20/10/2018 – 01/12/2018
Opening: Saturday 20th October 2018, 2.30 p.m.
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 2.00 -7.00 p.m.
Thomas Brambilla Gallery is pleased to present “Copper, Marble, Cotton”, a curated group show with works by three American fellow-artists; Lynda Benglis, David Novros and Joe Zucker. The exhibition examines the choice, by each of the above-mentioned artists, of specific traditional materials for both their cultural associations and formal properties, enlightening also the significance role of traditional and concrete materials in the currently contemporary art.
Starting from the Sixties, the importance of materials has been re-evaluated by the critics, leading also to an expansion of the concept of Art itself. For the first time, material gained ascendancy over form. Only during the Seventies, the attention has been directed increasingly towards text written and pictorial documents as means of expression, while in the Eighties, artists went back to the balance of material and form. From the Nineties, however, the possibilities of digital technology led to a reduction in the importance of traditional and concrete materials. Nowadays the trend seems to have changed and the critics praise the generation of artists, such as Benglis, Novros and Zucker –and many more-, to whom the aspect of materiality has always been a key concept in their poetics, although each of them has dealt with it and integrated in their practices differently.
Benglis, Novros and Zucker tried to overcome the Minimalism’s break with unconventional formats of paintings and sculptures, investigating new limits and re-elaborating the classical tradition in the making of art. They believed that the chosen material should govern the character of the artwork and they thought in a more expanded sense of “technique”, which could encompassed the processes’ of the artist himself. The artists invited to participate at “Copper, Marble, Cotton” focus on the characteristics and the evocative power of such diverse materials as marble, copper and cotton.
Departing from the non-traditional art material which dominate contemporary art, the brand new series of marble sculptures by Lynda Benglis is a continuation of her ongoing embrace of the natural qualities of her various media. The sculptures’ surfaces recall the fitful undulations and the theatricality of the ancient Greek statues’ draperies but also her ongoing projects on Baroque fountains. This effect is amplified by Benglis’ specific choice and use of different colored marbles.
David Novros began his series of Coppers when he lived in the desert of New Mexico in the Eighties. Novros focused his artistic research on Medieval and Native American art, searching for peculiar primordial shapes and natures and absorbing the fascination for how the materials and colors could affect his practice. To create the Coppers’ works, Novros used line charge explosive; firstly, he taped it down to the surface, following the roughly drawing, and then detonated it. The result is a controlled explosion of shapes and swellings, to whom he after soldered some old gold-mining pans and finally painted in gold and enamel paint.
Joe Zucker, one of America’s most innovative artists, has always experimented with what has become his signature technique: gluing cotton balls to canvas in a gridded arrangement and painting over them. Resulting in a highly textured surface reminiscent of antique Mosaics in Ravenna, this technique radically transforms the surface of the canvas and challenges the “flatness”. His imagery is often related, in some way, to the materials and processes, for example the series’ with cotton plantation imagery executed in cotton balls rolled in paint.
Lynda Benglis (1941, Lake Charles) is an American artist best known for her use of poured sculptural forms made from wax, latex, metal, and foam. In addition to sculpture, Benglis works in video and photography, and has used media interventions (such as a well-known ad placed in Artforum in 1974, showing the artist nude with a dildo between her legs) to explore notions of power and gender relations.
Benglis’ work is in extensive public collections including: Guggenheim Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Lynda Benglis lives and works in New York, Santa Fe and Ahmedabad, India.
An original member of Park Place, the historic New York artist collective, David Novros (1941, Los Angeles) is well known for his large, abstract paintings on irregularly shaped, multipaneled canvases.
Novros has exhibited in several prominent venues, including: the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Dallas Museum of Fine Art in Dallas, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Bremen Museum of Modern Art in Bremen, Germany.
Joe Zucker (b. 1941, Chicago), throughout his extensive career, has exhibited alongside artists such as Agnes Martin and Brice Marden at the pioneering Bykert Gallery in the 1960s, and later with dealer Holly Solomon, who was well known for her support of new and experimental mediums, including the New Image and Pattern and Decoration movements to which Zucker belonged.
Zucker’s works is included in extensive public collections: The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, The New Museum in New York, The New York Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, The Tel Aviv Museum in Israel, The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, The Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and many others.