TIME, after TIME at the Ronchini Gallery
TIME, after TIME opens today in Dering Street, continuing the Ronchini Gallery’s exploration of pioneering movements in Italian art and paralleling the similarities between contemporary American artists and innovative Italian artists from the 1950s, 60s and 70s and the arte povera movement. The works on show include vibrant Alighiero Boetti’s alongside intriguing mixed media pieces and some more delicate sketch pieces.
Arte povera emerged out of the decline of abstract painting in the late 1950s and signalled a return to the older avant-garde approaches to making art. Many of the young American artists featured in TIME, after TIME share this focus on simplicity and the use of artisan materials. New York artist Andrew Brischler, for example, takes a fascinatingly organic approach to his work, leaving canvas on his studio floor to gather the dirt of the natural environment before polishing it into a finished work later on. California-born Sam Falls takes a similarly holistic approach, using garden lattice placed on wooden boards and left in the sun to create a grid on the surface before use.
Curators Carlo Berardi and Jason Lee took their inspiration from Alighiero Boetti’s definition of “vice versa: a word between a circle and an hourglass”. This notion of a shared unconscious and a sense of the return is intriguingly evinced in the work on display. Some of the most contemporary looking works, such as Paolo Scheggi’s overlapping canvas work Zone Riflesse, are actually amongst the older pieces on display. It is precisely through this almost jolting juxtaposition of works that TIME, after TIME taps into the transcendent quality that great art always aspires to and, in doing so, simultaneously revitalises past artistic movements while paying homage to the inspiration they have had and are continuing to have on artists from entirely separate generations and cultures.
The exhibition is described as “Parallels Between Young American Artists and Italian Masters.” It is a brave and intriguingly executed project, as it is by quite literally hanging contrasting pieces in parallel that the exhibition’s real message begins to sparkle. I was particularly taken by the choice to place Texan Rebecca Ward’s richly textured pieces – mixing fabric, sheetrock mud, oil, graphite, bleach, ink and spray paint in 16 works that descend like a wave from the upper right corner downwards – alongside the delicate pencil sketching of Alberto Burri’s 1973 work Drawing of Bones. Decisive, unexpected juxtapositions such as this, are what make the exhibition so fresh and worthwhile.
TIME, after TIME will run from 6th September – 4th October 2012 at the Ronchini Gallery, 22 Dering Street, London W1S 1AN. Entry is free.
For more information about the Ronchini Gallery click here.