study of painting seen as an exciting, different way of building and reflecting on reality.